Grand Valley State University Top Questions

What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

Derek

Tour multiple schools to see what you think of each. Don't limit yourself

Alison

Research

Amanda

Go on a college visit! The atmosphere you feel then can make a huge deal! I had never even heard of my college, but found a brochure in my bedroom and decided to go. I fell in love with it and have not turned back since.

Paul

Make sure its a fun atmosphere as well as a school known for its academics.

Ashley

I think that it is very important to not only find out about the college campus but also the area surronding the school. You also need to know how closely the alumni is with the undergrads, and what kind of advice they have to offer the students.

Sarah

A visit to the campus is necessary. Sit in on a class if you are able to. That is the only way you can really get a feel for the school and campus life. Don't be afraid to ask questions during your visit. You are potentially going to spend four years there, so make sure you are well informed before making a decision. Look at a lot of different types of schools. You never know which one will end up catching your eye. Once on campus participate in clubs/activities. It is the best way to find people that share your interests. Talk to people in your classes. They will also likely share similar interests as you, and study buddies are important in keeping you motivated!

Tuesday

Parents: Let your child decide which school is best for them. Students: If there is a school that you want to go to but feel as though you should go to choice B because it is cheaper/closer etc... go to your choice A it will make all the difference. You will never be quit happy because you will always we wondering if the other school would have been better and even if the school you are attending works out alright you still wont feel good about it because it wasnt what you wanted. Its your future you are investing in so go with your gut you'll be more successful even if statistical wise it says otherwise.

Juliana

Finding the right college isn't an easy task, but it can be done with moderate ease if a few simple things are taken into consideration. First, it is important to take a moment of introspection on the student's part, to determine what type of school environment would truly make them the most happy. For me, it was a medium size school with a beautiful campus. For others, it might be a larger party atmosphere, and for others still, a quiet liberal college. If you visit a school, and have any degree of difficulty imagining yourself walking down the sidewalk, greeting friends, and going to class, it is not the school for you. Second, it is equally important to know what sort of academic atmosphere suits you best. Large or small classes? Close knit community, or the ability to be lost in the crowd? Finally, it is cruicial to the college experience to live on campus during your freshman year. This is the time that you make your friends for the rest of your undergraduate career. This point I can't stress enough. It's absolutley essential! (And also one of the best times of your life!)

Anastasia

The advice that I would give to either student and parent is the same. How comfortable each feels about the school is how successful the students college career is going to be. No matter what the student says, their parents influence their decision on where to attend school. How comfortable the student feels in their decision will either make or break the confidence that is needed to succeed. This in turn is reflective of the parents need for a safe and secure place for the student to go. How comfortable the parents feel will help the students confidence level in their "independant" decision.

Trevor

Visit multiple colleges before you make your decision. Having your top pick selected early may be nice, but be aware of what else is availible to you. Pay attention to not only the classrooms, but also to the housing and dining plans, the extra-curricular events, the on campus social life, and the other students walking the halls.

Bradley

I would have to say that you should look for a school that is know for what you are going to school for. Also to look for what kind of internships they have in your field. Also look for the the employment after one year rate. Think about going to a community collage for your first two year to save yourself some money.

Kimberly

I think students and parents should take the time to visit the universities the future student will potentially attend. I visited every school that I applied to and was able to realize that the smaller campus and its beautiful scenery of GVSU were what I wanted. Initially, I had planned on attending a larger univeristy but this quickley changed once I visited the different campuses. I would also recommend the student making the choice for his or herself. My parents supported me no matter which school I chose and this made me feel comfortable in making a choice based soley on what I wanted for my future. Picking a school because close friends are choosing to attend there isn't something I would recommend either. I picked GVSU without one friend of mine going there as well. This forced me to come out of my shell and make all new friends. This was an important step in my adult life. I successfully made a great group of friends at GVSU as well as keeping close ties with my friends at home.

