It is college application season and many students are wondering which Universities to apply too. Students wonder if the college is worthy of consideration and there can be many factors affecting that decision. After all, there is a hefty application fee on most college application

School’s Reputation and Programs Offered

This should be at the top of the list for every student who is applying to college. The sole purpose of attending college and paying thousands of dollars is to enter a unique program in which the school offers. Many schools have an 8 year Doctor or Pharmacist program. Some may have a planned route for many careers such as engineering and computer science majors. Each University has their own specialized place in academics and unique programs offered. The school’s ranking is important on the global scale. However, in the long-run, students should focus on how good of the program is. No student should attend a college cal-tech and major in music. Cal-tech is rigorously known for their engineering programs and obtaining a degree in engineer would go much further than a degree in music from Cal-Tech.

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Everyone enjoys a lively and active community where there are lots of students being proactively involved. Also, take consideration of the type of students around. Especially in competitive colleges and majors like Biology, many students refuse to help others as grades are based on a curve. Some students care too much about their grades and will not say a single word in helping you with your studies. This is especially common in competitive schools like Berkeley. My suggestion would be to attend a strong academic school that has plenty of friendly people around.

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It is also worth noting the demographics around. Some students are uncomfortable with being the minority in the school while others may want to meet different people. The safety is also a critical concern. For example, USC is a terrific school but the neighborhood around is extremely dangerous. This mainly concerns females who are more commonly subject to danger.


Some colleges are located in the middle of nowhere. A good example of this is UC Merced. Few students would want to attend a school that has little malls, centers, and programs around. This preference can be very subjective as some may want to stay far or close from home. Weather is also extremely crucial in this aspect. Some locations may have the thick and dirty air, making it hard to breathe for many students. The weather may always be too hot or too cold. The best location would be staying far enough from home where parents can’t always visit but it is still convenient to go back home. Students will get home-sick and there can also be items that parents can always drop off in case of emergencies.

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Andy Xiang

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