How To Choose a College: Pray, Prepare, Pursue

HowtoChooseCollegeI (Matt Reitnour) entered the field of college admission at a small, private, Christian institution in Western New York during the fall of 2001. I didn’t grow up dreaming of becoming an admission counselor (who does?) but shortly after starting my new job, I realized that the work suited my interests and abilities. Roughly a decade later I made the transition to college counseling at a private, college preparatory school, where I regularly draw upon my experiences in college admission. Though there are differences between my past and current positions, one commonality is that they both provide opportunities to serve and guide students and parents in a process that can be agonizing, exciting, overwhelming and critically important all at the same time. That process is, of course, the college search.

Navigating the college search can be challenging. For starters, there are a lot of schools out there! If you lump all the post-secondary institutions in the United States together you wind up with a figure in excess of 4,000. Granted, this number can be broken down into more manageable chunks based on institution type (universities, liberal arts colleges, trade schools, Bible colleges, etc.), but the bottom line is that you’re still left with a veritable cacophony of choices. How are high school students and their parents to decide among all of these options?

Download the rest of the article (.pdf) by Matt J. Reitnour here.