Free Ways of Choosing a College in the US
If you are an international student in the middle of choosing a college in the US, your search may feel overwhelming at times. This is understandable considering there are more than 2,000 four-year colleges in the US!
Visiting a college is the ideal way to find out if a campus is for you, but it’s not always possible. However, choosing a college is achievable without having to travel all over the country. Consider these ways you can strategize when choosing a college, spending as little money as possible during your search.
1. Find Resources in Your Country
Some countries try to make choosing a college easy for students, even when they want to go to school in a different nation. Check with your government or even your current school to find out if there are any resources to help, such as upcoming college fairs. This type of event usually features representatives from a range of schools, all of whom can give you the information you need when choosing a college.
One detail to note is that colleges that send representatives to different countries may be recruiting international students, which may give you an advantage in the admissions process. At the very least, you can rest assured that you would likely not be the only student from your country at the school.
2. Use the Internet When Choosing a College
You can make the process of choosing a college in the US less time-consuming than you might think when you use the Internet. Your first thought may be to visit the websites of the US schools you have in mind before choosing a college. In addition, though, consider related sites.
For example, if you want to know more about the sports at the college you are considering, note that many teams have their own website. The same goes for clubs at the school. If you are focused on extracurricular activities when choosing a college, look for sites devoted to school clubs and teams. They may be run by either students or faculty, and they should give you a look at campus life as you continue the process of choosing a college in the US.
3. Talk to Current Students
One of the most informative ways of narrowing down your search for a school is by talking to the students. They typically have nothing to gain or lose when letting you know the pros and cons of their school as you work on choosing a college, so you can usually expect honesty.
Consider searching social websites for the schools you have in mind, as most have a page or group. Then you can write a message to the students, asking any questions you have. Choosing a college in the US is also made easier by online forums where students may congregate, as this is a free, informal way of asking questions.
4. Contact the Colleges You Are Considering
Once you’ve narrowed down your options, you may decide to visit a US college campus after all. If you do, many colleges are happy to provide tours of the campus and let you sit in on classes. Some can also connect you with current students who can show you around, and even let you stay in on-campus housing for a weekend so you can get a true sense of life there prior to choosing a US college.
Consider setting up such visits only toward the end of the process of choosing a college, once you have used the other tips to narrow down your options.
Most of these methods are free and fast. Therefore, instead of spending your time and money traveling all over the US in search of a school, use these tips for choosing a college before you ever leave your country!