Finding the Right College for You: College Search Tip #4 (737)
Before you can get into a top college or any college, for that matter, you have to decide where you want to apply. Deciding where to go to college is not easy. Finding the right college for you can be the biggest decision that you and your parents make together.
There are some important factors for you and your parents to consider when doing a college search. Where you apply influences where you get in, and where you go to college can have a big impact on your career and future in general.  I have come up with a list of THE most important things to consider when doing your college search. Here is one factor to consider. There are more secrets in my book, The Keys to the CASTLE.
4) Public versus Private
There are a few things to consider when you way the benefits of going to a private school versus a public school. One of the most obvious is cost. Normally, a public school is less expensive, if you are in state. However, a private grad school ended up being cheaper for me because they had the funds to pay me to be a teaching assistant. I mention this because private schools often have more money, can offer more financial aid, and can give you access to state of the art equipment. I know that funds helped the crew team be undefeated and first in the nation when I was at Yale. I also know that having access to an AVID editing system and other state of the art within an expensive industry benefited me greatly when I was at USC. It is also worth mentioning that many public schools are located in some of the most expensive cities, or at least the rent is often outrageous causing people to sleep 3-4 people in a room- yikes!
On the other hand, I had initially leaned towards UCLA because I wanted to be around other middle-class students after feeling quite out of place around so many over-privileged students as an undergrad. Public schools also tend to be more representative of the community that surrounds them, so if you like the surrounding city, you are likely to like the student body. My experience with private schools leads me to advise applicants to consider that you may end up in an ivory tower surrounded by angry and impoverished town’s people which may be uncomfortable. However, you can always volunteer in the community and make a positive difference.
Another perk to attending a private college, especially a smaller one that focuses on their undergrads is that they will prioritize alumni relations because of alumni donations. What that means to you as a perspective student, is that it might pay off later to attend a school where you are a name not just a social security number or student id number.
A. What kind of equipment or facilities will be available to me as a student?
B. What do most students do after they graduate?
C. By the time I am a junior, what will the typical class size be in my major? Will I be in a small seminar with a faculty member?
D. If, five, maybe twenty years after I graduate, I need access to my records or to contact another alumni or faculty member, how will the college assist me, if at all?
As you may know, conducting a college search is only the first step in the college admissions process. If you want to increase the odds of getting into a top college or your child getting into an Ivy League college, then The Keys to the CASTLE (College Admissions Secrets & Tips to Look Exceptional to admission officers) book will help you. Reading The Keys to the CASTLE book will increase the odds of you getting accepted to your dream college. 
Until then, do your homework. Do not be afraid to ask everyone and anyone you know (alumni, Admissions Office Reps, students in college now who attended your high school, siblings of students who are in college now whom you know from your high school or extra-curricular activities, etc.) who might know what you don’t. Also, ask the colleges for brochures, read available books, and check out different websites. And, when it comes right down to it, trust your gut.


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