Summer is the time for juniors and seniors to establish a college fit. The guideline below can help seniors make a final decision and guide juniors to finalize their college list. Sophomores can use these tips to initiate the college search.
Gaining admission to college and having a positive college experience both begin with a careful college search. While size, location and school spirit ratings are important criteria, they provide only a surface understanding of what a college can provide you. Guide yourself through your college search by asking yourself this question: Are these colleges a financial, academic, and social fit? Here are some further questions to help you make this assessment.
Knowing what a college costs and what kind of financial package you can expect to receive is critical for most families as tuitions soar to 60K a year.
Uncover what your classes will be like and how you will learn. You are going to college to gain an education, so look carefully at how you will gain new knowledge, cognitive and career skills, and self-awareness.
Nothing replaces a campus visit. Look forward and see when you can visit the colleges on your list. When are the holidays during the fall? Can you visit several colleges at once? It is imperative that you make sure that the social vibe and activities at a school match your personality and interests. If you can’t travel, scour the college student blogs unigo.com for a clear idea of what it feels like to be among students on campus.
What is the cultural vibe at this college? Is there an eclectic mix of students or is the college defined by the predominance of one style or social group? Is there an active college town adjacent to the school? Do students have various ways of exploring who they are through distinct theme houses, student groups and extracurricular activities? Where do students hang out and does it appeal to you? Do many students commute to the college? If so, are there activities to keep students involved in campus life?
Felicia Fahey PhD
Felicia is a comprehensive educational consultant. She works with college bound students of all ages close to home, across the country and around the globe.