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What should I look for in a college?

Two college students sitting at the student center look at a laptop screen

Shayna Dix
June 19, 2018

So you're sitting at your computer, screen set to Google, cursor poised to type. What now? How do you begin to figure out what you want in a college? There are so many factors to consider:

  •  Should you pick a public or private?
  •  What programs do you want?
  •  How far from home or how big do you want your university to be?

It’s easy to go to a college fair and pick up a hundred fliers, overwhelming yourself with choices. Take the time to consider where you can see yourself, knowing that you can apply to more than one place.

Websites like CollegeinColorado.org are great for helping you narrow down your options. This one not only gives you a search database for finding colleges in the areas where you are looking — and with the features you want — but it also features quizzes to help you pinpoint your interests and connect them with college programs.

Public and private universities both offer great opportunities in higher education. Their differences lie in their cost, programs, size and demographics. Public universities are typically less expensive. Private universities tend to have a smaller selection of programs, a smaller population of students, and a higher number of out-of-state students — but more personalized instruction. Both types of institution offer scholarships and financial aid to qualifying students. When it comes down to deciding factors, however, actually visiting the campuses you are considering is highly recommended. It often comes down to the feeling you get when you are on campus that determines if that college is right for you.


is a senior graduating in the fall with an Elementary Education licensure. For her last semester, she’s student teaching in a first-grade classroom in Longmont, Colo.