You are here:

Picking a Colleges Amongst the Thousands

There are so many colleges to choose from: how can you possibly figure out which one is the best for you? It's a task that can be daunting at best, paralyzing at worst. But not to worry: this week, the college expert Douglas Bennett from Kaplan graced the pages of Newsweek to shed some insight on picking out the right college to suit your needs.

It's really a lot more simple than the college application frenzy makes it out to be: rather than stressing about acceptance and putting all of your eggs in the big name Ivy League basket, Bennett urges prospective students to first stand back, take a deep breath, and take a good look at who they want to be in college. "Simply put," he says, "you are the one who is going to educate yourself. You are the one who is going to have to do the reading, complete the labs, write the papers, and take the tests. A college won't and can't educate you. It can only provide a setting for you to educate yourself. Will you choose to work hard? Will you choose to take initiative? Will you choose to be responsible? Will you choose to act with integrity? Will you choose to feel affirmed by your successes and to learn from your failures?" If you can say yes to all of these questions, according to Bennett the college stress should melt away, as options open up at the fact that you should do well anywhere.

After that, things get a lot easier. By breaking down criteria into easy-to-focus-on chunks, a clearer picture should form. Are you more interested in a two-year vocational school, or a four-year bachelor degree? Of the colleges you are considering, which ones capture your attention the most? Which ones reflect your style, both learning and personal, and make you feel at home? Which college has a student-to-professor ratio and level of communication that you find the most comfortable? Which college has a realistic price range that falls within your acceptable budget? (And when it comes to this one do your homework because, according to Bennett, it can be tricky: "Some colleges have lower published (or "sticker") prices but, once you enroll there, turn out to have additional fees and costs. And there may not be much financial aid available. Other colleges have very high, even scary, sticker prices, but also provide a great deal of financial aid so that the actual cost of attendance is much lower.") Of course, making sure the college of your choice is a fully accredited school is vital.

But the most important thing to take away from the article is this -- as long as you are determined and studious, you can likely succeed just about anywhere. But the best chance you have might not necessarily be at the most "well-known" of colleges, but at the college that is a best reflection of you, and all that you can be.

Search Schools

Matching School Ads
  • University of Maryland at College Park

    Study online with University of Maryland at College Park.


    • MBA - Information Systems & Business Analytics
    • MBA - General
    • MBA - Marketing
    • More...
    College Park: , College Park MD 20742
    University of Maryland at College Park Request Info »
  • Penn Foster

    Advance your career with our affordable, self-paced, career-focused distance education programs.


    • Home Health Aide
    • Security Guard
    • Veterinary Assistant
    • More...
    Scranton: , Scranton PA 18515
    Penn Foster Request Info »
  • George Mason University

    Located in Fairfax, Virginia, George Mason University is the largest public research university in the Commonwealth of Virginia.


    • Master of Education in Special Education, specializing in Applied Behavior Analysis
    • Master of Business Administration: Business Analytics Specialization
    • Master of Education in Special Education, specializing in Autism Spectrum Disorder
    • More...

    Location: Online

    George Mason  University Request Info »
  • University of Southern California - DSW

    The University of Southern California Doctor of Social Work (DSW) online program is designed for experienced practitioners to harness innovative solutions to solve real-world problems.

    Unlike a PhD in social work, which prepares scholars for careers in research and the professoriate, the DSW@USC is an online advanced practice degree program for working professionals who want to have a greater impact in their practice.


    • Doctor of Social Work (DSW)
    Los Angeles: 669 W 34th St, Los Angeles CA 90089
    University of Southern California - DSW Request Info »
  • South University, Online Programs

    As a student at South University, Online Programs you will receive the same quality instruction, variety of learning options and level of service found at the campus locations.


    • Nurse Educator (PGC)
    • Nursing (RN to BSN)
    • Specialization in Nursing Informatics (RN to MSN)
    • More...
    Savannah: 709 Mall Boulevard, Savannah GA 31406
    South University, Online Programs Request Info »
  • Liberty University

    100% Online & No Standardized Testing


    • Doctor of Education: Community Care & Counseling: Marriage & Family
    • Doctor of Ministry: Evangelism & Church Planting
    • M.Div: Homiletics
    • More...
    Lynchburg: 1971 University Blvd,, Lynchburg VA 24515
    Liberty University Request Info »
  • Anna Maria College

    Anna Maria College is a private, not-for-profit, Catholic liberal arts institution accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. Founded by the Sisters of Saint Anne in 1946, AMC's programs integrate liberal education and professional preparation that reflect the respect for liberal arts and sciences education grounded in the traditions of the Sisters of Saint Anne—educational innovation, service to others, and access to a quality education for all.


    • Bachelor of Science in Fire Science
    • Master of Public Administration - Fire and Emergency Services
    • Master of Public Administration - Homeland Security
    • More...

    Location: Online

    Anna Maria College Request Info »
  • Washington State University

    Get your career started with training from Washington State University.


    • Executive MBA
    • MBA
    Pullman: , Pullman WA
    Washington State University Request Info »
  • Platt College

    Turn your talents into a career at nationally recognized and accredited Platt College.


    • Veterinary Technology Alternate Route - Certificate
    • Respiratory Therapy
    • Veterinary Technology - Associates

    Location: Online

    Platt College Request Info »
  • Colorado State University-Global Campus

    Colorado State University-Global Campus

    Colorado State University-Global Campus (CSU-Global) offers career relevant bachelor’s and master’s degree programs for working adults and nontraditional learners.


    • MS - Data Analytics
    • Bachelors in Business Management
    • Graduate Specialization - Accounting
    • More...
    Englewood: 7800 E Orchard Rd,, Englewood CO 80111
    Colorado State University-Global Campus Request Info »
  • Matching School Ads

    Quick School Search

    College & Career Search Tools

    • Careers: Unsure about your career path? Study profiles of hundreds of professions.

    • Interviews: Professors and deans sit down with our team to give you unique insights on college life.

    • Military Education: Find only Military friendly online schools and campuses.

    • Student Reviews: Know before you go. Read student reviews on over 2000 accredited colleges. Write your own experience.