How to Choose the Right College for You

Spring brings both joy and pain to the high school senior. On one hand, finishing up that K-12 career brings a sense of accomplishment and relief; on the other hand, this time also asks the typical 18-year-old to make one of the biggest decisions of their life.

As someone who went through the process of college admissions a little less than a year ago, I can confirm that the weight of my college decision rested heavily on my shoulders. Choosing your home for the next four years is not a decision to make lightly (especially since the price of college nowadays is pretty much equivalent to a small fortune). But the problem of which school is best for you can be broken up into smaller, more answerable questions.

Is Getting Into an Elite School the Only Way to Define Success?

Upon entering high school, I was under the impression that my life would resemble that of Marissa Cooper from The OC, coming home past my curfew because I was out with a cute boy or getting into some shenanigans with my best gal pals. If we ignore the blatant reality that I was not a wealthy, blonde teenager (who was obviously at least 25), my high school experience was still vastly different from the one depicted on the television programs I watched. In retrospect, I believe my high school experience more closely resembles Olivia Pope's narrative on Scandal; I was constantly under pressure to appear perfect.

#College2Career: Dallas Tester on Partnering With Professors to Find Career Opportunities

College choice isn't career destiny, no matter what your high school guidance counselor might've told you. When it comes to building a career, the opportunities you take while you're going to school can be just as important as the name of the institution on your diploma. PayScale's College Salary Report ranks the colleges and universities whose graduates go on to high-paying careers, but the big surprise is how many "non-brand-name" schools make the list. Developer Evangelist Dallas Tester tells us why college reputation isn't a blueprint for graduates' career paths.

The 5 Best Party Schools By Salary Potential

Just because students love to party, doesn't mean they're trading keggers today for career opportunities tomorrow. PayScale uses The Princeton Review's list of party schools as a jumping-off place, and then ranks them according to the median pay of their graduates at early and mid-career. To make Princeton's list, schools must have a high percentage of students who report seeing frequent drug and alcohol use at their schools, a very active Greek system, not too many hours per day devoted to study.

Introducing the 2015-2016 PayScale College Salary Report

Money isn't everything, but when student loan debt tops $1 trillion and college tuition grows more expensive every year, prospective college students should think about factoring in future earnings, when they make their college choice. PayScale's College Salary Report ranks two-year and four-year colleges and universities, plus majors for all degree levels, and shows which programs are likely to result in high earnings after graduation.

5 Tips on Choosing a College: Confessions of an Art School Grad

By now, we probably all know someone who struggles with student loan debt or job woes. Many of us young folk went to college hoping to make our dreams come true, only to find ourselves saddled with enormous debt and no job prospects. Young grads are still having trouble nailing down that first professional job, and many people aren't working in the industries they trained for. It wasn't exactly a walk in the park for older people either, whose careers went kaput and they had to go back to school or get new training. Stories from the Great Recession are many among us.