Landry

Don't go where your friends all go unless it's really where you want to go

Mary

Consider what majors you are interested, and locations of the schools, as well as what they offer for financial aid. You shouldn't be worried about finding the most popular or expensive school. Think about what is important to you, to finish school in the timeframe you want. If you find two schools that equally meet your requirements, location will be very important. You do not want to realize 3 months into college that you get very homesick, or cannot stand snow at all. And if both offer you the same kind of scholarship, say 50%, but once costs 3 times as much as the other, you need to think about that, too. Consider all your options carefully and do what feels right to you.

david

Make sure you look into each school's educational philosophy as well as rules regarding social lives. If you know how the school reacts to certain events then you shouldnt be surprised when one of those events occurs.

Mike

Don't be pressured into things you truly don't want to do but at the same time try new things and keep an open mind. Give everyone and everything a chance and you will end up learning more than you thought you would. You will end up learning as much or more outside the classroom than inside the classroom. Take advantage of the events, resources and deals that are presented to you during college, those will quickly vanish once you graduate. Activly participate in at least one group or club during your time at college, it is a great way to get involved on campus, meet new people and continue to do the things you enjoy doing.

Chante'

When making the big decision of what college to attend many factors come in to play. For me, a big determinant was financial aid, for my family and I would not be able to afford my college education if I did not have any. Still, it is not always about the finances for this does not determine the environment or the experiences you will encounter when in college. In order to find the "right" college, one must know who they are. They must know what they can and can not handle, what they like and dislike, and especially, whether they are disciplined enough to even attend college. So to find the right college, take all of these things into mind so that you set yourself up for success and not failure. Remember what you are going there for, an education, not socialization, though it is important. In order to make the most of college, you must utilize the resources given to you. Campuses are filled with people of various backgrounds and each person has a purpose. Learn not only from your books but the people you encounter every day.

Jillian

Take your time. Make sure you visit various colleges to really get a feel of various campuses to ensure that you get the one that's right for you. Start early. Make sure you get your applications done as soon as possible so your focus is put on what school you're going to attend.

Alexis

meet new people! Forget about high school!

Michael

College is a time to study and get ready for your future career; however, it is also a time to truly find yourself. Finding yourself comes through healthy experimentation in the different areas of life: friends, personal views, activities, and work habits. After you have narrowed your choices of schools to those that share your academic and career plans, as this is most important, you must then take a look at the campus and its surroundings. As you are doing so, ask yourself, ?Is this the right college for me?? Look past the overwhelming buildings, classrooms, and landscapes and focus on the things the tour guide won?t tell you about: the people and the surrounding area. Are the students in groups or alone walking to class? Are they talking amongst themselves or just keeping quiet? What are they doing? Are they laughing and having a good time? Then think about what type of setting you would enjoy. Would that be a large city with lots of accommodations or a rural area with beautiful scenery and warm homes? Only after you have examined these peripheral aspects of the school will you be able to make a competent decision.

Kelsey

Tour campuses, look at the classes and the class sizes. Talk to people who have attended the schools. Don't be afraid to go out and start making new friends. They're as nervous as you are and once you start socializing you'll see that you might meet lots of really great people. College is a difficult but wonderful experience, and as long as you take in in stride, you'll have a wonderful experience.

Clamika

I would advise parents and students to thoroughly research the schools that they are interested in and make sure that they visit to ensure that they like the school atmosphere and campus. I would also advise students and parents to utilize as many resources possible to find financial aid and support for school. There are a million resources available to help fund a college education. The college student must make sure that they are fully committed to gaining the most out of their college career. The student must make sure that they enter college focused and not let anything interrupt them from achieving their goal. The first years of college are the most important in becoming successful. The student must stay on track at all times and be committed to their education. Another important part of the ultimate college experience is to become involved. The student should get involved in as many things that interest them. It is proven that students who become involved with campus events and community service obtain the most out of their college experience and ultimately become more successful than the student that is not involved at all.

