Grand Valley State University Top Questions

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


Look at what you want to major in, costs, requirements, and location... Do you want to live far away or close to home? I think that's a big one that a lot of people overlook.l In addition, make sure that this is where you want to go- don't go there juust because your boyfriend/girlfriend is going there, because I hate to say it, I've seen that turn bad for a lot of people and believe me, transfering out is a pain. Don't give up, and don't settle- you'll know it when you find the right school for you!


Visit all the schools that the students are interested in and not just that one's that the parents want the student to go to. The students opinion is the most important and I believe that they know what is best for them. They will know what feels right when they see the school and see what it's all about.


Find the college that you feel like is home. And when you get there, dive in. Find something to get involved in.


just to stay on top of your game and go out for what you want


I would tell parents that they should trust that their kids know what they want, and parents should support their kids decisions about where to go to college. Students should aim for schools that best fit them. I highly recommend taking a campus tour of several colleges before applying to them. Taking tours will give parents and students a better feel for the college and its atmosphere. When a student has found the right college, they will know. And to make the most of the college experience I would say definately get involved with activities, groups, and clubs because it allows a student to make new friends. I would also say to learn to balance school and the social life. If it becomes unbalanced grades or relationships will suffer. But the one piece of advice that I have is that you are only in college once, so make the best of it!


My advice to parents would be to believe in your child, and support them. Whether or not it is the decision you would make is irrelevant. They will have to live, eat, and breath this school, and they deserve to be happy while they are striving towards their futures. Be supportive and encouraging and listen to what your student has to say! My advice for students is to believe in yourself. You have everything you need to be sucessful, so take it seriously! That 8 am lab will be killer, but in the end you'll be happy you put in the extra effort because you will begin to see yourself growing into an adult of the future. Also listen to your heart, if you want to pursue a specific career path, go for it! If you want to try out for a musical, go and sing your heart out! Join a sport, then go and play with passion and fire. Whatever you do, get invovled and try your hardest at everything you do because these have the potential to be some of the best years of your life!


I think that parents and students alike need to keep an open mind when choosing a college. First, decide what type of an environment you need in order to be successful. For example, do you succeed in large groups of people or do you need a smaller, more personal setting to optimize learning? Then, think about what you are interested in and determine what schools offer programs that line up with those interests. Of course, a main concern that many students and parents have is how to finance a college education. Money also has to be factored in to a college decision however, I do not think this should be the main concern. If you find a school that fits you well and can find a way to finance it, then go for it! Don't hold back just because going to community college is cheaper if you want to attend university. It's all about the experience. Believe me, your surroundings can make all the difference in your education and to make the most of it, take a risk and go where you really feel welcome, even if it might cost more.


While studying is important, don't pass up opportunities to meet people. You learn a lot from the people around you. They provide a new perspective and outlook on life. Learn to laugh often. Study for necessary amounts of time. Take time to pause and enjoy the moments of college and the stage of life you are in - it passed by so quickly. For me, I grew up going to a non-denominational church. Once I started college, I knew it was time to decide if I wanted to make this faith my own. I got involved with Campus Crusade for Christ and have loved every minute of it! God has taught me a lot about who He is and how much He loves me. I credit every amazing memory and moment of my college experience to Him.


I would tell them that they need to consider their needs and weigh them against their wants. A need in finding a college is that it provides adequate education in the fields you are interested in. Many go for the "college experience," but the skills you may learn from that will not be nearly as important as the ones you do academically. I would say also take into consideration what kind of learner you are and if the teachers at the college are equipped to handle those needs. Be smart about it and don't get your heart set on anything too quickly.


I think that it's important to let your KID choose the college they want to go to. Visit all the colleges in person, and let your kid decide which one fits them best.


