“Education is not the filling of the pail, but the lighting of the fire,” was once uttered by William Butler Yeats, and the flame within the student is begging to be lit. Now, what college can properly kindle that flame? A student said that she chose her school because of the proximity to her home. She was not too happy with her choice, but she did not want to change schools so she stayed there. Situations such as these might happen to anyone, but how can you or your son/daughter avoid this?
The first thing to do is to develop a checklist of requirements, which is a clever way to ask the right questions when it comes to the school that is just right for you. Include about ten items, and then just compare them to the schools available to you, and eliminate the schools that do not meet those requirements. It is an easy way to narrow down your choices, and it highlights the type of education you are truly interested in.
Benjamin Franklin said that “an investment in knowledge pays the best interest,” but an investment does require money. It is hard to understand that our society puts a price on something so priceless as education, but it is the truth, and we must consider it. As a student or parent one must consider the cost of each school, and should play an important part in the decision-making process. If you live in California, most California colleges are going to be less expensive for you. You need to factor in the cost of supplies, room and board, books and the average living expenses you might need, in addition to the cost of the school. Investing in your education is a smart thing to do, but make sure you are planning a good investment, not just throwing your money around.
Another thing to worry about is your preference. This new college will be your home, so you should make sure it is a home you will like for an extended amount of time. One thing that experts suggest is that you understand your learning style. Will you be comfortable in large classrooms, or do you prefer smaller classes? Are you the kind of student that needs a few moments to process information? If you are, then a small classroom may not be for you since you may encounter professors who expect you to respond quickly to a lecture. Another preference to worry about is social preference. Should you make sure that your particular religion is properly represented on campus? Will you have the opportunity to attend Church, for example? Take a tour after you have narrowed down your choices, and do not be afraid to ask questions, as Francis Bacon said, “a prudent question is one-half of wisdom.”