Visit the college, interact with the students. Talk to everyone, about the campus, living, athletics, and classes. As for the most of the college experience, try everything. No matter how crazy it sounds, try it.
When trying to find the right school for YOU and not your parents, START EARLY!!!! If you are the type of person that has trouble paying attention you should enroll into a small liberal college that gives you the opporunity to be a student and not a number. As a student looking forward in farther your education you should not be shy, to go and take visits to the different schools. You should definitely explore your options, because their a so many opportunites out there to better yourself as a person.
always start early
Visit the college multiple times. Make sure that you talk to some of the students and ask them how they like it/dislike it there. It is an important decision, so do not take it lightly. College should be a fun experience, so make sure you will like it.
Take your time and not rush into deciding just to be able to say you are going to college somewhere. Make sure you visit your campus and ask alot of questions about the college, and their programs. I enjoyed staying the night with some of the students and it gave me a real feel for how people interact and get along with each other here, as well as being able to see another side of the college than what you see on a planned visit.
Dont just look and decide on a college because of cost. If you pick a college because it is cheaper you may regret it as well as they may not have the exact major or classes you would like to enroll in. People tried to persuade me to go somewhere cheaper, but I really like it here at Lake Erie College and I think i would regret it going somewhere else. It is hard to get scholarships and financial aid, but I believe it is worth the work.
Take advantage of the clubs offered at the school and make the most of your college life! You only have one life to live, enjoy it!
Students, when you are looking at all the prospective colleges and making your decisions, think of picking the best place for you to find yourself. Majors and intended careers will always be changing and they are not as important as self-discovery in this stage of the game. With the right education you can choose any profession you have a passion for, and you do not have to have your future planned out as soon as you walk in for freshman orientation. So relax, think of picking a place you can thrive in and go for it. As for the parents, it is important to be realistic when helping your child make decisions for the future, but it is even more essential to learn that being supportive of their decisions is sometimes all you can do.
The most important part of finding a college that suits the student is visiting as many school as you can. When visiting these schools, it is important to as lots of questions, even if you think you are being annoying, still ask. While touring, you are able to see students that actually attend that school and most will be happy to talk or answer questions you may have. When the time comes to choose one school, go with your gut feeling or the one that you thought "This is the one" the second you stepped on the campus. After the first year, if the student doesn't like it, have them stick it out one more year! Things change!
College visits are definately a must. Talk to current students, and make a list of the things that are most important to you. For example, do you learn best in a big lecture setting, or do you prefer small classes? Cost should never be the deciding factor. I am attending a private college even though I am paying for school myself. Scholarships and aid are ALWAYS available, you just have to ask for it. The people in our financial aid office know me very well because I am in there about once a month bugging them for scholarship applications. Do not choose a school because you know other people going there or because the food is good. The school community atmosphere is the most important. This is where you will spend the next four years of your life, the enviroment should be upbeat and positive while still streching you out of your comfort zone. If you aren't stretched you will not be able to personally grow.
Try to find the college that you will feel most comfortable attending. If you are not comfortable, then you will not be able to do your best. This is the most important time in your life and it will determine your future. Try your hardest and best at everything you do.
I have recently been on both sides of the college search - looking for a college for myself and finding the right college for my children. I have found that the key is to take an inventory of your personal passions and then thoroughly check to see if the college is passionate about the same things. Once on campus, get involved. Don't hang back and wait until you are a sophomore or until you get settled. Get involved right away. It is the best way to make new friends and get valuable experiences.
It also helps to know yourself well enough to know if you are a big -school, city person, or a smaller-school, rural person. One son attended a fabulous school that gave him a tremendous financial aid package, but it was in the middle of nowhere and he did not have a car. He quickly learned that he needed more than what was provided on campus.
It's extremely important for both parents and students to research prospective colleges in depth with adequate time to carefully decide which colleges best fit the students' goals and personalities. Students should visit all of their prospective colleges with their parents to examine the courses offered, student to professor ratio, educational and technological resources, student life organizations, on and off-campus living, campus diversity, career opportunities and location of the campus. Once the students have made their decisions, it's just as important to take the time to apply for financial aid as soon as possible. Communicating with the colleges of choice during the application and enrollment processes is crucial to a smooth transition into college. Keeping accurate and organized records of financial obligations and transactions will alleviate unnecessary stress and insure a pleasant experience for both the parents and students. Becoming involved with campus life is just as important for the students as the enrollment processes. Networking and volunteering in communities around the campuses provide for active and productive social lives, as well as career opportunities after graduation. Carefully planning and executing goals prior to, during and even after graduation helps students make the most of the college experience.
I would suggest visiting the schools that you are thinking about. A lot of the time schools look great from booklets but when you visit them they are nothing of what you expected. Also, make sure a campus feels friendly when you visit it. A good college will seem like they will do anything to get you there and they care about you. These are the schools you want to consider. Also for students check out the campus groups and look at some you want to join. They are a lot of fun.
I feel that the student needs to find a school that is of a comfortable size for themselves. If you're easily overwhelmed, a big school is probably not meant for the student. Don't worry about the cost of college.
Above all else I would tell people to talk to current students, especially seniors. Talk to as many as you can because some answers will be exaggerated based on the person's impression of the school. Take the information you got and find some kind of middle ground. Your education is important and you really shouldn't just jump in. In all honesty, if I knew what I knew now about Lake Erie College, I would have never attended.
My advice to the parents would be to have a say in where your child goes, no matter how persitant and determined they are to attend a particular college. They may be surprized at how unexpected college life could be. Its not like the movies or tv. My advice to future students would be to listen to everyones opinion to help in your decision, even your parents. Make sure you visit the campus during regular school operation so that you can see how the college actually works instead of how they want you to think it works. And most important be yourself no matter what others say to you. It may be hard to believe, but the people who actually like you for who you really are will be the best friends you will ever make. Even better then the ones you made in high school. The friendships made in college will out last any friendship you will make in your lifetime. If you like the idea of brotherhood or sisterhood, rush the greek life. It may seem like hell and a struggle, but the friends you make in the end are worth it. And finally, good luck.
The best I can give for students and parents about finding the right school is to visit it. Online they can decieve and make the campus seem perfect when really it is all wrong. The only way to really know what the campus is like and how it feels is to visit it and see for yourself.
The advice that I would give to a parent when trying to help their son or daughter find the right school for them is start with the size of the school pick the size that best sutes him or her. Then look for the school that is known for what he or she is intressted in majoring in. Then the dession has to me made of how far away from home they are willing to go. Also dont try to make the disscion for your child. Let them make it. My advice for the student would be first to follow your heart and do what ever it is that you want to do. This biggest thing when selecting a school is that you go and see the campus and interact with the students and faculty. If you get along with them then you are on the right track. Just dont forget that your goal is to be successful when your done with school wether it be a two year program or a four and have fun doing it.
You can only get out of college what you put in. It doesn't matter how big or small or how prestigious. Pick a school where you will feel at home; where you are willing to put your heart, time and energy. Oppertunities are everywhere you just have to put yourself out there. Make sure any school you will attend will offer classes you want to take. Sit in on a few. Can you see yourself coming to that class even if you have be up early in the morning or late at night? It is rediculous to pay for a class you will not attend. Be adventurous, try out new things, go out for a club or organization you normally would not try. It is a time when you can reinvent yourself or solidify the person you have already chosen to be. So what if you do not like something new you have tried. At least you know that it is not right for you and you can now try something new that you may like. Do not fear failure if you are trying people will see the effort and try and help you if you just ask.
The best advice that I could give students and their parents about finding the right college for them would be to have at least an idea of what career related field they want to go into before looking into potential schools. Once you have an idea of what you would like to do, depending on what it is, you can better narrow the list of schools that would give you the best preparation. Once you narrow it to about 15, take the time to visit each one and do an over-night there. While you are there, ask students questions; how they like the school, campus activities, career services, etc. A lot of people say that you will know (a gut feeling) when a school is the right one for them However, if you don't, try to decide where you would most likely be happiest. Making a list of each school's pros and cons is a great way to compare and contrast schools. Unfortunately, for most people financial aid is what ultimately decides where they will go to school; make sure your admissions counselor knows how excited you are about the school, enthusiasm (usually) equals more financial aid!
Make sure that the college has everything that the student wants out of it. Talk with other students and find out what their thoughts on the college is and if they are happy with the way the college works. Make sure that the college is in a good area. Also, Make sure the college is know in the major the student is going into.
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