Posts Tagged ‘College Search’
Attention high school seniors: It’s that time!
You’ve spent the last three years giving up your free time so you could fill in the blanks on your resume with volunteer work, extra curricular activities, and a part time job. You’ve invested countless hours studying so you could make the grades. Now it’s time for all of that hard work to pay off. It’s time to begin your college search! Check out these common mistakes high school students make on their quest to find the perfect college fit!
The biggest mistake you can make in the college search is not searching at all. Perhaps your father, grandfather, and great grandfather all went to the same college, and you just assumed that’s where you should go, too. Maybe your freshmen year, you and your group of friends all decided to go to the same college. Or maybe you picked your own college, but it was in middle school. Do not just go with the flow because you might not like where you’re headed. You need to choose your own direction, or at very least, verify that the direction you’re going is indeed your best option!
Not Spending Enough Time Searching
Deciding where you’ll spend the next four years is not a decision you should make lightly. This is where you’ll be trained in the knowledge that prepares you for your career. This will be where you will eat, sleep, and breath. This is where you’ll make new friends, join clubs, and independently become the person you want to be. Take your time deciding what it is your looking for, and familiarizing yourself with what’s out there. You want to be sure that you’re giving yourself the best opportunities, and that you’re going to choose somewhere you like.
Not Visiting the Campus
One of the biggest and most common mistakes students make is when it comes to choosing where to apply, they often judge a college by the web site, posters, and photographs in college catalogs instead of actually going to see the campus. This is like choosing your friends just by looking at their yearbook pictures! Just like you spend extra time picking out an outfit, a background, a smile, and a hairdo, colleges try extra hard to look good for their pictures, too! You won’t know what a college looks like on a typical day, or what kind of culture is has, until you actually take the time to go there.
Not Using Cappex to Find Your Best College Fit
Unlike our parents’ generation, where colleges were found through college fairs and guidance counselors, we have the internet to make our lives easier! Cappex is a site where you can search for colleges, and colleges can find you as well! By filling out a profile and answering a few questions about what you’re looking for, you can be linked to colleges all over the country that best match your interests and preferences! You can even find out your chances of being accepted!
For even more info about making your search as thorough as possible, check out this edition of Cappex White Board Friday in which Bobby highlights the Top 3 College Search Mistakes students make.
In this week’s edition of Cappex White Board Friday, we discuss the 3 biggest mistakes students make during the college search process. Go, Bobby, go!
Get started early by doing your research at Cappex. Sign up for free and take advantage of every resource as you search for colleges and find scholarships.
In your quest to find your perfect college match, you’ve considered your major, the distance it is from home, the number of people from your high school going there, the food, its appearance, the cleanliness of the bathrooms, whether or not you’ll have to take a gym class, and a hundred other pieces of criteria! It’s a big decision, so there’s a lot to think about! Have you considered what college will do the best job at preparing you for your career? Check out these ways you can verify that the college you’re choosing has what it takes to actually get you a job!
The Reputation of the Program
Once you’re sure a college has your major, you’ll want to find out more about the program and its alumni. How popular is this major on campus? What percentage of its graduates are able to find a job in that major? What do the students currently enrolled in the program think? How long has the major existed on campus? Who’s teaching the classes? The more you can find out about your future program online and through the college, the better. If your program has been around for a while, is gaining popularity, and has accomplished individuals teaching new information, that’s a good sign!
The Relevancy of the Program
The job market is different than it was twenty, or even just ten years ago, and with technology constantly changing, you’ll want a program that’s adjusting their coursework so they’re ahead of the game! As an education major, you don’t want to learn the art of overhead transparencies. You want to learn how to use multi-media in the classroom, and how to look for signs of bullying. As a creative writer, you don’t want a heavy emphasis on the classics. You want to learn how to produce and market work in today’s writer’s market! Make sure the school you choose has a program that knows how to adequately prepare students for today. A quick look at the required courses and syllabi are often enough to get a few clues!
The Opportunities Given to You
When looking at a perspective program, look for what the college has to offer that other colleges don’t. What opportunities does this program give you that will better prepare you for a job than other programs? Will you get the chance to create a documentary your sophomore year as a film major? Will you be asked to observe how a classroom is taught your freshman year as an education major? Is there a literary magazine writing majors can help produce? Is there a famous professor with brilliant insights in charge of your program? If you can’t see why getting your program at one college would be better than getting it at another college, then you probably need to keep looking.
Need help finding the best school for your future career? Cappex can help you search for colleges quickly and easily! Make your free online profile today!
As you begin your college search, you’ll find that there are thousands of colleges, and they’re all remarkably different! You’ll likely find many that could be a good fit, but narrowing them down to the few you’ll actually apply to can be difficult.
Imagine that you’re interviewing your future school for the position of providing you with the best education and college experience possible. The following is a list of questions to “ask” your future school.
Is this a two or four year institution?
Is this a large school or a small school?
What is the average number of people per class at this school?
Is this college in a suburban, urban, or rural environment?
What does the surrounding community have to offer?
What is there to do for fun?
Is this a public or private school?
Is this a same-sex or co-ed school?
Does this school have a religious affiliation?
How much does this school cost?
Does this institution offer scholarships and other financial aid programs?
How far is this school from home?
Is this school in-state or out of state?
What majors does this college offer?
What makes pursuing my major at this school different than another school?
Is this school able to give me a good education?
What benefits does this school have to offer?
What are the meal plans and food like?
Does this school offer extra-curricular activities I’m interested in?
Does this school offer a particular sport I want to play?
Does this school have a sorority, fraternity, or national honor society I want to be a part of?
What are the acceptance rates for this school?
Do I meet the acceptance criteria for this school?
Does this college offer study abroad programs?
How do students get around at this school?
Am I allowed to have a car at school?
What is the transfer rate for this school?
What is the drop out rate for this school?
What percentage of students who attend this college graduate in four years?
What are the students like at this college?
How diverse is this college?
Does this school have enough computer labs, a big library, a pool or a gym?
How many of my high school classmates plan on attending this college?
Will I live on or off campus?
How safe is the college and surrounding community?
What is living on campus like at this college?
How many people share a dorm room at this school?
How many people share a bathroom in the dorms?
Are the residence halls co-ed?
What is this school known for?
Do I like how the school looks?
Is this school up to date on their technology and equipment?
What have the professors in my field of study accomplished?
Could I feel at home here?
You’ve returned from your first college fair. If you took advantage of the dozens of tables, collecting information and asking questions, you likely have a pile of handouts, brochures, pamphlets, notes, post-cards, flyers, magnets, key chains, coasters, business cards, and other bits of information and marketing gadgets. You may be feeling overwhelmed with everything you were given. You may have no idea where to begin. The following is a list of ways you can best use that pile to push you further into making that decision on where to apply for college.
One way you can begin digging through all of the information you’ve picked up is to categorize everything. You can separate them by places you’re interested in and places you probably won’t be interested in, or by places you know a lot about and places you know little about. By splitting up the information into categorizes, you can have a better grasp on what it is you’ve actually picked up, and where you are in your college search.
Look at the Pictures
The information you receive will likely have pictures of the campus on it. Take time to actually look at these pictures. While a picture of the campus can’t make up for a real visitation, you can still tell a lot from the picture. Does this look like a place you could call home, or does it look scary? Do you find the campus attractive? Can you see yourself there?
Read the Majors List
You were likely given for many of the colleges a list of majors you could pursue at that college. Look at what the different colleges offer. What kind of school is this? You can often tell just by looking at the majors a little about that school’s culture. A technical school will probably have a higher value on sciences as opposed to a liberal arts school.
Re-Read Your Notes
If you took notes during the college fair, re-read them, while looking at the materials associated with the colleges you wrote about. This will allow you to get a more conceptualized idea of the different institutions.
Weed Some Out
There are some colleges you’ll know from the very start that you’re uninterested. While you may want to look over the material for these schools, just to be sure you haven’t missed something really great, you can start creating a pile of places you don’t want to attend based on whatever reason. Be sure to take note as to why you’re uninterested in these schools, as this is part of the process of narrowing down your perfect college match.
Hit the Web
Whatever you’ve received at the college fair, there’s more of it online. By going to the web sites of the schools you’re interested in, you can answer your own questions, get more information, and possibly continue to narrow down your search.
If you want to set up a college visit, talk to an advisor, shadow a student, or just get more information, there’s likely a business card for someone who can help you do that. Don’t be afraid to send them a quick email or give them a call. That’s their job!
Want to search for scholarships or find your perfect college fit? Make your profile today on Cappex!
With record numbers of students filling out college applications, it's little wonder that schools and students alike are keen to commit to decisions as early as possible. However, according to The Washington Post, you should be careful about accepting an early offer, especially if the school's tuition rates haven't been set beforehand.
The news source reports that some schools, including the University of Maryland, Pennsylvania State University, the University of Michigan and the College of William and Mary, provide prospective students with information on this year's tuition, but not for 2013. Although some schools offer four-year projections on how much tuition will cost, these numbers are far from concrete, and may be subject to change.
Due to federal budget cuts, it can be harder to figure out how much tuition could increase at public schools. Some universities may raise their rates more than others, and until state budgets are finalized, there's no way to predict these hikes accurately.
According to an article in The Huffington Post, figuring out the real cost of earning a degree is one of the most important things for you and your family to do before you send off any college applications. Make sure to use the net price calculator on prospective schools' websites before you commit to any decisions.
