Apply to a variety of colleges and take tours of your most appealing choices
My main advice to parents and students would be to check out as many colleges as you can, and start early! People wait until the last minute to look for colleges and usually choose a college that they really do not enjoy, and in turn that negative college experience could turn someone away from school forever. You really want to make sure you like the campus, the people, the techers. Talk to as many people as you can for information on about the school, and if you really know what you want to major in, make sure you know about the program! Many schools offer programs that you have to reapply to to get into. Brockport's nursing program did not inform me until i was actually enrolled and in class that i was competing with about 200 students for 70 slots into the nursing program. This is less than 50 percent of the people getting into the program and by the time i found out it was too late to transfer for my first semester that i wanted to be in school. I got lucky and have a good GPA and a good chance of getting into the program.
Parents should be active in helping their children find information on various colleges. However, the child should make the decision. Public schools, such as SUNY, are great for saving money and staying local. The school should have more than one major that their child is interested in, and have good food and exercise facilities to foster a healthy environment.
Find someplace that is right for you/your child, dont just settle for someplace. There are so many places out there for any prospective student/parent that you have to do your research before choosing a location. College is an experience that cannot be replaced and if you dont look around and choose the right place, you cannot take that back. It may possibly be the best 4 years of your life, as it was for me, so dont miss out on something that you can never get back.
it helps to have a general idea of what you want to go to school for. But iron out what you like, first and fore most. Visit campuses while they are in session.. do you like a large campus or something smaller and quaint. how important are class sizes to you or the alternate learning communities avaliable... can you afford it?
Also, I think living in a dorm is important and everyone should experience it once.. it's scary in the begining but you get used to it and meet awesome people in the process.
The four years of time I deticated to preparing for my future was life changing. If you are choosing between going away to a University or staying in your hometown, I urge you to take the chance and head out of town. You will meet so many interesting and different people, your thoughts, views, attitude.... basically your life change, even if just a little bit. When you make that major choice, enjoy every single day. Be accepting of others and try to better yourself. Take a multivitamin (you will get sick) and deep breaths (for the stress) everyday. You will get through it and you will miss it when it's over.
Let your children grow into the people they are meant to be. Don't hold them back, but do your best to support them every moment (and don't forget to tell them so). Show tough love and make them stick through the classes and the stresses of college. You may cry when they leave (my parents did), but they can always come home. Most importantly, send lots of mail... everyone loves getting a note in the mail once they move away from home.
The choice is sometimes not always about the best facilities or how well known the college itself is, the professors are the key in the decision. Meet with some personally or view one of their classes and ask students about their professors, best to do this around midterms when they will be most honest. As for making the most out of your college experience, remember you are here for the programs and learning, not for the people and social activites.
Look at the campus before you decide to apply or go there. Find a school that really just "feels right". Apply for financial aid and scholarships. Be money conscious. Make sure they have a good program for your major. LIVE ON CAMPUS, DO NOT COMMUTE! It will be more expernsive, but the experience is well worth it.
I would advise students to choose the college that feels right to them. They are the ones that need to live and learn in the campus, not their parents. You will know when you have found the right school, you will feel right there, with the people and with the campus itself. Also, students, take advantage of everything your campus has to offer. Attend club meetings and try different social activities, you never know where you are going to fit in. There are a million opportunities to be taken advantage of, you just need to find the one that is right for you. To parents, be accepting of what your student wants to do at school and what they want to study. They will find a lot more success in college if they know you are there to support them in the choices they make.
It is important to choose a school based on who you are and who you want to be. Dont worry about bot going somewhere with your friends or your boyfriend/girlfriend; remember once they were complete strangers to you at one point. Take a tour, talk to a student and just stand back and observe interaction between the students. This will be your home for the next 4+ years, you should enjoy it . Really think about what you like to do in your spare time ... you only spend 18 hours or less a week in the classroom ... the rest is up to you
You can't really know if you are choosing the right college after leaving High School; you just have to do what feels right. I chose Brockport based on location; it is far enough to get away, but close enough to come home. To make the most out of your college experience, you may need to break out of your comfort zone and do things you wouldn't normally do. I joined a sorority and absolutely love it. It is something I never would have done in a million years, but looking back I have made the best friends ever and so many wonderful memories. College is about starting a new chapter in your life and it should be memorable. Try everything once! Don't be afraid to make a fool out of yourself, because chances are someone else has done the same thing before! Get involved with your school, it's the only way you're going to enjoy your time there.
When choosing a college pick the college that will fit you best. Don't choose a shool for their specific program, along the line you may find that you want to change what you are wanting to do for the rest of your life. Pick a diverse school with many different activities and social groups. When you finally settle down on the school that matches you, make the most of it. You are attending college for the experience. Get out there and make friends by joining clubs and teams. Getting involved in your college of choice will probably be the best experience you will ever have. It is the only time in your life where you are on your own, make the most of it. Get to know the people around you and take advantage of being young. Get out there and explore the world, you never know what will come in the future. When you are at college, participate in as much as you possibly can. It is the last chance you have until you enter the "real world"; make the most of your experiences, age, and friendships that will last a lifetime. Most of all, be yourself.
