Choosing a college is a huge decision that should not be taken lightly. The best advice that I can offer in finding the right school is to visit, find a bench in the middle of campus, and have a seat for a while. As a safari guide would say, "Observe the unsuspecting students in their natural habitat." What kind of atmosphere does the campus have? Ask students and faculty first-hand what they think of the school. Admissions counselors will rarely talk about any of the school's negative aspects, but impromptu interviews will yield a better, comprehensive portrait of the college. The biggest question that parents and students need to ask after visiting is whether they can see that school as home.
Students will be making a new life at college, and to make the most of their experience they should get involved in one new activity every year. From intramural sports and fraternities or sororities to academic organizations and activist groups, the most enriching college experience is one that gives students the opportunity to gain perspective from the people and activities around them without the stress of overcommitment.
I believe the most important part in finding a college, is that you feel the most at home while on campus, or in the dorms. Another thing is that they have a reputable course of study for what you would like to enter into. To make the most of your college experiences you really need to have friends. It is very important though that you do not let your social life be the most important thing. You are paying to attend the school and by abandoning your schoolwork, you won't pass. There needs to be a balance between homework and friends, and when you find the balance that allows you to do well in your classes and still find time to just hang out with friends, then you will have an amazing expericance at school.
Also college is not all about the partying and drinking, don't waste this amazing part of your life being wasted or high all the time!
The advice that I would give to parents and studets who are trying find the right college is to start early! Make sure that you get your applications in early. I work in the admissions office at my University and it is essential for prospective students to get their applications in early if they want to be considered for scholarships as well as first choice on housing and classes. I would also recommend that students visit several colleges, because you can learn so much about the college or university by visiting that you cannot learn on the website. Really look at how the students and faculty treat you and how well they are able to answer your questions. The other thing is once you have picked out the college you would like to go to get involved in campus groups and activities right away that way you are sure to make friends and do things that interest you. The other benefit of this is that some groups look really good on resumes. Last but not least work hard and have fun college is suppose to be some of the best years of your life so make the most of it!
Do not worry about what college is the right one. It is all what you make of it.
Try to have a good idea of what you want to do for the rest of your life before going to college, but at the same time, if it isn't working, try something different. Nothing's concrete until you have the degree, and even then it can still be up in the air. Have fun with college, but take it seriously and do your work; especially if it's what you're planning on doing with the rest of your life. Take it seriously, and learn as much as you can.
I would give the advice to follow your heart. Choose somewhere that you feel comfortable after having visited. Somewhere with a strong program within your major and with extra-curriculur activities that fit well within the range of your interests and hobbies. Make sure to find a campus where the majority of students seem to live life the way you do, it will make finding friends much easier. Really dive into friendships and school work. Live every day to its fullest and take each opportunity that comes your way so you will never have regrets.
Make sure that you fill the FAFSA as soon as possible. Think about what your most passionate about as a profession. You don't have to know it all, but brainstorm on things you are good at, love... Then take a variety of classes you're interested in. Go out for all scholorships you can! Finally work hard when you can, especially during the summers! Be very careful in college to have a budget and not stray away from it!! Finally make sure to maintain family connections but also be your own person. Own your own life!
My personal motivating phrase has been, "What you put into school will be what you get out of it." Chose a school where you feel comfortable, and where you think you will be the most motivated to do your best. The rest is up to you. Work hard, keep focused, and do what you love to do. You'll earn what you decide to invest.
If the environment at school is a good one, I strongly recommend having them stay on campus for at least one year. It's a great experience, and you make some really great friends. That's what I did. I stayed on campus for my freshman year, and now I'm commuting to save some money. :)
Your experience rises and falls with you. The campus could be the most wonderful place in the world, but if your attitude is rotten, you will never have a fulfilling college experience. Attitude is everything. Secondly, never think High School can carry you through college. Leave high school at the door and get ready for something completely new. Upperclassman aren't going to care if you were a football superstar or the most popular person. So do yourself a favor and come to school ready to tackle a new frontier and be willing to make new friends and learn new ideas. If you can do that, people will respect you, your social life will be amazing, and you'll cherish your college memories forever.
College is a time to expand and grow. It is one last place for students to try new things before they enter the world of adulthood. I would humbly submit that when searching for schools, to look at several schools and not to put all your eggs in one basket by limiting yourself to just one. Choose the one that is best for you, that might not necessarily be the one your boy/girlfriend or best friend will be attending or the one that is closest to home. But on the other hand it may be the perfect school for you. You just never know until you have gone out and searched. And when you have finally found the school for you, do not hold back. Immerse yourself into the culture of the school. Get to know potential friends and the professors. This school is your home for the next season of your life. I suggest that you make the most of it.
First, make sure the school offers your major. If it does, go check it out. Look for sense of community and how open the students and faculty are to you (the visitor). Next, sit in on a class; while listening ask yourself "is this professor keeping me engaged as a learner or am I going to fall asleep?" Only four more things...eat some cafeteria food. If you are going to live on campus you may have to eat in the cafeteria and you do not want to have to starve. Stay night in a dorm if possible (this is a test of the dorm livability). Find some current students at that college or university and ask them their opinion of the school. Finally, go to financial aid and figure out the cost of the school and how that will fit your budget. If you do this with more than one school, compare and contrast after having looked at all your options. Hopefully, after all of this, you will know what school you want to attend. When you are finally at your school of choice...go to class, make new friends, graduate, and most importantly enjoy, because it goes quick.
