There's no waythat you can find the right college the only thing that you can do is to just go out there and experience what college life has to offer. Eventually you'll make life long friends and grow to love your school. As for having the best college experience just put yourself out there; join any club or organization that interests you because its really important to network. The more people you meet the mo help you'll have throughtout your college experience and maybe also through life.
The advice that I would give to parents and/or students would be to start your process early! Most students tend to wait to the last minute and end up missing out on scholarships or financial assistance. Also keep in mind of all the expenses that are involved because, college is not cheap. If you know that your child is not a strong believer in education, start off small (community college, online classes) so that you will not waste so much money. Last but not least, APPLY FOR EVERYTHING!!!!
I graduated as salutatorian from my high school and I currently rank in the top 10% of my class. There isn’t much I could tell myself academically, because I am still focused in and out of the classroom. However, I would have definitely researched more on the cost of attendance. I knew I didn’t want to stay in-state but out-of-state tuition has put my parents in more debt. I would have looking into more scholarships being offered by the state of Tennessee as well as the University.
Please visit the campus and talk to students about the the administration. Learn about the faculty from the students. Visit the labs and computer labs to see if they are up to date with other campus facilities. Look in the dorm rooms and talk to several students abou campus life. Most students will be very honest. Do not talk with sororities and fraternities or people in students government! You have to talk to just regular students to get the (mostly) the true untwisted truth!
Keep in mind that your goals need to come first. It is acceptable to be selfish when it comes to your education. The only person that can ever take your education away from you, is yourself. Listen to your friends and family that have already been to college, their advice will be needed. It is acceptable to allow others to help you, accept the help but do not abuse it. Study!!! The most important thing is to budget your time. Make sure you study and do not forget to have fun.
Finding the right college can be an frustating endevour however, if you are patient, focused, and determined you will find the right school for you. Finding the right school starts with researching the area that you would like to be in. If you will be needing finacial aid you need to determine if there will be any monies available to you. Also, you will need to decide what you want to major in and research to see if that school fits into your future plans career wise.
I would tell my self to take more chances. Not to be embarrased and join clubs! Some clubs are very helpful and educational and can benifit myself. Not to care what other people think or how I look and do whatever I can to succeed. To work hard and do all my work. When I didn't know how to do something, ask for help or stay after school for tutoring. Not to satisfy myself with just passing or having an average grade but to work hard and pass with a high grade.
If I could back to senior year in high school I would primarily advise myself in the area of financial managment. I would really teach myself how to budget and manage every dime of my money as well as to take advantage of all scholarship opportunities that are available. I would also teach myself what it really means to study and get a thorough understanding of all class material as well as maximizing not only my study time but every area of my life.
I would tell myself to take advantage of every oppurtunity to do a scholarship whenever possible. Any type of events the school is having in your major should be attended if possible. Don't let anyon distract you from getting your work done. Its okay to have fun just make sure you finish all class related work first. Don't go to college expecting everything to be handed to you, anything you want done must have some major involvement on your end.
By attending college I learned many valueable things. I learned how to be more indepedent by going away for school and not having my parents here to do everything for me as usual. I also have have realized how much I will enjoy the career I plan to have. College has helped me realize what the real world will be like. I can no longer sit around and wait till my parents do something for me I now have to get up and do it all on my own.