Choose where to apply can be a daunting task considering that there are over 3,000 universities in the United States. The key factor is to choose an initial group of 20 to 25 institutions that interest you and focus your research on them. Having a large list at first gives you the opportunity to eliminate institutions that do not agree, leaving you with a range of colleges to which you can apply for admission.

To find the group of institutions that most match your preferences, it is important to start early, identify the factors that matter most to you, look in many places and concentrate in certain universities according to the information you gather. Below are 10 factors that will help you choose a college that meets your educational and social needs. Try not to be too rigid in your preferences because it can change when you learn more about the institutions during the selection process.

1. Geographic Location

Some students decide they want to attend a university in another region of their home country. Others want to stay close to home. Locations strictly choose universities can limit your options a lot. It’s a good idea to consider some colleges that are outside your preferred location. To learn more, you may change your preferences, so you better keep an open mind. You will realize that other factors are more important than geographical location. So you should not delete a college before considering if you have other features you want.

2. Number and Characteristics of Students

There may be from 700 to 35,000 students at a university. In deciding the size of the institution you want to attend, consider a range of universities with more or less the number of students for you. For example, if you plan to study at a college with fewer than 1,000 students where everyone know, your initial list must have institutions with up to 5,000 students. However, you should also consider a few universities with between 5,000 and 15,000 students. On the other hand, if you are considering a large university with more resources and materials options, you should visit some smaller universities to confirm your decision. To visit and learn more, you’ll realize that prefer a very different from what you previously thought institution.

3. The University Environment

The university environment is another important feature for many students. On one side of the range is a school like Dartmouth in a remote location in New Hampshire surrounded by forests and mountains and a river bank. Across the range is New York University, in the very center of the city of New York with a campus indistinguishable from businesses and with many crossing streets and mingling with the buildings and college dorms. Visiting colleges is one of the best ways to help you decide what kind of college environment you prefer.

4. Security

The best way to find out about safety and what the university to secure for their students is to talk to current students or recent graduates. You can also ask about the presence of security personnel on campus security at the entrances to the bedrooms, the availability of transportation on campus escort service overnight, the quality of public lighting and the crime rate in university and surrounding neighborhoods.

5. Public vs. Private

American universities are financed by public or private funds. Because states operate public institutions and financed in part with state taxes, generally they cost less than private universities. However, attending a public university outside your state probably cost more than a public university in your state of residence. In addition, public institutions tend to have more students and larger than private lessons.

Private universities, on the other hand, are financed by tuition, fees and private and corporate donations. Therefore, they are generally more expensive than public universities, although they tend to offer more scholarships and students have fewer and smaller than public classes.