When searching for the right college, it's important to remember where you're from and whether or not you like it. Many students think they want to go to school somewhere very different from home, and that's fine. If a student is from a small town, and living there makes him feel claustrophobic, going to college in a bigger city might be a good idea. On the other hand, if a student is from a small town and loves it, going to college in the middle of New York City probably isn't the best idea. Yes, it's good to go outside your comfort zone sometimes, but you also have to remember that you're deciding where you will live for the better part of the next four years or more. If you want familiarity, go for a smaller school, or a school in a smaller town, and join some new clubs in order to expand your horizons. Challenge yourself, but do it within your comfortable limits.


Make sure that the college you choose is close enough to home so that it's not impossible to come home for a weekend just incase of a dr's apt or something but still far enought away that it isn't a temptation to come home every weekend. Immursion in the college atmosphere/life is essential for success in college. Also be sure to get involved in something. It doesnt matter what, just be caught sitting at home sitting and doing nothing. Involvement makes it so much easier to get to know people and college life is more fun if you know people b/c the more people you know, the more people you have to do stuff with.


For incoming students, I would recommend that they decide if they would get more out of their education living at home without distractions from the social life at the school they attend or on campus with accessibility to more of the scools resources and closer to classes. Students need to ask themselves how involved they want to be and find a school that will fit their personality in that sense: do they want to work while taking classes or focus solely on schoolwork. Good advice for parents is to stay involed-- just because a student is no longer a High School student does not mean that s/he does not need encouragement. School can get overwhelming for students, and parents can be a good source of motivation for them to stay on track. Students and parents together should always make sure to stay ahead of the game on filling out paperwork before the semester's start, this way the student will be sure to get the most financial assistance available, making the school year a little less stressful so the student can focus more on their studies.


In order to make the most of your college experience, I believe students should really be open-minded when exploring universities and colleges. I would encourage students to go on many campus tours to get a feel for the different environments. I think open-mindedness comes in to play when students are making their final decisions on which campus to attend. I say this because the transition from high school to college is a big one. I think that students really find out who they are during this time. Something that you had a certain outlook on in high school may be something you look at in a completely different light in college. Choose a place you are comfortable with. Don't let anyone else's ideas interfere with your own. In order to get the full college experience you must be where you want to be! Once you are in college, get involved. Colleges offer so many things for students to be a part of. I would recommend going to activities the campus puts on. You meet so many people and learn so many new things outside of class.


Look for a college that not only suits your academic needs, but your social and cultural needs as well. Success is not only contingent on hard work and dedication to school work, but to an environment that caters to learning as well. Being honest with what your needs are as a person may play a difference maker between universities. Keep positive, challenge yourself, take advantage of opportunities, and get involved in your college as much as possible. In the end, cognitive development is just as important as book smarts. Do what it takes to develop not only as a student in your discipline, but to develop as a generally ethical person in your society as well.


I would start off by telling students that they have to visit TONS of schools and get lots of information about all of them. Take a campus tour of the school during the academic year to see how active students really are on campus. Secondly, perspective students should sit in on a class of their interest to see if they like the way the class is to be taught by that University. Students should also look into the clubs and sports offered on that campus, so if they choose to attend that University, they will have plenty of options on what clubs/sports they want to join. For the parents, cost is definitely a factor in finding that right school for your child, but there are so many scholarships and opportunities for financial aid through Universities that money really shouldn't be a factor in choosing the right school for your child. The most important thing a parent can do is to be involved in their childs decision about choosing the right school for them and to make sure that their child is happy with their choice. Become an active member in their college career.


Make sure to tour the campus! Talk to alumni, students... make sure to find out what they really think. Remember: just because the campus is smaller, doesn't mean you'll always get a one-on-one education. My campus is small, but we have way too many students on it!


Look for a college that has alot of diversity. In it's students, classes, activities, surroundings, everything. The more it has to offer, the more you'll experience. Find a college that doesn't don a label (party school, religous school, etc.) unless you're okay with said label, but don't box yourself in. College is four years (sometimes more) of finding who you are and embracing it, so try something new as much as possible. Go rock climbing, take philosophy, talk to your professors, and learn about who you want to be. Then go for it. Plans may change, but don't worry about it . If you change you major six times, who cares! You're not supposed to know everything, that's why you're in college. You find new passions and rediscover old ones, the only thing you need to be is present, the past doesn't matter and future will come before you know it. So don't plan, just be.


