Searching for Colleges


Annaliese Naas, Staff Writer

Attending college is a decision that many make, but not many are aware of its advantages and disadvantages of it. Carrie Paquette, a college and career counselor said “make sure the college will be a good fit for you and the career you have in mind.” She says to make sure that it has strong academic programs that fit with your interests and goals, it is somewhere you will feel comfortable, it will offer things that are important to you and that you will enjoy. Here are some things to look out for. 

Make sure it is an accredited college. How much the sticker price is and how much they can reduce that with financial aid and scholarships. Small town/big city, how far away it is from home and if you want to be at a smaller or bigger university to attend. Look at the safety rating and what kind of safety measures there are on campus. If most students who begin at the college you chose, end up graduating.

How long on average it takes to get your degree. If the college has a major/degree that centers around your career goals and if the college has a wide variety of degrees you are interested in if you end up changing your major and career goal.

Look at all the activities and general atmosphere of the campus and make sure it is somewhere you would like to spend the next 2-4 years. And what services does the college have to support students to help them find a job when they graduate. 

When selecting a college, Paquette said that she didn’t even have a College and Career Counselor or anyone to help her with that process. “I knew I wanted to go to a 4-year college. I guessed at a major that I would be interested in. I chose psychology to become a counselor because I like helping people.” she said. 

“I didn’t want to stay in Montana where I grew up and go to MSU or U of M where people from my high school would also be attending” she said.

She wanted a fresh start and completely new experiences. Her grandpa had gone to Washington State University, and had relatives in Washington. She said “I applied only to WSU, toured only that college, got accepted and became a Coug, graduating from WSU with a psychology degree.”  She said that she wishes she had gotten more guidance, but wouldn’t trade her place now for the world.

When it comes to living quarters, Going to college away from home gives you the opportunity to go somewhere new and try something completely different. It can be a time to start over, try new things, meet new people, study abroad, and grow as a person. She said “On the flipside, being away from your family support system can be challenging and difficult for some students, and staying closer to home isn’t the same as being in high school no matter what”