How do students compare which school is right for them?

College Admissions

Our counselors answered:

How do students compare which school is right for them?

Reecy Aresty
College Admissions/Financial Aid Expert & Author Payless For College, Inc.

How do students compare which school is right for them?

If getting around will be a snap, then that's probably number 2 on the check-off list. Number 1 is if the school has the right curriculum; financial aid is number 3.

Karen Ekman-Baur
Director of College Counseling Leysin American School

How do students compare which school is right for them?

The Americans with Disabilities Act, passed in 1990, guarantees that all U.S. colleges/universities provide some level of services/accommodations for students with disabilities. Some institutions, taking this requirement further, offer comprehensive programs supporting learning and/or physically disabled students. Students should seek schools which offer the best support for their specific disabilities. Try the following websites: http://www.college-scholarships.com/learning_disabilities.htm http://concordspedpac.org/Colleges-LD.html http://www.dmoz.org/Society/Disabled/Education/Colleges_and_Universities Aside from the disability support available at each school, students with disabilities will want to consider other aspects of the institutions at which they are looking in light of how these aspects will be affected by their respective disabilities. Since accessibility and integration into the college/university environment will be significant issues, it is important to determine how easily a student will be able to enter and exit buildings, make his/her away around campus, take part in classes, participate in campus activities, interact with the surrounding community, and so on. Having a concept of this information ahead of time will circumvent unnecessary frustration upon arriving on campus. The student should contact the disabilities support offices on each campus and ask the questions of concern relevant to his/her specific disability before applications are submitted. If possible, visits to schools of interest should be arranged - including information sessions, campus tours (which, depending on the situation, may need to be specially arranged through the disabilities support offices), and interviews with admissions officers and staff of the disabilities offices. The student will be able to develop a "feel" for each of the schools, and having first-hand knowledge of the schools and what disability support will be available at each of them will be invaluable in making the final decisions regarding applications and ultimate acceptance of admissions offers. (The importance of visiting the schools in advance of submitting applications is advice that would be given, as well, to students without disabilities.) Once you have received your acceptances, compare the schools again based on your initial research. Write a list of pros and cons for each school and use the list as a basis for comparison. Remember that the number of pros and cons you come up with is not as important as the WEIGHT of the pros and cons. One strong con, for instance, can outweigh a number of pros, and vice versa. I wish you a lot of success in finding the right school! Another thing to keep in mind, however, is that there is usually more than one right school.