David

When looking at diffrent colleges it can be over whelming from campus tours to fincial aid repesentavies. On your tour make sure to ask about any interested clubs or after school activities. The more you are involved on campus the less likely you are to fail out of college. It will help you learn about hte vast resources to help you with your education, from physical fitness prgrams to tutoring centers. Make sure you what resources you have on a campus will give you the ability to maximises your college expierence. When you visit a campus make sure you ask upperclassman about the surrounding area, to help get a job and even grocieres. make sure you like the physical layout of the campus you will be walking all over it for 4 years!! Most of all you will just know when you arrive to that special campus were everything just fits.

Caly

College is definitely not all about class. It is a great preparation for life. Your choice of a college should be based on activities you would like to participate in as well as the academics of the school. Don't be afraid to talk to counselors, professors, and current students to find out what the social life at the college is like. Balancing activites, a social life, and classes will help develop you into an adult and prepare you for challenges ahead in your life. You should also consider financial aid that is offered to you and the cost of attendance to the schools you are interested in. The less debt you can leave college with, the better off you'll be as you advance in your education or start a new and exciting career. Most of all when you have chosen your college and you're arriving on campus in the fall, remember to have fun, take chances, study hard, and don't worry about the little things!

Sarah

Don't be afraid to listen to your "gut feeling". Even if it costs a little more, you'll probably find that it is well worth it to go to the school that is right for you. It's all about using a balance of logical decisions, financial calculations, the people you meet and how you feel. Take everything into consideration when making your decision. And remember-- with most schools, college is what you make of it. So don't sit around waiting for everything to come to you... make efforts to enrich the time you spend in college. Your four years will go by much faster than you think!

Joelle

I would definitely have to say that picking the right school is extremely important. Taking the time out to find what school fits the student best is the key in getting the most out of your overall college experience. Personally, I was the type of student that needed a closer relationship with her professors and classmates. With a smaller student body, I found that. Also, making sure that the school that interests you the most has the correct program that you are interested in. Grand Valley had everything that I wanted, the campus, academia, and student life all suited me perfect. Overall, making sure that you take enough time out to find what you really want and need is extremely important. Although the process may take some time, you will thank yourself in the end.

Heath

Make sure the school that you pick is the one that you really feel is right for you. Don't let anybody else influence or tell you that another school is better for you. Make sure you take a tour of the school and talk to people that have gone there and are currently going there as well. Finally once you are attending that school make sure that you find a couple of things to get involved with that really interest you. Don't find to many things because you want to make sure that you don't over extend yourself. Then have fun and make sure you attend all of your classes because your paying for it.

Adam

I believe that college can be anything the student chooses to make of it. Look hard for a place with a strong program in your field of choice, but still don't expect things to be handed to you. College will push you as hard as you are willing to push yourself.

Holly

Make sure you are taking charge of your own education. No one is there to hold your hand through it and you can get mixed into the wrong crowd or start slacking on classes. Get involved in extra cirriculars and possibly, a job. School costs a lot of mony and helping out in any way makes a difference.

Jessie

Visit a lot of colleges before you make your final decision

Carly

The process of finding the right college is different for everyone. Above all, I think that parents and students alike need to understand the individual needs and desires of the impending college student. The student needs to know what he or she wants out of the college experience and then pursue that unabashedly. College is a time to learn about who you are and who you want to be, therefore to choose a school based on name, prestige, or the opinions of friends and family cannot be the highest priority. Students need to include other people in the process of course, but the ultimate decision must lie with the student. Visit different campuses. Talk to current students at the universities. Ask a lot of questions. Research what the school and the surrounding area offer as extracurricular activities and entertainment. In the end, a student should fall in love with a college or university. By being honest with what he or she wants, doing the homework to find the school that matches that, and discussing options with trusted loved ones, anyone can have the college experience of their dreams.

