University of Central Arkansas Top Questions

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

Rebecca

make sure that the college offeres everything you need for living, eduation, financial need, and convenience. some schools do not offer certain programs or degrees. be sure you are comfortable and ready to fall into the groove of the college life regardless of the chosen college. meet everyone, but stay focused.

Cristin

If you know what program you are interested in, I would first look at the schools with great programs in your area of interest. I would then look at which schools interest you more, whether it be because of the size, the housing it offers, or any other little details. These small things are very important because the school you pick will be your home for the next few years, and you want to get the most out of your experience.

Meyshana

What i would recommend to students and parents about choosing the right college is that I would tell parents first and foremost be there to guide not make decisions for your students. Make sure that while you make your opinion known don't force your opinion on to your children either. Students I would like to tell you to take this time as a great opportunity to find out as much as you can while searching for a college to attend. Also students should take the lead in this processs because its not your mom or dad that has to life and prosper at this university, it's you, so make this decision yours based on your own thoughts and personalitiy; but make sure to still listen to what mom and dad have to say because sometimes they do pick up on things that us as students tend to miss. Most importantly have fun choosing a college or university to attend, make it an enjoyable experience!

Jessica

I think the best way to pick a college is to pick the part of college that is most important to you. I knew i wanted to major in history and that my main focus would be academics, so I focused on finding a school with the best progaram for the best price close to home. The most important part of finding a college is picking the place where you feel comforterable and you feel like you can do your best. I also think the best way to get the most out of your experience is to live in the dorm your freshman year. That is the best way to make friends and experience all the extra-curriculars that the school has to offer. Get involeved with intermurals or something that intrests you, and you will make life-long friends that will also help when it comes time to need a study partner.

Jacalyn

Don't let anyone choose for you. This is your decision, and it has to be right for you. Look into every aspect of the school, including location and financial aid. Choose a school that you will attend without regretting the decision.

Amber

If I were able to give any advice to parents or students before attending college, it would be to look for an environment closest to your comfort zone. Do not attend a college way outside of your comfort zone. If you want to become involved, then it is best to live on campus your first year. This way you can become much more involved in campus activities.

Jaclyn

Make sure its for you and has the best department in the major you want.

Breeanna

I would tell parents and students to go to every college that interests you and check out the campus. The pictures on the website aren't always a proper representation of the college. Be picky! This your education we're talking about; choose the school that is best for you. When it comes to making the most out of your college experience, just get out there. Do your best to meet new people. Go to events hosted by the campus. I think the most important thing is to make sure you get out and have fun. College is supposed to be the best years of our lives. Staying locked up in your room and only focusing on studies will not make it the best years. Do study hard though, just don't let it be the only thing you do.

Austin

I would advise parents and students to work together to find the right college. It can be a very confusing process and I've seen a lot of people get discouraged to the point that they decided it wasn't worth it. If the kids and parents stick together, and find an advisor from the school that they are comfortable with, the process runs much more smoothly. I would advise starting the searching process early as well. There's a lot to learn and a lot of surprises along the way. You will want to have enough time to enjoy looking around at different schools. It's an exciting experience!

Amanda

Not to rush into finding a school. Finding a college is some thing that takes time and is a great way to get a better education. No matter what people say, go with your dreams no matter what someone tells you. And that if you want something bad enough you can do it.

Whitney

Personally I think you should choose the school you feel most comfortable with, what makes you happy. I chose University of Cnetral Arkansas for me and no one else it was my decision, do what makes you happy.

Joseph

Be open to and explore all possibilities before settling on a final choice. If there is something that you want to do, don't be afraid to put all you have into it, and go for it. If you're not quite sure what you want to do, that's fine too. I went for about a year and a half doing my basics before I figured out what I wanted to do. Experiment with classes that peak you're interest. Even if you do know what you want to do, enroll in a class that you are interested by just for the sake of learning. Also, while it's important to study, don't spend every waking moment doing so. Get out of your room and out of the library. Go to a football game, join a club, even take the time to explore the surrounding area and learn about some of the local history and culture. Meeting people is important not only to your future career, but also for your mental health and happiness. MAke new friends at the events, clubs, and classes you attend. Learn, but enjoy experience as well

Audra

Visit the school and research the programs offered. Talk to the teachers and currents students, as well as former students to find out if there is good job placement. Basically, do your research on the school.

John

To students and parents deciding on a college, I would suggest that they visit the campus, go to a sporting event, concert or reading at the school, eat a meal, and basically get a feel for the college it self. You never know untill you see it for yourself. On making the most of the college experience, I say go to class! But don't stress to much about school work too much. Do things with friends and other people from your major or classes. The only way to make friends is to take a chance with them.

Whitney

If you already know what career path you would like to take, go to a school which has a good post-graduate program in that field. The school is much more likely to prepare you well for your future job. If you are not sure about what you want to do after college, find a school that you enjoy the atmostphere. Your college experience is largely based on how comfortable you feel in your surroundings and the type of people that you meet, so be sure to visit the school and see how it feels to interact with students who are currently attending the school. If you know students who already go to school there be sure to ask them lots of questions. Once you have found the right school, get involved! Far too many students wait until their sophomore or junior years to get involved on the campus. You will meet so many more people and enjoy your college experience much more if you are active.

Liz

I would encourage students to be very honest about what you want out of your college experience. Is prestige important to you? Being involved in a sport or in a fraternity? What kind of people do you want to surround yourself with? What kind of person do you want to be in college? How much time do you want to spend in the library or how much time do you want to spend being with your friends? What kinds of new things do you want to try or not try? Choosing a school with the major you are interested in is not the only thing to consider. I thought about my major, my scholarship options, what student ministry I wanted to be a part of, knowing I wanted to be part of an Honors College, and how far from home I wanted to be. I would also encourage parents to let their kids explore all their options before choosing a school. The guidance of my parents was huge and I needed all their advice, but they let me have the final decision and that meant the world to me.

Elizabeth

The most important advice that I have to give parents and/or students during the college search, is to not limit your options! It is a lot smarter to look into many different schools and pick from those instead of limiting your choices early on. Definitely take advantage of visiting college days and early registration. A student should apply to every college that they are interested in. Another piece of advice is to major in something that you LOVE learning about, not something based on the salary you will make after college. Doing that will make for a miserable few years. Also, get involved in something and give it your all. Instead of spreading yourself super thin, find an activity that you love and dedicate a decent amount of time to it. Surround yourself with people that make your life more enjoyable, and you will make the most of the college experience.

Christina

Go visit the campus before you make your final decision.

David

If you are an Arkansas resident and you want to expand on your life experience, don't attent this college. Look elsewhere for a place that offers a different enviroment and culture.

Ben

No matter what your aspiration(s) in life are you need to work hard and have fun. College is one of the best place to it. If I were you I would pick the college that works best for you in both your future career and education. Sports (unless that is what you are planning for), relationships, and friends aren't reasons for picking a school. If children are the future then college is the door to it.

Lauren

Visit the school and really talk to the students to get a true feel for the atmostphere there.

Katherine

Let students pick themselves! It's wear they feel truly comfortable that will assist them in their success. I would emphasize how fun college is! It's the only time in our lives where we get to learn and accumlate knowledge about the areas in life in which we like or relate with! Learning about the world is fun! It makes us more well rounded adults and in turn builds our body of knowledge! I love college! I get to study what I want and learn as much as I want! no one can take your education away from you and it is the only way to truly succeed in life!

Hannah

The best advice I have to offer is just to go with whatever school feels right for you. Everyone's needs are different. Be sure to research the location surrounding the school of your choice and find out about what opportunities it has to offer that you may be interested in taking part in. College is supposed to be the time in a young person's life when they discover and learn new things about themselves -- so be sure to be open to other people's ideas and opinions. If you close yourself off, then you will be making your experience in school just a little more difficult. That doesn't mean allow everything in, but be mindful of others and show respect for your peers. I have learned the importance of being myself and loving those around me and, in return, I feel as if I have had a rich and rewarding college experience.

Matthew

You really should find one particular skill set or passion that you thoroughly enjoy and be sure that the school you choose posseses a program that will completely engage that zeal. It is there, in that program, that you will meet the greatest companions of your life, outside your family.

