Picking the right college

Aug. 12, 2013 @ 12:22 PM

During my visit to Easley Elementary two weeks ago, I was asked many questions about college and where I wanted to go. This week I wanted to expand on that and talk about what I am looking for when it comes to college.
Before I started my freshman year at Riverside, my mother made me comprise a list of my top 10 colleges I would like to attend. Duke was at the top of my list, but the odds of that happening are very, very slim. Also on the list were Elon, East Carolina and Miami. Then my mother and I looked at what grades I needed to get, how much it would cost a year, and what degrees they are known for. We came to the conclusion that I have a lot of work to do before I am ready to go to college.
The most important part for me is whether I will be able to afford it. It is no secret that it costs less to attend a public school in the state in which you live. It also makes a difference whether the school is private or public. For example, Duke and UNC are both in North Carolina. UNC will cost less because it is a public school. I also learned from my father that schools that have the state name in them, like Arizona or New Mexico, are less expensive since they are funded by the state.
Another big thing for me is the location of the school. I am not trying to move so far that it takes hours just to drive home. But, I don’t want to be so close that my parents are trying to come and check on me every two minutes. The weather is also big for me. Winter in North Carolina is not as cold as it might be in New York or anywhere up north. The ideal situation to me would be a state that is about the same climate all year, if that is even possible.
My goal, if being an athlete doesn’t work out, is to become a journalist. That means I have to pick a school that has a great journalism program. While looking at schools and making my list, I found that Syracuse, Northwestern, North Carolina, and many more were among the top journalism programs in the country. Those schools are now at the top of my list.
I also had to look at athletics on the slight chance that I can get in as an athlete. Baseball is all I was focusing on. SEC and ACC schools are good at baseball for the most part, so they are schools that I would love to get offers from if I was ever given the chance.
When it comes to it, I would be very lucky to be given a chance to go to any school no matter whether it is a Division I school or whatever the case may be. I just know that I cannot let the opportunity to get a quality education pass.

Ben Huffman is a rising sophomore at Riverside High School. To reach him, email huffmansheat@gmail.com.