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Which College Characteristics Mean the Most to You?


College/University: __________________

College Characteristic Your Preference Notes Your Score
      Score each parameter, tally the total and compare each college’s score to get an objective perspective
      5: Extremely Important

4: Very Important

3:  Important

2: Less Important

1:  Not Important

Size (low student population) *Under 3000 students

*3000-10,000 students

*Above 10,000 students

Size (low faculty:student ratio) Faculty:student ratio    
Size (small campus) *Columbia is 36 acres

*Stanford is 8,180 acres

Size (small class, small lectures)      
Private over Public      
Liberal Arts over Pre-Professional Learning for the love of learning vs prepare me for that job    
College over University Intimate vs less personal    
Special Focus (i.e. Art, Single-Sex, Religious) i.e. Julliard vs Columbia

Music focus over 200 different departments

Research University *Intellectual curiosity

*High impact research

Academic offerings Particular Major, Plentiful, double-major, study abroad    
Faculty Premier, accessible    
Geography *Northeast




*West Coast

Distance Close to Home *Live at Home

*Short Drive

*Long Drive

*Train or Bus

*Plane (Stanford, Oxford)

Campus Culture Intellectual, party, honor code, casual, intense, school spirit    
Climate Warm


Cold, frigid

Snow, rain

Academic Environment *Intellectual over


*Moderately Easy *Rigorous & fast-paced over Easy


Study Abroad Global Scholars, Foreign Language    
Resources Endowment    
Facilities Libraries, laboratories, museums, cafeteria/cafes    
Alumni Network After graduation connections for jobs and relationships    
Quintessential Campus Beautiful Campus over Amorphous Amherst/Stanford vs NYU/BU  
Admissions Selectivity Tough to get in vs easy to get in    
Prestige over Best Fit Ivy League, Stanford, UCs    
Entrepreneurial Stanford (Silicon Valley)    
Urban over Suburban vs Rural Columbia (NYC), Princeton (NJ), Williams    
Campus Neighborhood Environment Safe & Clean    
Special Needs Ramps/Easy access to buildings, Hearing Impaired, Blind    
Premier Advising *Academic Advising

*Career Advising



*Peer Advising

Liberal over conservative      
Net Cost (cheaper) Tuition + Room & Board minus (scholarships + grants)    
Spiritual Freedom – Religious Affiliation Religious Life is important in choosing a college    
Diversity Multi-ethnic, multi—cultural, every state & most countries represented    
Ethnicity Attending a college where a high percentage of students are of your ethnicity    
Student Body Characteristics (i.e. Artsy, pre-professional, school spirit, conservative, liberal, laid back, moral, scholarly, outdoorsy, entrepreneurial, collaborative, competitive,    
Sports *Intercollegiate

(Dl, Dll, Dlll)



School Spirit Football, Basketball    
Housing Residential Colleges, dormitories over commuter college    
Social Life



*Greek Life

*Plenty of Activities & Opportunities

*Clubs, bars, theatres, parks, museums, bicycle paths

*GLBTQ Support



Michael J. Richardson, MD