High School students, it is the start of a new year and you have many exciting activities you are participating in and looking forward too! We know your schedule is as busy as it has ever been, however, we want to remind you to plan college visits throughout the year as well. Sophomores – it is not to early to start college research; juniors – it is important to make the visits and tours a priority; seniors – even after submitting applications, if you applied to a location you have not visited, do your best to get there!
Starting your research and visits early gives you time to process numerous things:
- What majors am I interested in?
- What are the newest majors on this campus, and why? (These often say something about the job market – but that does not mean you must be interested in it!)
- What type of campus setting is most attractive to me?
- Which of my current activities do I want to continue during college, and what opportunities do I have to continue them here?
- What types of living environments does the college offer? Do they meet my expectations?
- For which grants and/or scholarships might I qualify?
- What is the sticker price of this institution, and what does that really mean?
If you are thinking, “well, I plan to go to community college first and then transfer – this research is not important to me right now.” I politely ask you to reconsider. Although spending 2-3 years at community college before transferring to a Bachelor’s granting institution is an effective way to save money on tuition, it is just as important to research your community college options as well. Some have transfer admission guarantees with regional or state universities, but do they offer the prerequisite courses you need for the major you plan to pursue? Additionally, do not forget to learn all you can about the financial aid process as aid eligibility begins when you start college, even if you do not use it that year, and it has an expiration date.
We know you are busy and we know this sounds like a lot of work, thus, use the first four chapters of ‘On the Quad’ to help walk you through this process (the book is only $.99, totally worth it!). Do not delay, do your research; deciding where you will spend your college years is a big decision!