The 25-question checklist for choosing a college

choosing a college choosing a college
  • 1.) Is the city or town that the college is located in one that you’d like living in? Or has location never been something that’s negatively affected your day-to-day life?

  • 2.) Is dorm life, as portrayed on a school’s website or seen during your campus visit, the experience you’re looking for?

  • 3.) Does the school have the major you want and is the program sufficient? If not, is there a similar major offered?

  • 4.) Is it a city that will have internships in your field or will you have to travel for that experience?

  • 25.) Can you imagine going to any other school more than this one? Or does this one just feel right? How important do you regard your feelings vs. logic?

  • 5.) Is it a social campus, a commuter campus or a quiet campus? Which do you prefer, and are you willing to compromise on this point?

  • 6.) Is the school within your price range or worth going into debt over? Are they offering you scholarships or grants if you go there?

  • 7.) Is the campus visually pleasant and a place you’d be okay spending a good chunk of your time on?

  • 8.) If you end up landing a great job in town before or right after graduating, would you be okay living there? Same question for if you get married or meet the love of your life.

  • 9.) What’s the weather like there? Is there a lot of one kind of weather, like snow or rain, that you love or can’t stand?

  • 10.) Are the professors at the school renowned in their fields? Do they have doctorate degrees or books published? Do you care?

  • 11.) How well does the school rank academically? Are you in a field where that matters at all?

  • 12.) Has the school had significant price hikes from year to year, making it difficult to gauge how much it’d cost to attend for four years?

  • 13.) Are the students at the college happy? Have you researched that or asked around, perhaps by emailing current students?

  • 14.) Does the school have any interesting electives you’d like to take, such as philosophy of film or yoga?

  • 15.) Are there any infringing rules the school places on students even off campus, such as no drinking or smoking, that you’d inevitably rebel against or despise?

  • 16.) Does the cost of living in the city sound reasonable for a college student? (Remember, unless you’re living off financial aid in the dorms, you’ll likely move off campus for most of your years there).

  • 17.) Is the school a weekend trip’s distance away from home? Does it matter to you how far away from home it is?

  • 18.) Do you have any friends or acquaintances attending the school or living in the city? Or does it sound more exciting to you to go knowing no-one?

  • 19.) Is there a line of successful alumni from the school? Have you browsed through the college’s alumni magazine or checked the alumni section of the website?

  • 20.) Is the school located within a reasonable day’s drive to other thriving cities? This could be a consideration if, during your junior and senior years, you can apply for internships and jobs there and be able to drive there and back within the same day for interviews.

  • 21.) Is there a good scene for whatever niche group you’re part of, such as a Christian club on campus or a libertarian group? If not, how about in the city?

  • 22.) Does the college have big or small classes or both? Which do you prefer or think you’d prefer?

  • 23.) Is the campus big or small? Can you reasonably walk from class to class in a decent length of time or would it be better to bike or bus?


  • 24.) Are the professors kind or approachable? Have you checked some professor ratings on sites like or asked current students?

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