How I chose my college

By: Fernando Ruiz

my concept/prototype of a college

My concept of the best school should have a basketball team that I would hopefully be playing for. The school should have the major i want, in my case ports medicine or biology. The school should be pretty close to home but it would be okay if it was farther away and had nice dorms and amenities. The school should have good student programs and be very diverse. A school close to a city or nice sized town so if needed could get stuff off campus. A plus would be an in campus transportation system.

Methods that I'm going to use to pick a college

-Trial and error: This method can be used by applying for multiple schools and seeing which ones accept you and which ones don't. You should have a couple of schools that aim a little high, some in the middle, and some you are sure will accept you.

-Algorithms: I used this methods to find schools to apply for looking up a list of colleges and going down the one by one finding information on all of them. Eventually you will found some schools that match what you are looking for.

-Heuristics: Looking up your major, how much you are wiling to pay, and schools in the area you want to be in to narrow down the list of schools. This makes it easier to find and pick the schools you want to apply for.

-Insight: This might happen if you know someone that went to a school or your parents went to a school and they want you to go there or give you information about it.

How confirmation bias can affect your choice

Confirmation bias is when interpret information to were it confirms what you already wanted. This could happen if you already favored a school and you keep trying to justify everything even though it might not be the right school. You'll put the good things up front and use those to justify why its the best school to go to. The ideal school may be out there but this blinds you from seeing it as you try to prove its not the right school.

Fixation/mental set

A mental set can affect your choice because you only see whats worked before. This would be the case if you knew someone that went to that school and became successful after graduating and you become fixated on that school. This will make it difficult for you to see that other schools can also make you successful. Other schools will look bad and you will believe they wont make you as successful.


Intuition can be used to pick a schools when you're stuck between a few. Its seeing a school and with the information you have your mind makes a decision. Its that gut feeling you get that will tell you that its the right school. This can sometimes be wrong but say you're stuck between two schools that accepted you this is very useful as you will pick the school you like the most.

Representative heuristic

This is used when you have to make a decision and you are uncertain. We'll take metal shortcuts and that will either lead you to the correct school or lead you astray. With this specific heuristic you compare the schools to your prototype of a school. You will compare which characteristics match your prototype and what the school is lacking. The school that best matches your prototype is the best school to chose.

Availability heuristic

This is different from representative heuristic because this is an immediate example or choice coming to mind while representative is the image you have built up. This is not as reliable because the first example of a school that came to mind is not necessarily the best one. It is still useful because we are able to quickly pick and decide between schools. This might not be the final or best school but it can help you get there.


Overconfidence can be a problem because you may be sure of the fact then but later find its not what you expected. This can happen if someone helps you pick a school or a friend leads you on to go to a school because he is also going there. This can lead you to be more confident that that is the school for you and then when you get there its not. This can be helped by picking the school that is best for you and be as unbiased as possible.

Belief perseverance

This happens when you believe a school is the right one but you find information that disproves it. This can happen when you already had a school in mind but either it cost to much or you can't go there. You keep clinging to the belief that it is the right school even though its not. You will reject information that disproves and becoming defensive over your choice. You will be set on the idea that there is no other school.

Compensations made

When picking a school some compensations will have to be made. When picking my top school, Baylor, I had to make compensate by being farther away from my family but picking the better school. As most schools are very different you will have compensate by making a decision to drop something because something else is better at that school.