I will keep this short and simple. Do what makes you happy. Life is a process, and as such, most every decision will have its positives and negatives. Choosing a college may seem like a life or death situation, but in all reality, it is not. Go with your instinct and interests. Many times we overlook the positives of a decision by weighing too heavily on the consequences. College is supposed to be a time of discovery. So go ahead, take a risk and follow your dreams! The worst that could happen is that you learn your first choice isn't for you. And if that's the case, well, there are many more colleges to attend. Transferring is sometimes more exciting than choosing your first college because in this case, you generaly know what you want to pursue.
In closing, choose what feels right. I know this sounds kind of fluffy and unscientific. In reality, though, if you are comfortable with a decision, at least in my experience, everything will fall into place.
If you remember anything from my ramblings, remember this. Life is a journey, so treat it as such. College is only one part of the equation.
I would recommend looking at colleges that focus on your prospective major and not for the social environment. You need to pick a college that is going to help you work towards your future goals and provides numerous services that will give you every opportunity to reach those goals. Another important aspect of picking a college is visiting the campus and making sure that you feel comfortable there, you are paying alot of money to attend the college so you should feel comfortable with your surroundings. While you are visiting prospective campuses you should also talk to students that are currently attending that college because they will give you their first hand experience on teachers, campus life, and on the community surrounding the college. Talking to the students in addition to the tour guide will provide you with the best insight to the campus and will help you to deteremine if that particular campus is for you.
Go with your gut feeling. If you visit a college and it just feels right to you, and you feel completely comfortable, go with it. Make sure once you get to college you get involved with activities on campus, it's a great opportunity to meet new people and form lasting friendships.
I would make sure that students really do visit and meet with schools they are interested in. Simply for the fact you never really know if it is the right place until you actually get your hands dirty.
Visit your top three choices, make friends with the financial aid office, reach out to your teachers, don"t wait for them to come to you; usually that means it's too late. Reach out to people. Try new things and meet new people but don't get loose focus of what your really at school for. Most importantly, there is a lot of underage drinking in college so stay away from off campus parties, and upper classmen parties until you are able to decide if your strong enough to avoid temptation and peer pressure. and study, study , study. and pat yourself on the back you deserve it. Have fun!
Start Researching early in high school sophmore / jr yr. and Do as many college visits as possible.
Visit the college and speak to students who currently attend, espically in the course of study you plan to go into.
My advise is simply this: college is all about the experience so don't dwell on making sure everything is perfect because sometimes the imperfections are what makes it all the better, especially in the long run. Yes, college is a big step for many parents and students to make but it is a good one to make because college shapes us in ways that nothing else can and makes us ready for the world outside of school. And to the parents especially, don't try to take complete control of the college choice for your son/daughter because if they do not like where they are than they are not going to be able to truely experience college the way they are meant to. Just remember: college life doesn't last forever, so enjoy it while you still can and good luck!
When looking at schools, don't look only because of the location. You will miss many great schools. Choose a school that is strong in several areas. If a student decides to change their major, they may not need to go to another college to get a great education. If the student has never been far from home, don't pick a place that is a great distance away. Let the student decide. It will hopefully be the place that they spend the next few years. They need to like the choice that is made or thy will be starting off on the wrong foot.
Find a college that will fit your taste. Find a college that will enable you to become who you want to become. Find a college that provides the extra-curricular activites that you have always wanted to participate in. Find the college that a size you would be comfortable with. Find a college that is all about their students and achieving their student's goals. Find a college that is diverse. Find a college where you will be able to build an equal amount of time for your social life and your academic life. Find a college that will be challenging and reward you with a degree in a timely fashion.
SUNY is the way to go
Make sure you pick the college that bests fits you. Visit all of the colleges you are considering and get a feel for what the college will be like. Look at extracurriculars & athletics & how they help with getting jobs in the future.
Parents: Let the student decide, yes some opinions are alright but giving too many opinions makes a student want to rebel. For most this is the first time away from home living on their own so allow them to open up and explore
Students: Go with the first choice, if it isn't as you expected with campus tours and speaking with other students when you get there there is always the option to transfer to your other choice
To the parents, please allow your college bound students to make the choice of which college they will attend. You may provide your opinion and advice but ultimately leave the decision up to them.
To the students, follow your heart the choices that you make determine your future.
Always visit the college before hand so you can learn about their specs and so you can get a waiver for the application to get in. To make most of your college experience, be sure to join clubs and sports so you can make tons of friends. Take it from me.
The advice I would give to parents and students in finding the right college and making the most of the college experience is to look for a college that has a well balanced curriculum that matches the students career choices. They should also look to speak to an academic advisor ASAP to ensure they are taking the proper courses required for their degree. Parents should look for a school that is reasonably priced, small class sizes to ensure more of a personal interaction and engagement with the professors. Parents should also consider the cultural diversity and makeup of staff as well as students and take a look at the colleges' track records in regard to safety and policy adherence. They should also take a look at the surrounding community that the colleges are a part of. Student should really focus on their school studies, ask as many questions as they need to of their professors (and develop a rapport with them) and not assume the professors are mind readers or will cover something you might not know about. Its your education, your future, your life, so make the most of your educational experience.
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