What is most important when choosing a college?

Two seniors share what is most important to them during their college search and application season.


Halle Isaak

Halle Isaak’s admission to the University of Oregon. Many seniors apply to in state public universities because they are vastly more affordable compared to most out of state colleges.

As we begin December, college application season is in full swing for Wilsonville seniors. Many have already taken advantage of early action and early decision deadlines in November, but with most regular decision deadlines approaching in mid-January, seniors are still working hard to complete their applications.

A four year college is a common path for WHS students, but with so many options in-state and out, it brings about the question of what factors are the most important. This is an extremely individual decision, as students may prioritize location, size, academic specialties, social fit, or any number of other aspects while making their decision.

Seniors Payton Southwick and Lily Wright agree that location was a substantial driver in constructing their college lists, but they differ in regard to other factors. Southwick, who has applied to the University of Washington, the University of California at Santa Barbara, and several others out of state, wants a big school in a big city, and “whether they have a good pre med program is a big factor.”

Meanwhile, as Southwick prioritizes out of state schools with strong specialized programs, Wright believes that social fit is the most crucial aspect to consider. “I really like a Christian atmosphere with students that have similar values to me,” Wright explains. This has prompted her to apply to Biola University, Belmont University, and Baylor University, so far.

However, most seniors underscore the importance of cost in considering colleges. Both Southwick and Wright express that cost after decisions and scholarships will be one of the most important factors in their final decisions. The astronomical price of out of state tuition and relative affordability of in state, public universities has influenced the large numbers of WHS graduates that attend both the University of Oregon and Oregon State University.

What are you prioritizing in a college?

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