Two years ago, I posted the below questionnaire to help teenagers ask the right questions when considering to which college or university to apply. Some may feel like it is too late to change their mind, but if you find yourself wondering if you are making the right choice, take some time to think through these things and make the best decision. You may also be interested in reading another great WordPress article on this topic called Best Fit Decisions (from Avery Education) or another article on The Education Cafe called Making an Educated College Choice.
(Excerpted from Preparing for College)
Teens: Take a few moments to look at this questionnaire to gain a better idea of what you want and need in a school. First, make a copy for your parents to fill out separately. Have them answer as they think you would or should. Discuss the answers later.
For each area, jot down your thoughts. Talk about it with your parents. Begin investigating colleges online, based on your data. Don’t wait until you are a senior….start as a freshman. Revisit your list each year and make appropriate changes. By the end of your junior year, you need to have narrowed down your list of where to attend and begin to make application. You may want more detailed information sent to you from two or three of your choices. You also may want to apply for financial aid. Don’t put it off!
Academically, my best areas are: _______________________________________________________
I’m very interested in _________________________________________________________
I learn most from teachers who ________________________________________________________
In the areas of study and discipline, I ____________________________________________________
Competition makes me feel ____________________________________________________________
I can see myself in 10 years as __________________________________________________________
Social Life, Recreation
In relationships with people, I’m good at __________________________________________________
I’d like to attend school about _____ miles from home (or from my nearest relatives) so that I can __________________________________________________________________________
I prefer a smaller, middle-sized, or larger school because __________________________________
I want fellow students who are like me or different from me because _________________________________
I want fun activities available to me daily or weekly._____________ I especially like these activities: ______________________
Nearby I’d like a big city or small town_______________________(choose one).
Nearby I’d like mountains, water, woods, other_____________________. Circle any that apply. I’d like this because I like to:
Spiritual activities and studies I enjoy and appreciate most include: _________________________________
I prefer a (choose one) –1) a state school, (2) a school related to my denomination, (3) a Christian school, (4) doesn’t matter
This is why: _____________________________________________________________
I (do or don’t) feel strongly about the number of rules and requirements a school may have, because ___________________________
Your answers can tell you a lot. If you don’t respond well to academic competition, you’ll want to find a school where you can learn in a more relaxed environment. If you have wide interests and multiple career possibilities, you need a school that gives you a broad liberal arts base. If you know exactly what you want to do or be, you may want to pick a college that specializes in that field. All your answers can help you see more clearly what to look for or avoid. But no school will be perfect. You’ll have to decide which factors are most crucial. you may want to go back over this sheet and put stars by areas that are most important.
Consider the following factors:
Location—rural, suburban, or urban; near relatives or doesn’t matter
Type of college—2-year, 4-year, university; online independent study options
(male, female, or co-ed)
Religious affiliation—my denomination, any Christian University/College, no affiliation (but has an active Christian campus life group), no affiliation—but a good home church nearby is important;
Size of college—small, medium, large
Academic calendar—semester, quarter, etc.
Major course of study