Finding a college is a lot like shopping. You get to pick the perfect one that fits just right. Visit and try on for size all the colleges that interest you. Choose carefully and make your next four years the best it can be.
How do I choose a college?
Choosing a college involves figuring out what environment, academically as well as socially, is most suitable and comfortable. You have to consider every aspect of a campus and whether it appeals to you. You will be spending four years there. Choosing the college is one of the most important decisions. The best way to know if a college is suitable for you is to visit the campuses that you are interested in. Walking around the campus, sitting in on a class, and talking to the students and administrators on campus will give you a more complete picture than books or online tours can ever give you.
Though each person's criteria is different, and ultimately the college you choose to apply to is based on your specific criteria, the following are major factors for many high school students:
- Size of campus
- Academic offerings
- Admission requirements
- Ethnic diversity
- Religious affiliation
Who can help me?
There are many people or organizations that exist to help you learn about and choose colleges. You may already be familiar with some of the resources available to you, such as your parents and college counselor, but you may not be aware of some of the other available resources. Read on to find out more about who can help you.
School counselors can offer you a great deal of information. They know a lot about the things you need on your road to college and if they do not know the answer, they can point you in the direction of someone who does. Whether you are having trouble narrowing down or filling your list of schools, finding the financial aid you need or correcting your college essay, your counselor has the tools to help you with almost every aspect of your college admission process. School counselors should be your number one resource. Unfortunately, each counselor is responsible for many students and is often overworked. What this means is that you must seek out your counselor for information and help. They will not come looking for you. Make sure you see your counselor at least once every semester to talk about your class choices and to make sure you are on track.
Parents and Mentors
Parents and mentors may not know as much as your school counselor about the process and details of applying to college. But what they lack in information, they make up for in care and concern. Your parents and mentors want to see you achieve higher education and can assist you with your choice of the right college. With the support of your parents and mentors, the long and stressful process of getting into college is easier and smoother.
Organizations and Programs
There are many organizations and programs out there whose sole purpose is to give you the information and help you need to get into college. The organizations and programs may have a structured program for you to join or may just publish information in print or on the web. You should research college access programs and organizations to help you take the proper steps in your college search and give you assistance where you need it. Your Bell Curves instructors will also be able to provide you information to help facilitate this process.
Admissions consultants are private advisors and counselors that you can hire to work with you individually. Admissions consultants will often offer you all the services of a school counselor but with a greater level of personal attention. The benefit of a private admission consultants is that they will be able to dedicate time and resources to give personalized advice and make recommendations that your school college counselor may not be able to dedicate the time to do.
Web-Based Research Resources
The internet provides a vast array of resources to aid in the search for colleges, access to financial aid, and assistance in application. By searching online you can find programs that allow you to: