Posts Tagged ‘how to find a college’
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.
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?
As rising seniors, there will be certain things you’ll get excited for over the summer, like getting to hang out in the senior courtyard, take the classes you’ve been waiting to take or any other perks that only seniors get.
The one thing you might not be prepared for is the question that most students wind up dreading:
“So, [insert name], where ya heading off to college next year?”
Why does this question get annoying? Well, for one, you might not know the answer. And for another, any question that is repeatedly asked by anyone and everyone you happen to come in contact with will make you feel like you accidentally stepped into a never-ending inquisition.
So here are 4 ways to repeatedly answer the most dreaded college question:
As soon as you notice the words forming in your podiatrist’s lips, hop off the chair, and run out the door–you can send a pigeon for your shoes later.
If you are not a good runner, or you haven’t trained your pigeon to carry heavy objects quite yet, the next 3 options might be for you.
2. I’m Still Searching
You might have zero clue where you’re going. In fact, depending on the time of year someone asks you the question-that-shall-not-be-named, you might only be in the beginning of your college search. If this is the case, be honest. Let the inquisitor know you’re really not sure. You can tell them about the schools you might apply to, or which schools Cappex has introduced you to. Keep your answer short and sweet.
Don’t underestimate your magician-like skills as a conversationalist. Utilizing the magician’s method, you can make it seem like the question never existed by artfully changing the subject. This takes skill, but, hey, David Copperfield didn’t just make the Statue of Liberty disappear one random morning–he honed his craft (and had a big crew).
4. Bore your listener
If you really want to teach the person who asked the dreaded question a lesson, give them all the gory details. They’ll realize how much is behind the question–the hours you spent studying for the ACT/SAT, the conversations where you asked your favorite teacher to write you a recommendation, more hours you spent studying for the SAT II’s, asking a teacher you didn’t like that much for a recommendation, figuring out what to write your college essays about, joining the 10 different clubs that all raise money to help children–the list goes on!
The more you elaborate, the less likely that person is to ever assault another high schooler with the question:
“So, where you going to college?”
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