College decisions: a multi-variable equation

 Once high school students take the ACT, colleges from all over the region start sending them automated emails.

Gabe Graber

Once high school students take the ACT, colleges from all over the region start sending them automated emails.

Every year, high school seniors have many stressful decisions to make. They are thinking all the time: should I go to college or not? If the answer is yes, the question is where? That is an even more important question that needs to be answered. Seniors have to decide what is important to them in college. It also becomes harder when students take the ACT or SAT and colleges start sending them automated emails every day explaining why to consider going there. All in all, they are sometimes downright lying. There are so many variables making up the equation that it can seem overwhelming. The main factors to consider are location, academics, cost, and class sizes. All in all, the goal is to find a college that you feel at home at. 

This year is no different than the past where seniors are making decisions already and some are committed to colleges. Riley Johannes is already committed to a college in Missouri because of sports and the location. 

“Next year I will go to Evangel University because I’ve always wanted to play college softball and the school seems like a good fit,” Johannes said. “Plus, I will be very close to my grandpa!”

Johannes is an example of playing sports in college. So is Savanna Disney, who chose her college for the same reasons. 

“Next year I will go to Ellsworth Community College because I want to go to a small school with a dance team,” Disney said. 

Some students go on a college visit and have a great time. Then from then on out, they are basically committed to the college. Kiera Nelson is an example. 

“Next year I will go to the University of Iowa. When I visited I loved the campus and it felt like home to me.”

Another big factor in a college decision is academic or choosing an area of study. That is how some seniors are deciding their college. 

“I will go to Indian Hills Community College next year so I can take classes towards becoming a teacher,” one respondent said.  

Recently community colleges like DMACC have grown in popularity because high school graduates can stay close to home and earn their associates degrees. In a recent survey, two of the respondents said they are going to college at DMACC. One anonymous person explained their reasoning. 

“Next year I will be going to DMACC because they gave me a scholarship that is paying for all my tuition,” the respondent said. 

Not just DMACC is growing, though. There are other community colleges that offer a different academic program or anything else that could be a reason why students would go there. 

“Next year I will be going to Western Iowa Tech Community College because it is closer to where I will be going for my drill weekends in the national guard,” another student said. 

All in all, your college decision is about what you want in a college and no one else can decide that for you, even if the cost is high. 

“I can’t waste money on a school that doesn’t have what I want,” one respondent said.