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What are the most important factors in choosing a college?

QUESTION: I'm stuck trying to decide where I should go. What are the most important factors in choosing a college? Signed, College Choices

Dear College Choices: One of the best ways to select a college is to ask yourself questions so that you can determine your priorities. While there are a lot of important questions you can ask, there are three that we feel are the most essential.

First, will the college equip you with the knowledge and experience you need for the future? If you have some career direction, will the college provide you with the education you need to enter that field? As an example, students who plan to become journalists will want to attend a college with a strong journalism, communications or English program and that offer support to find internships in the field.

Second, will the college help you to continue growing? Will the class and campus environment challenge you, introduce you to new experiences and foster the development of your personal ideologies?

Lastly, will the college fit your needs on a social and personal level? It's important that you find the best match academically, but it's also important that you fit in the social scene and enjoy yourself. You can only spend so much time in the library. College is a time for living.

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Gen & Kelly Tanabe

Gen and Kelly Tanabe are the founders of SuperCollege and the award-winning authors of 11 books on college admission, financial aid and scholarships. Together they were accepted to all of the Ivy League colleges and won more than $100,000 in merit-based scholarships to graduate from Harvard debt-free.