How to Determine the Best University to Attend

Choosing which university to attend is likely the biggest decision students have had to make in their lives up until this point. It comes with an understandable amount of doubt, worry and stress. While the final choice is ultimately a very personal decision, there are a few tips to be given that help students discover what is most important to them, and, hopefully, how each aspect fits together to make a university they will be happy attending.


First, the student will want to make sure that the university they are considering offers their program of interest. This is the time when national rankings, reviews, and expert commentary are most helpful. They will likely want to gravitate toward the school with the best program, that is, the one with the best teachers, facilities, or reputation in that field. A combination of all three is best! Remember that education is the number one priority of university, so choosing a school based on its ability to educate effectively is a smart decision, but there are also other aspects to consider.

Visit Facilities

An actual, in-person visit to the college campus is invaluable to the decision process, truly. Students need to be visiting their top two or three choices, taking tours of the facilities and dorms they would be using, and trying to immerse themselves in the overall experience of that college. There are very few exceptions to this rule because it is extremely difficult to get the true “feel” of a college without being there in person. During a visit, prospective students will get to see exactly how things are, from the cafeteria to the length of their everyday commute. One may even encounter a few current students to talk to and see how they made their decision and how it turned out for them.

Tuition Expenses

Don’t make the mistake of ignoring financial cost altogether. While it is true that there are many options out there to help finance a student’s education one way or the other, less debt is better. Seriously consider the differences in tuition between universities and evaluate whether they are justified by the differences in other aspects like education quality and facility maintenance. Each student will need to weigh the pros and cons of these aspects to determine the best choice. Maybe more beautiful grounds are worth an extra $2000 per semester in tuition, maybe they are not.

Concluding Factors

It is important to make a careful and informed decision about which college to attend. However, it is not necessary to get worked up about it to the point of indecision for fear of choosing incorrectly. The fact is that there is no one perfect “soul mate” college for each student, but rather a number of universities in which they would be perfectly happy. Plus, if they find they have made a wrong choice, there is almost always the opportunity to transfer. So, do the research, weigh the pros and cons, visit each interesting campus, and come to a decision. Choosing can often be the hardest part!