Archive for Picking a School

For Your College Search Process, Don’t Panic

Embarking on your college search can be scary, so here is some advice on handling it:

  • Don’t Panic- All you geeky types will be familiar with Douglas Adams’ Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, which tells us, “don’t panic.” The same is true whether your are traveling the galaxy or applying to college. There are so many great schools out there just waiting to be discovered and if push comes to shove and you don’t like the choice you make the first time, you can transfer.

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The Real Cost of College Part 2

So you know how much you and/or your family can spend on college and you know about scholarship opportunities at the schools you are considering. That’s it…right? Wrong! The price of college is not tuition alone, and if you don’t plan accordingly, your dream school could end up discarded from your list like last night’s smelly left-overs.

Tuition ≠ cost of attending college. (For those of you having trouble recognizing that symbol, it is the does not equal sign). College costs far more than what the fliers advertise. So as you are researching where you would like to attend, don’t forget to look at the hidden costs of college. While many schools quote you a tuition that sounds reasonable, how much are the fees? Read more

Does College Choice Affect College Success?

Senior year of high school is supposed to be fun, and it will be, but you are probably thinking about college too. The decision is not looming yet, but it is on your radar. You know you have to get applications done before winter break, but you wonder if your choice of where to apply (and ultimately attend) will affect your success in college.

Of course, your college choice will affect your college success, but maybe not in the ways you would think. If you want to be a meteorologist and the school that you go to does not have one class in meteorology, then that is a problem. You set a goal as defining college success as setting up yourself for a career in meteorology, but no matter what your grades or extracurricular activities look like, you are hurting yourself in terms of your long-term career goals. But generally, it does not matter where you go, but rather what you do while you are there (and I would even add what you do with your degree when you get out).

I know it is easier said than done, but many who have gone before you have done it and so can you. Take some time to evaluate what you want out of college and make a list of those criteria. Don’t apply to schools that won’t allow you to meet those goals for a college environment, even if that means you and your boyfriend/girlfriend have to go to different schools. You may even have to sit down with your parents and explain that you cannot go to the school they would choose for you because it is your choice and you need to be happy with it.

If you work hard and follow the advice in “Making College Count” you can achieve college success wherever you choose to go. And there are successful graduates from every college in the nation. So the pressure is off—make your list and fill out your applications. No matter where you go, whether a big state school or a small private school, you can achieve college success!

Do a Non-Traditional College Visit Part Five

Sometimes doing a traditional campus tour and sitting in on a class is just not enough to find out all you can about a school you might be attending for four years of your life. This series provides tips for parents and students to make the most of their campus visits.

 

There will be time at college that you will not spend in class or at the library studying. Free time is a great time to de-stress and do things you enjoy. So it is obvious that you should find out if you can still participate in things you enjoy while at college. When on a college visit, explore the campus and community to see if it offers what you want out of your out-of-class activities. Do you like to hike? It might be worthwhile to find out if there are opportunities to do so with other students near campus. Have you always dreamed of working at a college radio station? You better check to see if they have one. Play the piano, but don’t want to be a music major in college? See if there are piano practice areas on campus that non-music majors can use. You get the idea. Maintaining and enjoyable lifestyle is a priority for keeping your sanity in college, and it provides great study breaks. But if there are things you know you can’t live without, you better make sure that the college you attend has them.

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Do a Non-Traditional College Visit Part Four

What can you do other than tour campus and sit in on a class to help you make the most out of your college visit? This series explores how to make your college visit non-traditional.

 

Do you love the idea of warmer temps and no snow during winter? Then you may think that a school in Florida is for you. But don’t forget that you have to deal with the heat and humidity of August if you go there, too. You may want to consider visiting campus at the most extreme that the weather can get, whether that be hot or cold, rainy or windy. If you are miserable touring, then you will probably be miserable as a student there, walking to and from class each day. The weather is something to consider when you are choosing a college, and testing it out while on your college visit can be a good idea.

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Do a Non-Traditional College Visit Part Three

Continuing our series of ways to increase the value of your campus visit, here is part three of how to make the most of your college visit, the non-traditional way.

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Do a Non-Traditional College Visit Part Two

Monday I went over the importance of an overnight visit in a campus dormitory (if possible) and a trip to the campus dining hall as some non-traditional ways to enhance your college visit. But don’t leave campus without doing the things below too! Here is part two of how to make the most of your college visit, the non-traditional way.

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Do a Non-Traditional College Visit Part One

For most students and parents of college-bound students, a college visit includes going on the college coordinated campus tour with other prospective students, sitting in on a class, and talking to an admissions counselor about admissions requirements, scholarships, and financial aid. Then you leave campus and evaluate your options.

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