Continuing education after high school is often considered a high school graduate’s next step, and college decisions are important pursuits of high school upperclassmen. Editor-in-Chief Cecily Shaber and Staff Writer Mateya Petrova discuss the most desirable characteristics of different universities and the process of the college search.

Pursue high-level education in a safe, community-based environment

College is the most popular post-high school pursuit, and because students will spend at least four years at the institution of their choosing, it is important to consider all the factors to make the right choice.

First off, consider the size of the university’s student population. A gigantic university is more like its own town rather than a school. In fact, Peachtree City’s population is 39,000, and the University of Georgia has a total enrollment of a similar 38,000.

With this many people, obtaining a strong sense of community is difficult. Although students may be united by school pride, the actual personal connections made can hardly span a portion of the population. Having less people allows for more easily attainable, far-reaching, and meaningful connections through athletics, Greek life, and student organizations.

The location of the college is also a biggie. Not only the part of the country it is in, but more importantly the surrounding town. I think the ideal option here is a typical cute little college town. Especially one that is walkable, because that is the simplest form of transportation on campus. The town should be an extension of the actual campus, only with shops and places to eat.

Also, considering the prevalence of violence in communities everywhere, it is important that the surrounding area stays well-protected. Nobody should have to fear for their safety in something as simple as walking across campus for class.

It is easy to be tempted by the prestige of certain institutions. This is not necessarily a bad thing, if the lure is to the level of education available and not the elevated name. 

The college a student attends should be a reflection of their academic pursuits. High school students work hard, so it is important to continue that trend at a college that provides a similar challenge.

Finally, pick a school that has the right vibe. Weigh the options and go with your gut. 

In the end, it is improbable that any choice could be the wrong one since there are so many excellent options available.

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Out-of-state colleges broaden horizons

Attending an out-of-state college is better than in-state. Going out of state can ensure that the right major is available, and gives the opportunity to meet new people and go to new places. 

Sometimes colleges in-state do not have the right majors you want to pursue, so going to an out-of-state college can offer the majors and careers you want to pursue. 

The positive effect that comes out of attending a college out of Georgia is getting to visit places you have not been to before. Explore your new town while you study in it.

Explore your new town while you study in it.

— Staff Writer Mateya Petrova

In an out-of-state college, there will be more people you have never met before than in an in-state college, giving you the benefit of making new friends and doing study groups with new people.

The one problem that gets everyone having second thoughts about if they actually want to attend an out-of-state college is the cost. It does cost a lot more to go to study and learn in a college farther away from home than going to a college near your home. 

Luckily, some out-of-state colleges near the Georgia border give the opportunity for students to pay in-state tuition. Also, there are many colleges that provide scholarships each year to help students cover costs. 

Going to an out-of-state college will give you the benefit of choosing from lots of majors, exploring new places, and making new friends and new memories.

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