Shop around. When you enter a campus and are awestruck. You may be in the right place. I believe that the social aspect of college is almost as important as the academic part. Find a place that glows of community as well as learning.
Parents: don't limit where your student can go.
Students: do what you want otherwise school sucks!
Visit a lot of colleges
The advice that I would give is, first start looking for colleges when your child is at least a sophmore in highschool. This way you can do college visits and your son/daughter can know what it feels like to be on a college campus and see what college classes and life is like. This way they can see what type of college they want to go to a smaller sized one a larger sized college. Size is a huge factor for some kids so a college visit would be key for your childs decision and you helping them. Also money would be taken into account along with the size of the school. These to factors put together can make a college decision much easier and much more faster.
Don't go home on weekends. Stay at college and participate in open dorms. Don't be a loner.
It is important to look at several factors. First what you want to do after college and secondly what you want to do while in college. No college, no matter how academic it is, will give you a good experience if the social life is bad. It is important to make friends and have good memories on top of just academic. On the other hand it is important to look for a college that has a high rate of job placement after. If you attend a school with a great program and great social events but can't get a job afterwards it was a complete waste. Find something you love to do in college and major in it. Also remember to have fun. Sometimes it is just as important to hang out as it is to study. Take your classes seriously even the freshman ones, because they affect your GPA. It is most important to find a get involved and find a quality support structure in your peer and teachers.
Choose wisely and visit first.
It is important for students to have some focus on what they are interested in. Look at the schools that can offer you the degrees that are hirable and that companies will accept. Make sure that when you find your school that you apply for as many scholarships as you possibly can, because even if you aren't paying for it any little bit will help in the future. Make sure you meet with an academic advisor that can help you set up you semester schedules so that you won't have trouble getting into classes that you need or want to take. Lastly, if you are going for a certain career find out as much as possilbe about it so that you can be sure that you are interested in it and that you are ready to take the schooling necessary to get there.
FIn a place where you can balence your academic endevors, social life and spiritual life. If you go to a party school chances are you will party, if you go to a school that has a huge emphasis on studying you will spend all your time studying. I find that the school I have chosen has allowed me to balence my social, academic and spiritual life very evenly.
Make sure they find school that is like their personality and have their career.
I would suggest looking at all the possible colleges that you want to go to. Next look at the programs they offer and how good they are. When you get registered for classes make sure those classes are classes you really need to take for your major or minor or to graduate. If they offer academic advisors, use them. Visit them and ask which way the best way is to go to get to your end goal. Get involved on campus, but don't get too involved where it becomes a problem and schoolwork is pushed back. Have fun and make the most of it.
When looking for an appropriate college, think about what is most important to you. When I was searcing for a college I placed social life and faith based programs as part of my top prioreties. At my school, I found them both, but I also found opression because I overlooked the friction between my sexual orientation and the conservativism of the school I attend. Make sure to dig into all aspects of your life and read the mission statements and goals of the schools you want to to attend to see if the school is a great fit for you.
VISIT THE SCHOOLS YOU ARE RESEARCHING! While visiting, ask if you can spend the night in a dorm or with a student and ask them questions about their time at the university. Try to talk to a diverse group of people, freshman through seniors, black, white, gay or straight. Ask people to be honest with you about their experience with the school they attend. Let that visit simmer for a while before you visit another school. You don't want to visit a ton all at once or you may not appreciate what each school has to offer.
Your college experience is about more than just academics. If you go somewhere perfect academically but hate the campus or social life, your college experience will be highly disappointing. If you love your friends and the air of the campus, you will enjoy your experience and in turn probably do better in school, not to mention that it will really be what you make it. If classes are a little easy, you will have more time to maybe devote yourself to exploring things you like or enjoy, or adding a difficult elective class just because it sounds interesting. So keep in mind places that offer your major, but also pay attention to the campus, the students, the local town or city and the professors. All of those things will strongly factor in.
My best advice would be to follow your heart. Wherever you feel like you are being led is where you should go. Don't let money or distance or anything else hinder your choice. College is going to be your home for four years so you should go to where your heart is led.
Before beginning the college search, I recommend first deciding what kind of college the student is interested in: big or small, public or private, etc. I recommend visiting prospective colleges. In my college search, what was on paper in college brochures was very different from what the college was really like. I always walked away from a college visit with a very firm decision: I loved it or hated it. I recommend applying to multiple schools so that the tuition price after financial aid (what you will actually be paying) can be part of the decision making process. (The financial aid package comes out a few months before the final decision must be made.)
In making most of the college experience, find the right balance of class and fun. Don?t waste money flunking out from too many late night parties. Go to class, but there is also more to college than the classroom. I consider living on campus crucial to experiencing campus life. Most college students are broke, so learn how to have fun for free/cheap. Get creative; you don?t have to sit at home if you?re tapped on cash.
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