High school seniors facing their college search have a lot to consider. At times, it can feel overwhelming — between national tests like the SAT and ACT, recommendation letters, personal statements, and the applications themselves, it may seem like there’s little time left for actually deciding where to go. The research process is fun but overwhelming, but by keeping these four major aspects of colleges in mind, it can be simplified.

1. Make Sure the University is Legitimate 

In other words, this means that the university is accredited — officially authorized to hand out a degree to graduating students. For example, Grand Canyon University accreditation is an easy thing to search up online. Students might also be interested in how legitimate the accreditation process actually is, or who decides to accredit a university. There are a number of sources available to explain this process — students can simply search for Grand Canyon University accreditation professionals to explain.

2. Check That it Has the Right Programs 

If a student hopes to go into engineering, they probably don’t want a school that only offers three distinct engineering degrees, instead of the twelve or even twenty that are more standard.

3. Consider Tuition — And Location 

The cost of college is a big financial decision, and must influence all other related decisions, as well. Related, of course, is the college’s location. If a student is considering schools in San Diego, the cost of living will be quite different than in Milwaukee.

4. Factor in Campus Culture 

Is a school known for its parties or its research grants? Is Greek life a big part of students’ social calendars or are students typically more spread out? Is the student population large or small? These are all useful questions to consider.

High school seniors everywhere are considering decisions that will impact the rest of their life — while it may seem overwhelming, considering these four questions can simplify the research process.