Denicha

I believe the most important thing is finding a college that fits the student and the parent. It should fit the parent in the sense that it is affordable considering the fact that parents may be the ones paying for the education. The college should fit the student regarding their activities of interest and social needs. I believe it is good to find a college that has plenty of social and academic organizations that would help the student excel in most aspects of life. The right college should also have a good record in academics such as very knowledgeable faculty/staff. The colleges educational help programs such as tutoring should also be considered in the event that the student may need a little more help.

Laura

Go visit it first, make sure you like the campus, don't freak out about wanting to change your major its natural, work hard but don't totally sacrifice your social life.

Alyson

I would tell students/parents to look at a variety of schools. Looking at as many colleges as possible will insure the student has a better chance of choosing the right school for them. If the student knows or has a good idea of what field of study they wish to follow, the school should obviously have that degree oppurtunity available. Campus size should also be a factor. Many times a smaller campus will provide a more individualized experience with more one on one help from professors; this is often a very positive aspect of smaller campuses. However, if the student would like a more social environment, they might considered a larger university. As far as making the most of the college experience, I would suggest, first of all, to stay on the academic path, afterall that's why they're there, but to get involved in as many clubs/campus activities as possible. Being involved on campus is a great way to find new friends, many of which will be lifelong, as well as a great way to network. The more people you meet, the greater the possible you'll meet someone who can help you in the future.

Tara

Do not pick a college based on your friends or boyfriend. Chances are you'll break up with him in college, and you'll find better friends than you ever imagined possible. And, if college is tough, talk to your professors. When choosing a college, look at the class size. If you don't learn well with 100s of students in your class, go to a smaller school. If you would like to do undergraduate research, pick a college that does not have a graduate program in your area of interest, because then you get to do all of the research instead of graduate students.

Jennifer

Talk to your children and find out what they expect from their university and what their career and future plans are. Then, work with them to find a school that meets your needs and, most importantly, their needs. Also, be supportive of your children's decisions and understand that it is a difficult and sometimes scary time for them. Allow them to express their opinions and concerns about starting college and possibly moving away from home.

Sarah

Visit the campus, and not on a 'campus' day. I mean, don't go when the univeristy has set aside a day just for prospective students. Find a day when you can go visit campus on a regular school day, and find a professor who teaches in your field of interest to talk to, just on a one-on-one basis, completely outside of the pull that universities tend to have on those 'campus' days. Everything will, of course, seem shinier and better if they're trying to get your attention (and attendance), so just...show up on a regular school day. See what campus is like. Pay attention to the students as they're walking to class, see what kind of moods they're in. Eat lunch in the cafeteria and read the mood there. If you can, go sit in on a class to see what the experience is like--I can't speak for other schools, but mine's pretty good about that. Once you're in college, I can't emphasize making friends enough. If you have friends, you'll enjoy class more, and you'll feel better about getting up each day. Socialise. Make friends.

Shay

Before committing to any college decision, apply to every school you think you might want to attend. Visit the school before you choose. Getting a feel for the atmosphere is extremely important. In order to keep from worrying about money during your four year experience, get the highest ACT score possible. This will really help when you are applying for scholarships. During your visit, talk to as many students and faculty as you can. The people who live, learn, and work at the university have the best understanding of what really goes on. Tour all the dorms on campus so you know which one you will prefer to live in. Go ahead and talk to an advisor from the college to find out where the college's strengths lie. Ask questions about services and quality of the department in which you are most interested. Attend any student fairs that the college offers. This is a great way to inform yourself about the clubs, jobs, and opportunities available in the area. Finally, tune in to your instincts as you tour the campus. If it just feels right, you know you might be on to something. Good luck with your campus research.!

Alexa

When looking for colleges, one should consider what kind of social life they desire, do they want a school that is greek and sport based? The size of the school, including class size and the size of the student body should be considered. Other factors include how educated the faculty is, PHDs ect. Personally i would recommend making sure that the food service is of good quality, and that town or city has the kind of social environment you would want.

Rachel

Keep your end goal in focus. The decisions you make now greatly impact your future.

Audra

In order to know whether you will make the right selection for your college education, I believe it is vital to get first hand knowledge of what that experience will be like. By visiting the campus, researching your planned department of study, and talking with current students, one will get a better understanding of whether they could make their mark at that particular university.

