Conducting College “Background Checks”

What students should take into account before choosing a college

by Vanessa Perez (Special Features Editor) – 3/20/16

One of the fountains located in front of California State University Fullerton
One of the fountains located in front of California State University Fullerton

With college admission letters being delivered, many Kennedy seniors have began to think about which university they’re going to attend in the fall. But there is more to think about than just the prestige of a university name.

Because of recent events like Lady Gaga’s performing “Til It Happens To You” at the 2016 Academy Awards, where the singer brought awareness to sexual assault (especially on college campuses), some prospective college students feel the need to research more about their dream campuses.

“1 in 5 women are sexually assaulted in college,” Gaga stated at the ceremony’s red carpet.

Taking things such as college crime into consideration when accepting college offers can make the decision either easier or harder for students.

“When I think about how big my dream college is it kind of makes me afraid to go there,” Senior Mindy Sivaborvorn admitted. “especially because I’ll be all alone.”

Even teachers advise students to take precautions. History and AP Government teacher Daniele Assael thinks it’s smart for students to carry self defense items like pepper spray in order to protect yourself when you leave to college.

Websites such as American-School-Search.com are a great tool in making your final college decision. The site allows you to search up any college in the United States and view a “safety grade” for the campus. For example, UC Irvine received a D grade on safety based on the US Department of Education 2014’s public data set.

According to the website, UC Irvine has some problems with forcible sex offenses and burglary. And other prestigious universities in California have received similar safety grades as well.

American-School-Search.com states that the safest college in California is DeVry University located in Pomona. The school received an A safety grade and is ranked #16 in safety in the nation.

Another thing to think about when choosing your future school is the diversity of the university. Many minority students believe it’s important to have a lot of it.

“I’ve been going to school with a diverse group of people my whole life,” Senior Jesse Gonzaga, who is Filipino, remarked. “When I go to college I want to feel included and comfortable with expressing my culture.”

According to Niche.com (another great resource for researching colleges), the most diverse colleges in California are Pomona College and Stanford University.

When deciding which college you’re going to dedicate years of your life to, it’s important to not just base your decision simply on the bragging rights of a prestigious name. Taking things such as location, population, and of course academics is very important too.