Are you considering going to college or university in Florida?
Determining to attend college or university in Florida and choosing which school in particular you want to enroll in is a big decision. What you should examine about each school when considering whether to attend will naturally vary depending on your unique situation. However, there are certain things everybody should carefully consider before making the big decision.
Whether you plan on paying for your education as you study, through work or savings, or you plan on taking out loans that you’ll repay after you graduate, one thing is for sure: you need to pay sometime.
Going to college is expensive and, depending on the school you choose, can be very, very expensive. For this reason you need to look at the tuition and fees that each school you are considering charges. In general, community colleges and universities are cheaper than private ones.
In addition to the money you will need to pay to the college or university, you will also need to support yourself by paying for your housing, food and recreation. The costs of these things will vary across Florida from city to city. It is therefore important to take the cost of living into consideration when deciding which college or university to attend.
Beyond making sure that the school you are considering attending is accredited, you should get a feel for the reputation of the institution, particularly among potential future employers. Having gone to a school with a slightly better reputation may give you just enough of an edge over your competition to get the job you really want.
Also, you should consider not only the college’s reputation in general, but also its reputation in your particular field of study.
If your high school or undergrad GPA is not that hot or you didn’t do so well on the SAT or GRE you might want to stay away from the most selective schools, since you could just be wasting your time and money by applying. On the other hand, if your GPA and test scores are very high, you should target the most selective schools since they will probably look better on your resume.
The experiences of attending a small college and a large university are very different. Accordingly, you should ask yourself which type of experience would be best for you. Are you more comfortable taking large classes where you don’t need to participate much, or do you prefer the greater personal interaction that smaller classes provide? Also, think about doing something outside of your comfort zone, and do what will be more helpful for your future.
The Local Scene
Finally, you might want to consider the recreation and entertainment offerings of the local city before deciding on a college. For example, if you’re into surfing you probably want to stay near the Atlantic coast, but if you like just going to the beach, both coasts are great. If you love major league baseball, the Tampa Bay area and South Florida would be your best bets. Orlando and Miami have NBA teams, and Jacksonville and Tampa Bay have NFL teams. If you enjoy outdoor activities you might want to find a school in a smaller city. You get the idea.