Go visit the campus if at all possible. Make sure that they have a good program for what you are interested in or a variety of choices if you aren't quite sure. Going to visit the campus can tell you a lot. Make sure you find the right size college for you. Also look at the financial aid they have available.


I would tell anyone who's worried about what institiution to attend, to only follow their heart. We as humans can adapt and conform to a variety of things, and when we are actively trying to educate ourselves, the location is only part of the puzzle. You can learn anywhere, but what counts is the time that you have. The time to explore is now! No matter your age, or location - there is always something else to be improved upon. So go out, make friends, skip class a few times, but hold steady to what you want in life. When you do that, and decide to live life head-on, is when you'll learn that life is what you make it. Everything happens for a reason, and ultimately we are the controllers in our own destiny's.




Make sure the school offers what you want to go into. Find a good financial deal; not all schools are of equal value. In the end, go with your gut feeling but be smart about it.


know your learning style, budget and set priorities


The advice I would give would be to stay optimistic, be open-minded, and take a campus tour. College applications can be frustrating. If you do not get accepted to your top choice, maybe it was just meant to be. Try looking into your next choice and see what they have to offer. The more you look into a college, the more you will know if it will fit your personality or not. The internet is an amazing tool for information, but pictures and words cannot grasp a campus?s atmosphere. I recommend taking a campus tour while students are in classes. This will give you the real feeling of the student?s attitudes, the true atmosphere and how big the campus is to see if you have to walk or drive to each class. Then whichever college fits you, be open-minded and curious to what?s around campus to make your experience satisfying. Find out what services are available to help you through a tricky chemistry problems or an emotional meltdown. Finally, get involved with something on the campus. It is an amazing way to meet people, grow as a person and be a part of the community.


Choose something that you will like. Don't go because it's a party school or because your friends are going there. Visit the campus and see how you like it. If you don't like big lecture halls find a smaller school. If you don't mind then find a school that you like to do.


The students and parents should visit a variety of schools and get as much informationas possible. There is never a stupid question! Also, come decision time allow the child/student to make the right decision for them no matter the money because loans and scholarships are always available and college is about getting them ready for their career and the rest of their life.


As your student prepares for college, remember to keep an open mind and encourage him/her to do the same. Also, investigate the average class sizes at the schools your student is applying to. Going to a school that has smaller class sizes (and plenty of sections of each class available!) has enabled me to get one-on-one attention from my professors as well as making lifelong friends. Dorm rooms can be an integral part of the college experience, but if your student is wary of sharing a bedroom with a stranger, see if his/her top choices have 2-bedroom apartment style dorms available. While at college, students should always try to make school their top priority- and it can be very difficult at times! Tone down the partying, and kick up the studying and always seek help. Contact professors with any questions and never be afraid to initiate a study group. Chances are, plenty of other students per class want to study with you, but are too afraid to ask. One last bit of advice: find a student organization and get involved! You will make so many lasting connections!


Visiting the school and meeting professors in the areas that you are interested is the most important aspect of searching for a college. Each campus is a different and unique environment and will affect your relationship with the school community and academic performance. The professors in your chosen field will dramatically change your approach to your major and degree. Their committment to students, engaging lecture style, and areas of expertise will influence how a student will focus their studies from the classes they take to the advanced research they engage. Choosing an environment and academic setting that you feel connected and integrated with will create more substantial experiences and promotes an atmosphere where the students want to join and strengthen the student community.


Become involved, even if it scares you. This experience that is college will be with you the rest of your life. Work and study hard, but take breaks and relax, have fun! Look even where you don't expect to find what you want, you'd be surprised.