Rebecca

The advice that I would give to parents/ or students is to look wat first what programs are offered. This is the most important aspect of a school. Pursuing a degree in what you love is most imporant, epecially if you want to do it as a job for the rest of your life. I the student is not used a huge campus of being around a lot of people, I would look at the campus size, not only does this lessen the "shock" value of going to a huge campus, the tuition prices may also be lower; which is good in the finacial area.

Allison

I would tell them that it is important to tour the campus to get a good feel about whether or not that college is right for you. If you love where you are, there's less chances of getting homesick and really having a great college experience. Try not to let money issues matter, because if it's where you want to be, you can find a way to make it happen. Get involved, I know you hear that all through high school, but the same goes for college! Don't just spend all of your time in your own dorm room! Leave the door open one day and see how many new faces you can meet! College is simply the best time of your life where you will make friends that will last you a lifetime.

Katherine

First of all I would tell them to visit the colleges that they are looking at attending, and find someone that goes there. Talk to that person about the pros and cons of the school. Also, finding out if the school is liberal or consevative would help in the decision making process. Finally, look at the class sizes, teaching ablility and overall rate of success after graduation. Oh yeah, look at the extra curricular activities too!

Leanna

I would suggest that you go and visit the college campus before choosing a college. Make sure to consider the scholarships you would receive from each of the schools. Also, try to make friends throughout your entire college experience. If you do not make friends then you will be very stressed staying in a doing homework all the time and not doing anything fun.

Aubrey

My advice to you is to research a lot of different colleges and universities before making a final decision. Personally, I was set on going to a particular school until I visited a few times. I had a great experience the first time I visited and I went back again a second time just to make sure this was what I wanted and had a completely different view and decided it wasn't the right place for me. Remember, this is a big decision, so keep your options open. Apply for more scholarships than you think you should. They get tedious, but they are worth it in the end. Also, it is ok to come into a college not knowing what or who you want to be in the future. A lot of people are in the same boat as you. Get involved, join a club or intramural team, and try not to worry. Enjoy where you are right now but look ahead to the future and have a positive attitude!

Mary

The best thing to do is to look at a variety of different schools and campuses and find the one that is right. If that campus is 500 miles from home, then it's 500 miles from home, and if it's only 20 miles from home, it's 20 miles from home. If an education is important, a little extra drive is worth what will come of the education from that school. It may take eight or ten applications and visits to find the right school, but once you find that special school, all the work is worth it.

Lorraine

I would tell students like myself that these are the best four years of your lives. College helps you become who you are. Make the most of the oppertunities that are available to you. Do not be too shy to make new friends and do not always stay within your comfort zone. As for parents, I would ask them to support their childrens decisions. College will help mold your child so be there for them and let them know that you are there.

Krista

My advice to parents is let your student be what they want to be. Do not decide what you think your son/daughter should be. Let them decide. It is their life. If you, as a parent, find a college that you like a lot and your son or daughter does not seem to like it as much as you do, do not pressure him or her to attend just because you like it. Make sure your son or daughter is going to a certain college because he or she wants to, not because you want him or her to. My advice to students is go to the college that felt like home when you were touring it.

Rebecca

I would tell students to go with their gut instinct. You should base your decision first on if they have the program you are thinking about, but the atmosphere and look of the college are also extremely important. You need to feel comfortable and at home at college, as you will be living there for the next 4 to 5 years. Talk to students who go there and find out their opinion, because they will tell you the ins and outs of the school, which is a lot more than the guidance department will. If you can picture yourself going there and thriving, then you know that you have found the right college for you.

Hayden

When looking into colleges make sure you not only look at the acidemics, but also the environment and number of students. I wish I would have looked at more schools than the few i did. I would have much rather went to a larger school that had a larger variety of things to do on the weekends. Grand Valley lacks in weekend activities for students to participate in. Sorority and Fraturnity life at GVSU also lacks in spirit that i see in other schools. I would stress college visits to high school seniors. College visits may seem hardly nessary, but in order to get the full college experience and acidemic excellence you are striving toward you need to see more than just a few schools.

