Making Your College Decision

Top of a blue graduation hat with a white tassel amongst a crowd of students wearing graduation hats. The graduation cap is decorated with red gems outlining the hat and then silver gems spelling out "Zag forever."

March 22, 2024
Levi Garcia-Morales, Admission Counselor

Picking a college can feel like a daunting task. Between campus size, classroom demographics, academic strength, location, community, support services, environment and overall satisfaction and happiness, there are multiple factors to consider. In many ways, picking a college is like building a puzzle. Multiple little pieces go into the work to create the larger picture. While picking a college can seem and be a scary thing, here are some helpful tools to keep in mind.

Talk to Admission Counselors & Professors

One of the best resources at any university will be admission counselors and professors. Admission counselors can help with information about the university, provide guidance on future degree pathways, and even help with answering questions about admission requirements. Admission counselors also support students finding subjects that they’re passionate about through interviews, seminars, information sessions and high school visits. You can find your admission counselor at

Professors support students by answering detailed questions regarding their chosen major. Furthermore, professors are also helpful with figuring out what courses a student should take. They can also help establish a degree pathway to meet a specific career's goals. If you’d like to set up an appointment with a faculty member from a specific program, please email


Visit Campus

Another fantastic resource to help with deciding on a college is visiting the campus itself! Try to imagine yourself walking on those pathways. Imagine yourself sitting in the classrooms or dining halls. Is the environment more to your liking? Is the campus size too big or too small? Asking these questions during your visit is a great way to determine if the school is the right place for you. Also, did you know we have a great virtual campus tour and virtual housing tour, if you want to check those out in the meantime?


Financial Aid & Affordability

One of the largest factors in determining where to go to college is financial aid. Each college and university offers its own unique award letter, and it can be difficult to try to determine which school is offering the best amount. With the many FAFSA challenges students and families are experiencing this year, we here at Gonzaga are here to help. Gonzaga’s Financial Aid Office is offering an Estimated Financial Aid Offer to help with determining the need-based aid, as well as scholarships that students may receive. Additionally, students and families are always welcome to set up appointments to speak one-on-one with a financial aid representative.

It’s also important to determine what the affordability of each college and university is going to be. What is their overall cost of attendance? How much does transportation and books cost? How much would it cost for any other miscellaneous expenses?

Ultimately, finding the right college for you could boil down to any number of factors depending on what you want your college education to look like. For some students, that factor might be a school's religious affiliation, while others may look at extracurriculars or the city it's located in, to find the best fit.

What other aspects should students consider? College rankings, student safety, dining options, campus amenities, dorm life, and the demographics of their student body can all factor into your decision.

Making your college decision can feel stressful, but it is all about finding the right college for you! Gonzaga University is an amazing institution, and one of the main reasons it is so amazing is that we want each student to choose the best institution for them. A student should find a place where they can thrive academically, socially, and financially, but overall, a place that makes them happy. We are proud you are considering becoming a Zag. We hope that we get to see you on campus this fall!


To learn more about making your college decision, please reach out to your admission counselor.