How to Choose a University or College

There are so many ways to get information and recommendations on a college--friends, family, college rating guides--but this important decision is best made by you and you alone. So, how to choose? This page is designed to help you become an informed consumer. Use your family and friends for advice, but also do some independent research to identify four to eight schools where you can be happy learning, growing and networking.

To buy books on this subject see:  Amazon -- search keywords "choose a college"

Steps to Choosing The Right College:

  1. Know who you are and what you want from your college or university experience
  2. Pick a major or academic focus, then visit the Foothill College Transfer Center in the Student Development Center to:
    • Research schools that offer that major or program
    • Look at "The Gorman Report" and "Rugg's Recommendations On The Colleges" to learn which colleges are rated "best" for your major
    • Do a major search using the Eureka program, or use a major finder in one of the college guide books

  3. Find some schools that fit your criteria. Sometimes you need to make choices among conflicting criteria. For example, if you prefer a large urban campus, but the better Marine Biology programs are at rural coastal campuses, then you will have to compromise. See "Getting The Information"

  4. Do research on the web
  5. Narrow the choices
  6. Fill out "What Are Your..."

  7. Congratulations on doing a thorough job choosing a college. Good luck with your applications.

Other Useful Sites

Top of page April 05, 2011

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Update: UC Personal Statement
The UC Personal Statement prompts have changed effective Fall 2016. There is one required question you must answer. You will also need to answer 3 out of 7 additional questions. Each response is limited to a maximum of 350 words.
See more at Personal Insight Questions