Back To Career News

4 Terrible Ways to Choose a College (and 1 Great Way)


What’s the right way to choose a school? If you’re like most people, you don’t know until you’ve tried it the other way — and either found out you were wrong, or wound up in the right place purely by accident.


(Photo Credit: Phil Roeder/Flickr)

For those of our readers who are currently struggling with the college choice question, we’ve assembled a list of a few absolutely ridiculous ways to figure out where to study — plus, one solid method that will give you a much better shot of being a happy student at this time next year. (Not to mention, an elated — and employed — graduate down the line.)

Do You Know What You're Worth?

1. The university mascot is your spirit animal.

2. The school colors are the most flattering to your complexion and/or match your car.

3. The college is located near the world’s largest root vegetable/statue of a mythical or pop cultural hero/diner shaped like an item of apparel.

4. Your favorite sports hero or pop star went to [blank] school. OK, he or she dropped out, but things turned out OK in the end.

And finally, here’s one really good way to choose a school:

5. A thorough review of PayScale’s College Salary Report convinced you that this particular college or university is the best place for you, based on hard data on everything from earning potential after graduation, best schools by geographic region, best schools by major, and more.

We even break down party schools vs. sober schools, majors that will let you give back to the world, and colleges and universities most beloved by their graduates. There’s definitely something in the report that will help you find the perfect place to get your degree.

Tell Us What You Think

How did you choose your college? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.

Jen Hubley Luckwaldt
Read more from Jen

Leave a Reply

Notify of
What Am I Worth?

What your skills are worth in the job market is constantly changing.