Choosing the Right College Essay

Choosing a college is one of the biggest decisions a person will make in his or her life. It will mold the future for the individual and open numerous windows of opportunity for careers. Being such a huge decision it requires a lot of thought and research. Many questions need to be asked in order to make a decision, as well as visitation to many schools in order to know which one will work best for the student. The student should ask his or herself if they would like to attend a larger school or smaller school, private or public, and take into consideration the money he or she would like to spend in order to get a quality education.

These main questions can narrow down the choices and make the process less stressful on the student. In this paper I will be comparing and contrasting the benefits and downfalls of two completely different schools; a private Christian school in Tennessee, Freed- Hardeman University, and a public state school in California, UCLA.

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Would a student be looking for a bigger college? Would he or she feel more accustomed to a “city-life” type of atmosphere? If so, UCLA would be the college of preference. UCLA is located in Westwood, Los Angeles, California. In simpler terms, this college is right in the heart of one of the biggest cities in all of America (“UCLA” – College Crunch). Current enrollment at UCLA is around twenty-six thousand undergraduates, eleven thousand, five hundred graduate students, and approximately four thousand faculty members. This all adds up to about thirty-seven thousand, nine hundred people on the campus each day of the active semester.

As many have been informed, UCLA is one of the top colleges in the United States. Ranked in the top 20 undergraduate colleges in the nation, one can expect that he or she has a tall order to fill if dreaming of attending the UCLA undergraduate school. Preparations for college begin with the high school career of a peer. The college requires a system of courses taken in high school before even being considered, just as most big colleges do. With a total of fifteen total preparatory courses, English and Mathematics courses are the most important. One with aspirations of attending must complete four English courses, and three courses in math, although four are highly recommended. On top of that, two years of history and lab sciences, two years of foreign languages, and one year of VPA (or art) and college preparatory courses are required. That takes care of the high school classes. In addition to the required courses, a minimum GPA of three point four (3.4) for non-residents of California is required throughout high school. Consequently, no grades lower than a “C” will be acceptable (“Admission Requirements” –Bruins Walk). UCLA also requires that one takes the ACT Assessment plus the ACT Writing Exam or, the SAT Reasoning Exam. If a student plans to go into a specific felid of study such as those of Engineering or other majors, certain math exams are highly recommended. Those will only the make the journey of admissions easier on both parts.

UCLA offers a great variety of majors that one could follow and pursue on the path of collegiate level studying. Choices that one may not be able to find too many other places are those such as Marine Biology, Film and Television, African Languages, etc. It is important to pick the major, then the college when thinking about the future. Other fields of practice include Architecture, Dentistry, Engineering, Law, Medicine, etc.

As one may expect, such an extravagant undergraduate college is not going to be cheap. UCLA can be very expensive for in-state students, let alone students wishing to come for out of state. It’s total cost per year will add up to be around thirty- six thousand dollars, with a tuition being around twenty thousand of the thirty-six. Most students do research and receive financial-aid and attain scholarship money. Doing this however, requires a lot of work in high school.

In contrast, what if the student didn’t want a big, city-life college? What if he or she was accustomed to a smaller, more private environment? If so, he or she might consider attending Freed- Hardeman University in Henderson, Tennessee. In contrast to UCLA, FHU is a much smaller, religious, private college.

The current enrollment at FHU is around two thousand total students with a percent of males being forty- six percent to the female’s fifty-four. As you can see, FHU is much smaller (“FAQs” – FHU). Founded in eighteen sixty nine, Freed has always had a reputation around the south for being a wonderful school. The minimum GPA to be submitted into the school is two point five (2.5) and the minimum test scores are a nineteen on the ACT and nine hundred and ten on the SAT. As for the classes, an individual must meet his or her state requirements where he or she attends high school.

The student life at Freed is different from UCLA. At Freed, there are more private social clubs, choral groups, sports teams, and such. FHU’s athletic program is a member of the NAIA (D1) and the Transouth Conference. Also, FHU is affiliated with the Church of Christ. Around eighty-three percent of the student body belongs to the Church of Christ, with a seventeen percent belonging to other Christian views (“FAQs” – FHU). All students attending FHU must live on campus unless either living with a family member or have credited a number of hours through the university. In turn, freshmen, and generally sophomores, are required to live on campus.

The total cost to attend FHU from out of state is around twenty-eight thousand dollars a year. Tuition alone is about thirteen thousand. Ninety percent of the students receive some form of financial aid and there is a little over seven million dollars awarded annually in scholarship money. Since FHU is a private college, this money is raised privately and through the school. They receive little to no government help. In ultimate conclusion, there are a variety of options out there. There have been two researched here and there are thousands of others. One must learn to explore his or her options. What does he or she want? One may possibly want a fast pace, “city” lifestyle while attending college. He or she may want more of a “party-life.” Or, on the other hand, a student may want a more “one-on-one”, private, religious lifestyle. In the end, education is the key to life. One must choose which path he or she wants to take to achieve the end result; a college degree. By comparing and contrasting two different schools, students will have a better understanding of the options that are available and the many choices they will have to make.

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