Faletta

Finacial aid is the best. Find which school is most afordable to you.

Jessica

Visiting the college you are thinking of attending can be a very important part of the process. You need to find a school that has the right class sizes and where you won't get lost in the shuffle. Look into potential programs and majors that you might have an interest in and make sure you pick a school with a reputible program. Take a look at the dorms and meet people. It is most important for the student to feel comfortable with the people and the atmosphere, and the more supportive the parents are the easier the transition becomes for the student.

Brennden

College is a big deal. We don't fully appreciate how much it can change our life until it is underway, and once it is, there is no going back. So what should kids think about when chosing a school? I think it comes down to one question... where is your heart at? Grand Valley is so right for me because I am a simple kind of guy that enjoys doing nothing but being with a few friends on Friday nights. I like being able to talk to my professors once class is over, whether it's about the material or something personal. I love the fact that I can go to Lake Michigan in the warmer months and have a day at the beach. It's as if I thought up a school and it was created. Grand Valley is where my heart is; a simple place, an easy-going place where everyone can feel at home. So when you go to visit a school ask yourself if this could be home to you because having that comfort will help you to focus, make friends for life and start the rest of your adulthood off on the right foot.

Mariah

visit the campus first

Heather

Think about how much money you want to spend. Money is very important when it comes to college. If you want to spend less, think about community college first, then maybe a college near you or near a relative. Another thing to remember is really think about what you want to do and make a decision. Pick colleges with similar characteristics as yourself, such as if you are really outgoing and love people, maybe select a bigger college.

Christine

A good college is necessary for a good education. A good college will have resources you need, for example, opportunities for academic and extracurricular activities, helpful faculty, and tools necessary for your classes. Finding the right college depends on your goals and interests. I started at a two year comunity college because I didn't know what I wanted to do. I graduated as a member of an honor society and recieved a scholarship to a four year institution that was affordable and close to home. Finding the right college is only half of the big picture, the other half is your actions. Being self-modivated, putting your school work first, and making relationships with your professors is essential. You make your college and college experience what it is. Take advatage of your resources, no one can do that for you. For parents, encouragement is most important. Students need to feel good about the sacrifice they are making. Finding the right college isn't anything until you make something of it.

Alexander

The aspect of the college search which most influenced me in my final decision was the tour. I toured MSU and U of M and Grand Valley, along with smaller schools in the area. The tour positively blew me away. I loved Grand Valley. After touring I looked into the school more heavily and met with counselors. The school was definitely a match for me. My advice would be to utilize the resources the Universities you are interested in have available, like counselors, advisors, tours, info. seminars, etc. Once enrolled in a school, get involved, and LIVE ON CAMPUS. Living in the dorms was the most amazing experience. I met so many friends and wouldn't trade that year for anything. Getting involved is easy. My school has a "Campus Life Night" where all of the 270+ organizations give information to encourage new members. College is definitely one of those things where you get what you put into it. Study hard, get involved, have fun, and you will be rewarded! Finally, choose the school you want and not the school your friends want. Its not a bad thing to meet new people and put yourself out there.

Ashley

Choosing the right school is a personal experience. It should not be based on where your friends or even boyfriend will be attending. It is about knowing what you want to learn, what your interests are and what options each school can provide you for your needs. I would recommend looking into as many options as possible because the most popular school is not always the best.

Emily

Students trying to find the right college should look for a school that offers as much that they are interested in as possible, because when you are 17, you don't have it all figured out, and you should find a school that offers you the most options if your interests change, or if you want to change your major. Getting the most out of the college experience involves a lot of things, but one of them is living in the dorms. You get involved in more in a dorm than in other places, and you learn more about what else is out there. Seeing an academic advisor early and often is also a good move. Parents should remember that their children are going to be at this school for the next 4+ years, not them, and should try and let their son or daughter make their own choices. Parents should also be willing to visit and school and not exhibit biases based on "when I was back in college", because times have changed and so have most colleges and universities.