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5 Criteria To Choose a College Based on Your Interests and Goals

By Fort Hays State University on August, 26 2020

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Starting college is an incredibly exciting experience. With this new experience, there are many things for you to consider when finding the right college. From cost to academics, the decision comes with a lot of important considerations. The good news is that you don’t need to have everything figured out at once. Each campus you consider will have unique benefits, so you should weigh the decision between specific factors that matter the most to you and the experience you are looking to achieve. 

Here are 5 things you should consider when deciding on the right college for you based on your interests and your goals.

1. Academics
Simply receiving a college education isn’t enough to guarantee success. You also need quality, in-depth, and practical learning that helps you build the skills necessary for the workforce. The college you choose should embrace a holistic approach to education, equipping students with academic and transferable skills. This means that your program should follow a goal-driven approach. Courses should be tailored towards enhancing your skill set while embracing teamwork, communication, and technical knowledge.

There are many different elements that contribute to a strong academic experience. From the admissions counselors that you’ll work with, to professors and instructors who teach courses, a team effort is necessary to help you get the best out of college academics. Learn more about the immersive education offerings available at Fort Hays State University (FHSU).

2. Student Life
A significant part of the college experience involves social life. What you do outside of class helps you grow, build meaningful relationships, and build different skills apart from what is focused on in regular coursework. There are many exciting elements of student life including, student-run organizations, charitable groups, Greek life, and club sports.

By engaging in these activities, you can build your leadership skills while also enriching the experiences on your resume. Think about what you enjoy doing outside the classroom and whether those activities are available in the college you’re considering. Your life as a Tiger will take shape outside of the classroom with a calendar full of events, intercultural programs, and clubs that fit your every interest and curiosity. See more information about Student Life at FHSU.

3. Cost
For many families, cost is one of the biggest determining factors when choosing a college. The good news is that you have several options available to finance your college education. From scholarships to financial aid packages, you’ll have to consider what options are available and how they will impact the cost of your college education.

Most importantly, make sure the amount that you’ll end up paying is reasonable enough not to distract from your overall college experience. At Fort Hays State University, we pride ourselves on quality education at an affordable cost.

4. Housing Options
Housing is also a significant part of the college experience. Explore the housing options provided by the school and determine whether it will be a good fit for you. In most cases, freshmen will live in on-campus dorms with other students. Sometimes you can even schedule a tour that will include an overnight stay so you can have a truly immersive experience when looking for colleges and determining which has the housing options that work best with your lifestyle.

The dorm may have a unique theme, such as students who have similar interests or those pursuing a specific field of study. This makes it easier for you to choose a living option and make friends as early as possible.  Discover the housing options available at FHSU.

5. Athletics
College athletics is also a very big part of campus life, as these games bring together people from all parts of campus. You may be interested in cheering on a particular football, basketball, baseball, or hockey team. Or you may even be interested in seeing how you can get involved in the sport itself. Consider the athletics department, sporting events, and how important athletics are to a particular college to determine how that aligns with your sporting interests.

Athletics also provide additional opportunities for involvement in the college. For example, you may consider joining the cheerleading team, support staff, or even journalism personnel who help broadcast the games. There are a lot of ways that athletics can play an important role in your college experience, and we invite you to learn more about the athletics department at FHSU.

There are many considerations when choosing the right college for you. Keep in mind your interests, goals, and skills you want to attain during your college experience to help you find the school that most aligns with that. Do you have questions? We’re here to help. Contact us at and we would be happy to schedule an appointment with you.

In addition, you can also download our checklist, “10 Questions to Ask Your College Admissions Advisor.

Download the Checklist

Fort Hays State University


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