What do current students wish they had known when applying to college?

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Our counselors answered:

What do current students wish they had known when applying to college?

王文君 June Scortino
President IVY Counselors Network

there are many many surprises if you are not prepared

first common unexpected surprise is the academic requirements and teaching style of the faculties which completely different from the student's high school experiences. the second common mistakes made by the student is that the social and campuse lives may not be the same as imaged when apply to college. the last common misunderstanding about the college is the fact that brand name is only as good as how much you can touch it and use it for your own advantages. knowing how to take advantages of the resoruces at each college is not a easy task and handled over to your hand as you expected. you must seek, active, and earn sometimes.

Helen H. Choi
Owner Admissions Mavens

What do current students wish they had known when applying to college?

Most students wish that they had studied a bit more in high school so that they were more prepared for the rigors of college. Jeremy Lin, a Harvard graduate, basketball team co-captain at Harvard, and current development team member of the Golden State Warriors, is a wonderful source of inspiration for high school students. He recommends that while high school students should work hard and be diligent, they should also try to relax a bit and enjoy high school because the four years pass so quickly. That's great advice -- not just for college but for life!

Becky Checketts

What do current students wish they had known when applying to college?

One thing that I wish I knew was that my school had a "less than one-year" Math prerequisite requirement. Basically, if I took Math 1050 Concurrent Credit during my Junior year in Highschool, and I wanted to jump right into Calculus when I got to college, I wouldn't be able to. I would have to take the Math Placement Exan to get into Calculus because I took Math 1050 over a year ago. You will want to check the school that you are wanting to apply to and see if they have a requirement like that.

Nancy Milne
Owner Milne Collegiate Consulting

If only I'd known......

I often hear students are dissatisfied with their college experience because they failed to consider the whole picture. Maybe the school is ranked well, but it is too remotely isolated for you. Possibly the campus is beautiful, but everyone bails out on the weekend and you live too far from home to do the same. You thought you wanted to be anonymous in a BIG lecture hall, but feeling like a number is too impersonal now that you're living it. Big time sports sounded fun, but the partying that comes with it doesn't appeal to you. Make sure you do your homework and consider the college of your dreams from all angles: weekday/weekend, daytime/evening, town/gown relationship, winter/spring, just to name a few.

Bill Pruden
Head of Upper School, College Counselor Ravenscroft School

What do current students wish they had known when applying to college?

Ask them. Check the student side of this website to get some answers to that question, but also when you make a campus visit do not limit yourself to the official stuff. See if you can sit in on a class where in addition to getting a sense of the academic atmosphere and approach you will also have a chance to talk to students both about their current experience, as well as about the things they have learned and the things they wish they had known. The transition can often be hard, and while the way it impacts people will vary considerably, there are certain pitfalls that can be avoided if one has some advance warning. When alums come back to your school, when you see students back in town or home on vacation, ask them about their experience. They are living it and what they have learned can help you.

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

What do current students wish they had known when applying to college?

A lot! But here's just a few things: 1. That maybe they should have studied harder & gotten better grades, test scores while in high school 2. That they shouldn't have earned more than their income protection allowance 3. That they should have had <$100 in their name so they wouldn't have lost so much in financial aid $$$ 4. That maybe their parents should have attended a free admissions/financial aid seminar, and if they did and had a free consultation, hired an expert 5. And so much more

Ronald Harris

What do current students wish they had known when applying to college?

The finances involved and where to look for more scholarship money.

Ellen erichards@ellened.com
Owner Ellen Richards Admissions Consulting

What do current students wish they had known when applying to college?

By their senior year, most students wish they had known more of the facts about the college admissions process. They often have a different perspective on their transcript when viewing it as a senior about to apply to college than when they are in the midst of their high school career. Colleges seek students who challenge themselves and nothing exhibits a student's will to meet challenges than the classes they choose to take throughout high school.

Tomika Ferguson

What do current students wish they had known when applying to college?

Undergraduate students who I work with constantly complain about not knowing about the hidden costs of education. That can include book prices that rise based on the field/major that you study, that on average tuition will continue to rise every year that you are in school, costs such as gas and eating out are sneaky, and that some program requirements such as getting an internship off campus for a class may require you to renegotiate work schedules. The vast majority of my students wish that they had known about the vast number of student leadership opportunities and available experiences to develop personally. This can include student organization leadership, research mentoring with faculty members, one-week study abroad opportunities, and/or internships that are never advertised. The most important advice that you should know is that NO institution will be able to tell you everything that you will be able to take advantage of when you are a student there. There are a large number of amazing opportunities on many campuses that you will not know exist until you dive into your passions and your academic major.

Ryan Vann
Academic Counselor

What do current students wish they had known when applying to college?

Students typically wish they knew more about how Financial Aid works. I also find that students are surprised when they find out some of the textbook and software requirements they must have when enter specific courses. It is always best for a student to research what costs they may incur beyond tuition.