Finding the right college is completely up to the student. I advice the the student to research colleges that have the programs, extracurriculars, etc that you are looking for and interested in. To the student I want to let know that once you find the right college, you'll simply just know in your gut that that certain university fits just right and is the right one for you. Apply to as many as you can, you might be surprised what universities accept you. To parents, let your child decide what college they want to attend, whether it be in or out of state, they know what will make them happy. In regards to tuition and all of the other costs, there is a plethora of financial aid available out there, take the time to research and apply for various scholarships and what not. College years are seriously the best years of your life, study hard, but don't forget to enjoy yourself as well and get involved!


My best advice for both sides would to first make sure that if you need help paying for college, work really hard to find all the available scholarships and grants out there. Students should work really hard in highschool in order to be ready for college and search for a college that is right for them. Make sure you feel comfortable and secure there. Look into their major programs because that is the ultimate reason you are looking for college. Parents should stay involved, go to orientation, call and see how classes are going or send packages from home, but don't be pushy or nosey.


In order for you to truly enjoy your college experience you must feel comfortable and sound with your college decision. Visit numerous colleges, small, medium and large to find out what's right for you. Take a tour of each campus, talk to the professors and inquire about the programs of interest, class sizes and classes taught by professors not TAs. Once that has been figured out then the next four years go by WAY too quick. Enjoy every minute of college from the time you move in your freshman year. The opportunities are there but you have to take advantage of them. Get involved in an extra-curicular activity, but manage your time well. Don't be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone whether it's in class, your organization or in the community. The most important thing I feel you can do in these 4 years is to find out who you are and where you're going in life. Don't let the partying and mindless dramas of college life wind you up nowhere. Take charge of your college experience, be who you want to be and look back with no regrets.


During high school, a coach always quoted the poem ?It?s All In a State of Mind.? The words in this poem did not mean much to me at the time, but I am beginning to learn the power of the statement. In all aspects of life, it is amazing how ones mindset can control a situation or event. Analyzing student ratios, location, and meal plans should take place when selecting a university but these statistics and facts cannot guarantee success or happiness. The student must want to do well academically, become involved in the clubs and actives the school offers and above all have a positive and enthusiast attitude. Regardless of the tuition rate, facilities, and student body at the college, virtually any student can gain unbelievable insight and knowledge academically, personally, and professionally if they are passionate and interested in doing so. Therefore, my advice to prospective students and parent would be my strong belief that any student can be successful and have the time of their life at any college or university as long as they believe in themselves and are willing to overcome any challenges along the way.


The most important thing to do when trying to find the right college for you is to start early. Start researching during the Junior year of high school. Once you find a few that peak your interest, apply. The best time is the fall of Senior year. To make the most out of your college experience you must define your goals then make decisions that will allow you to reach them. This is tough for many people because college is a time where so much gets thrown at you in a very short period of time. If you don't define your goals, you will get tossed around in the wind and the waves of college life. Many people think that college is the best time of your life. This is not true. It is a chapter of your life. With every chapter of your life comes good and bad things. The key to success is managing what you have to steer towards the good and avoid the bad. Identify your goals and make decisions that will allow you to reach them.


I would suggest talking to students that attend your prospective college; as well as consider sitting in on a class session or two (talking to university staff is important too, but students will be bluntly honest & their main goal won't be selling you the school... because it's not their job!). Visit the school AT LEAST once, but don't pass up an opportunity to go again if you can. If you know someone that attends the university already, ask to spend the weekend with them at school so you get a good feel for the weekend/night life. If you do all of those things, you'll have a very good idea of what kind of school you're applying too and all aspects of it (people, professors, classes, environment, and social life)!


Finding the right college takes time. Don't try to rush this experience, its a decision you'll be stuck with for quite some time! When you find a college that has a nice atmosphere and the courses you need in order to succeed try to find one where your personal beliefs and background differentiate slighlty from the campus'. It'll give you an excellent life experience. Sure it might be a little hard at first to adjust, but living and learning with people who're different from you is a great way to advance in life. Don't be afraid to "bust that cycle" of living in the familiar!


