Deciding where you wish to spend the next four years, or more depending on level of education desired, is a difficult decision to make. Potential students must seacrh and examine many colleges in order to find one that may suit them best. Typically, a potential student should choose a college that offers his/her major, a respectably looking campus, a variety of internships and careers after graduation, as well as a high teacher-student ratio. For me, I choose the College of Saint Rose because it offered all of that, as well as the fact that it is a small campus like my high school. The selection/advising process is far different for parents however. The parents should guide their children and aid them every step of the way, by giving their professional opinions, in order to help their child make the best decision possible. The selection process should be similar to that of the potential student's, however the parents should focus more attention on the acedemics offered at each college. The student shall make the most of their collegate career by participating in class, social events, extra-curricular activities and anything else offered.
I think the most important thing to consider when finding the "right" college is your (the student's) happiness. If you can, visit each school that you are looking to apply to well in advance. Know what kind of programs you are looking at studying and what aspects of your education and of college life are important to you: i.e. study abroad programs, sports, religious facilities, social life, location, etc. Ask questions, especially of students attending the schools and studying majors that you are interested in pursuing, and keep going back to the ones that appeal to you; things can always change according to the weather, season, tour guide, etc., so multiple visits to the schools you are seriously considering are an absolute must (pay attention to your instinct!) Above all, remember that this time in your life only happens once, and can change the course of your future. Choose the school that fits you the best, that can give you a thorough education in your field of study, will value you as a student, offers activities you enjoy doing, and is a place you can see yourself spending the next four (or more) years of your life.
Every student counts the days down until they will graduate high school and enter the college lifestyle. Knowing what I know now my senior year in high school certainly would have been different. I think every student looks at their senior year differently and once they go through some college realize,their senior year could have gone differently. The advice I would give to myself as a senior would be to focus on my future. In high school,students have teachers constantly reminding you of the homework or projects you will have due. That constant reminder is basically non existent in college. It is your job as a student to complete your work and hand it in on the correct due date. Many students fail to realize this and end up performing poorly in classes. My senior year was ideal for any high school student, it was a breeze through the semester taking classes that weren't considered very important. If possible,I would go back to my senior year and fill my schedule with any classes possible to help in my college carrer. Even taking college classes instead of relaxing and easy classes, making my transition to college easier.
I would tell students and their parents that they should never leave any stone unturned when searching for the right college. I applied to 6 other schools besides the College of Saint Rose as a precaution. I carefully weighed the cost of each college that I chose. I chose my college based upon my ability to receive financial assistance if I was not able to pay out of pocket. Students who reach college level need to understand that it is in their hands. Your parents can provide financial support. They cannot sit in the classes and earn the credits for you. That is something that you have to do on your own. Be open to new experiences. Allow yourself to branch out. Become friends with people who are different than the group of people that you associated with in high school. Take advantage of every opportunity that your college offers you to expand your work experience. The economy is barely stable, so it would benefit any future college students to heed advice from their college about how to develop their resume and their qualifications. Have fun. Live your life. Don't lose sight of yourself.
I would tell myself to be prepared for a variety of teaching styles, requirements and teachers. Every class you take in college is different. Each teacher has different expectations and requirements in order to do well in their class. It is important to realize that college work is different than high school work in many cases and the habits that you have formed in high school in regards to completing your work, will change as your enter the rigorous world of college. I would also tell myself to look into the long-term future, not just the immediate future. Research the college, your major and what you can do with your major in the future. I have run into circumstances where I have had to take classes I wouldn't have had to if I had taken a different class at an earlier time that transferred. It is important to know where you are and where you are going. You have to think practically when it comes to your finances and how your college education can eventually get you your dream job. Work hard, make college worthwhile and never lose sight of your career goals after you get that degree.
Perhaps the most obvious--and often forgotten piece of advice--is that you're going to college to study. Yes, it's a fabulous time to learn more about yourself and others in about 9 months than you ever have before; you can make new friends, discover your talents, passions, and future career, BUT none of that will be worth anything (especially the money out of your parent's bank accounts) if no studying is done. With that in mind find a school that is a specialist in the field your child is considering, OR if your child is undecided, the most extensive liberal arts/trade/tech school around. Believe it or not, class size is important, because you can either become a name and face in a lecture hall, or an individual well-known by your peers and professors (although there is a bit of bias in that statement). Parents, please try not to force your children to go to a school because they got a full ride (even though money is important) and students, don't pick a school according to its proximity to Starbucks, the mall, etc. (Again: you *learn* here). But really? Don't stress out.
One of the biggest advantages that I found when looking at colleges was talking to current students. A tour is great and should be done, but each college creates their tour to show the best aspects of the school. The College of Saint Rose offers an overnight program for accepted students and was the key point in my choice to attend there. This program allows potential students to stay on campus for a night with current students. Each experience is uniquie because you attend the student's classes and they pair you up with someone in your intended major, you get to eat at the dining hall, and participate in the everyday activities of a normal student. If the colleges that you're looking at offer such an experience, I highly recommend that you participate. College is said to be the best four years of your early adult life, so where you attend should be carefully thought out. Do not hold back any questions you want to ask, it may affect your future. Enjoy college hunting and prepare yourself for the biggest learning experience of your life!
My college experience has given me the skills needed to organize, analyze, and survive in a gain driven world. I cannot place a true value of attending college into words. Do to the diversity of people, which make-up a college; the experience and value of attending I feel, cannot be measured. I have experienced pleasure and pain on Bachelorette Road, some classes were a breeze and others required more brainpower then at times, I knew I possessed. As a minority male, opportunity knocks a faint knock upon your door and you have to be in position ready to answer the knock when heard. Hustling and getting-by is what the streets teach, however, being in school those talents are transformed into ideas of expression and creation. Excelling above the limits is what the college is. Producing a positive, organized, stress free and healthy mind set is what I gained from college. A salary can be offered and accepted but the true value placed upon the knowledge gained attending college can never have a price tag attached to it.
First for students in choosing a college that they need to pick a college for the right reasons. They shouldn't go to a college in Hollywood just because it is located by a beach; but instead choose a college that's recommended for the degree. What kind of classroom do they want to learn in such as small of 20 students or lecture halls of 80? Also go to many different colleges. Students should pick at least three different colleges that are good for them and then visit them for themselves. Try to choose colleges that are good academically and socially; for instance colleges that offer many clubs and organizations or have teams for sports to be in. Being involved in clubs and sports make the college experience more fun and you meet a lot of new exciting people that you would have not before if you didn't join any of these extra things. Lastly if you can go to a two year, community college that can transfer credits to a four year college of your choice. later can save you or your parents a lot of money that way.
First, I would advise parents that although they may have certain schools they want their child to go to, if they go to a school they don't like, then what's the point? So let your child decide on the school. Apply to several different schools that you could be happy at. Make sure you visit each one and ask all the questions you can think of. Visit where you will be taking classes, living, eating, and hanging out. Make sure you can see yourself living there. Check out the surrounding ares. Are there things to do there? And once you get accepted, compare all of your colleges and if possible go back and visit your first and second choices. One big thing to think about is if you go home and you realize that you miss the campus and the college. This is a big sign that this is the college for you. Once you begin thinking about what you're going to do on campus, you have already decided what college is right for you. And don't forget that you can always transfer to your dream school if you don't get in right away.