Tori

My advice for parents is to let your children grow up. One of the worst things I seen throughout my college career are college students who are completely dependent on their parents for money. I feel that parents should most definately help their children if they have the resources. However, college is a time to build character and prepare for the "real world" of work. If students do not have to face challenges, learn how to make and stick to a budget, and take pride in earning and spending their own money, they are not truly getting the tools for success that they need after college. To students my advice is to work hard at the beginning. Each semester, try to get a little ahead in each class, and that way, when you really want to skip a night of homework to go to a game, a party, or hang out with friends, you can do so. Remember that it is your money, and you deserve to get the skills and knowledge you will need for the future. I would suggest taking advantage of study abroad programs. Lastly, keeping up with degree requirements and finding a good advisor is priceless.

Ebony

Make sure that they go to visit the college and check the size of it and meet with advisors or professors.

Amanda

Choose a college that you think is the right size for you. If you don't like crowds, don't chose a big school with large class numbers. Get involved as much as you can. You won't have this time over again. Take every opportunity you can to do well in class, and go to class everday. When your teacher tells you to read, read. It's easier to stay ahead in class than to try and catch up. Every semester counts, so if you do badly your first semester because you didn't try it can severely lower your GPA and make it hard to raise before you graduate.

Christy

Make sure you visit the college first. Don't sell yourself short either. Go somewhere that you will be challenged: academically, socially, and artistically.

Julia

The advice that I would give to anyone looking to find the right school for them would be to go with your instinct. When I visited the University of Central Arkansas, I walked around the campus and knew it was the school for me within thirty minutes. If you enjoy a larger campus, a small community college will not make your college experience an enjoyable memory to look back on. A student should choose what is right for them no matter what. Don't choose a school based on family tradition or where your friends are. Almost every person in my family who is a college graduate went to the University of Arkansas, which is a wonderful school, but it was not the place for me. I chose UCA and I'm glad I chose where I wanted to go as opposed to where everyone else went. So again my advice is, go with your gut. No one knows what is right for you better than you do. Respect that and go somewhere where you will be comfortable and happy.

Justin

I would let the parents and students know that it is of utmost importance to not only check the college out first hand, but the town, commuity and over-all morale as well. I would also encourage students to apply for financial aid quickly and determine their major as soon as possible. This will save multitudes of headaches later on.

James

Try and convince your children that just because their high school friends are going to this particular institution does not mean it's the right pick for them. College is about finding your way in the world without having to be completely thrown out into what is called "The Real World." It gives you a chance to explore your boundaries and make up new ones. It's best to go to college a little farther than you, the parent might want them to; however, it is best if you let them make their decision on their own. All you need to do, is support it without question. Don't pressure them to attend your alma matter, or to go to this school because it provides more opportunity. THEY are the ones going to college, not you. So, all i can say is to let your child make this decision on their own, and help them as best your can without enforcing which choice you think is best.

Daliesha

When I was deciding on a college I visited the schools first. It helped me to decide rather the campus was going to be too big or not. Also I looked at the student/ teacher ratio. I find it more comfortable to be in classes with a smaller number of students to ensure my professor can help me. Also I checked out the campus activities. The dorm rooms can also help you to decide, but some times you might want to make sacrifices.

Brandon

Staying on campus the first semester or year would probably be the best way to get involved with campus organizations, sports and making friends. If your not a morning person do not take morning classes because it makes it too easy to skip class and then ending up having to drop because most teachers are strict on their 3 strikes and your out policy. When buying books, find out what classes you are having, then go to the school book store and find out what the ISBN numbers are on the books you need, then buy your books used ONLINE where you can save hundreds every semester. Its more trouble but I think well worth it.

Marianne

Remember that you will be begining again after you graduate and it is important to find a school that both provides you with skills you need in your field but that won't leave you in a world of debt after you graduate. If you are unsure as to what you want to major in or your plans for after college try and pick something that you enjoy. DON'T pick a major just because your parents want that for you, i have seen too many students unhappy in their major because they weren't passionate about the subject, which leads to boredom and poor grades. Most of all remember that college is an opportunity to be a sponge so absorb all the information you can and more... that's what youre paying for. Take advantage of opportunities in your field as well as the music, theatre, authors and artists that your university brings in for you to attend.

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