It's that time of year again – students all over the country are setting off to places like Florida and Cancun to blow off some steam during Spring Break. However, some college students are proving that the spring vacation from school can be used to set a good example and help people in need.
For instance, students from Boston University (BU) are planning a series of road trips to lend a hand in communities across the country. The International Rescue Committee and Project Open Hand in Atlanta; Vital Bridges and Pets Are Worth Saving in Chicago; and the Homless and Runaway Street Outreach Center in Iowa are among the organizations that BU students plan to help during their alternative spring break. According to the initiative's official blog, the university has operated the program since 1988.
Students from all over the country are getting involved. Aspiring lawyers at the University of Memphis recently offered their services to local people free of charge, according to The Commercial Appeal.
"I'm excited and I'm intimidated," Erin Coates, a law student, told the news source shortly after meeting her first client. "But mostly, I'm enthusiastic."
The University of Rhode Island recently sent students to Austin, Texas, to volunteer at a local food pantry as part of its Students Actively Volunteering Engaging in Service (SAVES) program. College students moved almost 30,000 pounds of food for the pantry and helped build homes alongside volunteers at the local Habitat for Humanity branch, according to the university's student newspaper, The Cigar.
"It’s been tremendous seeing students get involved in local nonprofit organizations or in areas that are part of their interests," Chelsea Tucker, president of SAVES, told the news source. "They end up having so much fun and learning so much about themselves."
Volunteering can be a great way to spend spring break. If you're interested in helping local communities, ask your admissions adviser if your prospective schools offer these kind of programs when you're doing a college search. Many schools operate general initiatives that allow you to explore different ways to help people, and others might offer specialized programs that align with your personal interests.
Alternatively, if you're already involved in a nonprofit or volunteer organization, this experience can look good on a college application. In your admissions essay, consider mentioning how volunteering has affected you and how you have helped others.
Officials at Arizona State University (ASU) have announced plans to develop a campus in the Los Angeles area, reports The Republic.
The primary goal of the new campus would be to enable students to transfer to the new location in order to launch their own technology startup ventures. The new campus will offer classes tailored specifically to student entrepreneurs, as well as provide space for emerging businesses as startups-in-residence.
University officials hope the Santa Monica location will provide students filling out college applications in the hopes of becoming the next Steve Jobs or Mark Zuckerberg with opportunities associated with the nearby Silicon Valley.
Many schools are beginning to offer students the support, advice and resources they need to launch their own companies. According to the Arbiter Online, the student newspaper of Boise State University in Idaho, the school's recent Entrepreneurship Day was held to provide students with a series of discussions on the realities of launching and running a business.
If you're thinking of filling out college applications with the goal of launching a startup business, make sure to do your research when you're doing a college search. Ask your admissions adviser about resources that could help turn your idea into a reality.
Students across the country are preparing to take the SAT college admissions exam. From poring over study guides to using smartphone applications, college-bound high school seniors are doing everything they can to give themselves an edge. However, some preparation strategies could provide students with the chance to land a scholarship, too.
The Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) is a full SAT preparatory test, designed to give students firsthand experience of the kind of questions they will face in the SAT exam. As well as being a valuable opportunity to get some hands-on practice with a college admissions test, students taking the PSAT/NMSQT could also secure a National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) award that could help pay for academic expenses. In order to apply, students have to take the PSAT/NMSQT during the last three years of high school, plan to enroll in a college following graduation and be a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident. The maximum award is $2,500.
The PSAT/NMSQT measures students' aptitude in a range of areas, including critical reading, mathematical problem-solving and writing. Fortunately, these skills are tested in a more general way, so you won't have to study specific subjects to prepare for the test.
One major benefit of taking the PSAT/NMSQT is to identify areas in which you might not be as strong. As well as providing you with some valuable experience of college admissions exam questions, these tests can help you figure out where you need to improve. Sometimes, you may not even be aware that you need to brush up in a particular area until you take an exam like this.
As well as giving you an idea of the types of questions you'll be asked in the real SAT, these tests can also be a great way to experience the kind of environment you'll be taking the test in. Following directions carefully is something that some students overlook and, as a result, their results can suffer. Remember – it's not just about answering questions to the best of your ability, but also demonstrating that you can follow instructions.
The results of your PSAT/NMSQT can be a good indication of your general college readiness. You can compare your scores with other students and the overall standard of candidates applying to your prospective schools to give you an idea of how you measure up. This can be really helpful when you're doing a college search, especially if you're filling out college applications for competitive schools.
Of course, taking the PSAT/NMSQT also enables you to apply for a NMSC scholarship. Although earning a degree is a valuable investment in your future, attending college has never been more expensive.
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