I would recommend that future students go on campus tours and look into not only what the college has to offer, but the area around the college. I also recommend that students try as many new things as possible such as clubs, sports, and attending events. Last, just to have fun, study hard, enjoy meeting new people and experiencing new things.


Find a college that you will feel comfortable in and one that will accomodate all of your needs. You need to find a college where you feel at home, because more than likely you will be there for a while. ONe where you can grow as an idividual and excel in your academic area of interest.


Visit, look at a school newspaper, attend a school event. Surround yourself in the campus on a busy school day to get the best experience.


Finding the right college can be one of the hardest choices you will have to make. But try not to worry too much about it. Wherever you go you will find people just like you and find that you fit in. To make the most out of college; join organizations as soon as you start your first year. It doesn't matter if the organization is for sports, academics, fraternity life, political, or anything. This is the best way to meet other students, especially upper class students who can help you along the way. If you can, live on-campus your first year. You will be with plenty of other people in the same situation as you. These people tend to be the friends you will keep for life.


Finding a school that's right for you can be difficult if you don't know exactly what your goals and neccesities are. You don't need to know your major right away but you have to at least have a good idea of what you want the atmosphere to be like and the kind of social activities you want to be involved in. When looking for a college you might also want to check out what the surrounding area is like. If you find yourself to be more of a quiet, widthdrawn, or shy individual or prefer to have more one on one attention a smaller college might be best for you. If you find yourself to be more of an upbeat person, that doesn't mind crowds and can do just fine in a class that has 80+ people then a bigger college might be better for you. All you need to do to find a college that fits you is find the college that matches your personality traits. However if you're looking for a college to set you straight find a smaller college that doesn't have much going on outside of the campus walls.


Parents and students need to look at the big picture when it comes to choosing a college or university. I shouldn?t be about what college will be the most fun, have the best team, or have the coolest parties. The school you choose should be the school that allows you to do the most with your life. Doing the most with your life is not about you or the time you are in school. Life is long and each and every one of us has a chance to do many great things if we make the right choice. College is one large step that can get us started out in the right direction to a long and prosperous life that will allow us to leave the mark on the world that we see fit.


Find a school with a good review, one that has a high percentage of careers after graduation. Also where there is a great atmosphere, culturally and learning wise. Where students are glad to admit they attend a school because they love it so much.


Choose a college based on the quality of the education you will receive and how good the school is in the field you are interested in. Also, the atmosphere of the college should fit with your personality.


Pick a college that you feel comofortable at both social and academically, as long as you are happy it will all work out.


Visit the colleges before deciding on a school.


Make sure you apply to a variety of colleges. Once you have been accepted to the ones you have applied for, check into their extra activities and the reviews of other students who already go there. You want to make sure you make the best decision but you need to make sure you know everything that happens on campus. Make sure you pick a location that is fitting to you. I found at school that the people who come from a big city and attend a rural university find it very difficult because they can't find anything to do. Just make sure you have all of your questions answered and you should be all set. And then make sure you start with an open mind...that way you will be able to make the best of your college experience!


The most important aspect of finding the right college is visitations. If you can truly see yourself on the campus after viewing the campus, it's a good fit. It allows you to see the academic buildings, residence halls and surrounding community. Make sure you take the time to see student life and campus other than what they show you on the tour or in brochures. If you are thinking of a certain program, make sure you visit their office/building, you'll be spending a lot of time there. Take time to talk to students other than your tour guide, cafeterias are a great place to do this. To make the most of the college experience, I recommend knowing all your resources. Get connected with a mentor if possible. If not, really examine the college catalog and find out about things like student life, counseling, tutoring, anything you might be involved in. The worst thing is to find out senior year about activities you could have been doing for 3 years. Find out what's out there!