The College Will Help You Get Where You Want To Go
Presumably, youre going to college to help you reach your goals. A college thats a good fit will live up to this description.
First, make sure a college offers your major .
Second, research the program at the college. Does the program incorporate research with a professor? Are there internship opportunities through the program? Do the courses look interesting to you? Make sure youre getting into a program that is exciting, challenging, and will help you grow as a studentand as a person!
If it dont know exactly what you want to study, then consider the general field or area you might be interested in and look for colleges that have strengths in those areas. For instance, if you know that you are generally interested in science, you might want to look for research universities, even if you dont know exactly what kind of science you want to study.
Strategies For How To Find The Right Colleges
Once you are clear on your priorities, its time to find schools that meet your criteria. There are many ways to get a feel for options.
- Scour college websites, social media, and YouTube videos.
- Talk to school counselors, trusted teachers, older friends, relatives, The more perspectives the better!
- Attend prospective student events in your town, at your school, and online.
- Visit if possible.
- Speak to current students. . Heres a list of questions to spark ideas for discussion points.
We recommend that each student applies to at least eight colleges: four target, two safeties and two reaches. Many students apply to more than eight schools but given the amount of work required to complete a strong application, most do not apply to more than 15.
Remember, you can estimate your chance for acceptance into the schools on your best-fit list using Collegevines free chancing calculator. This tool factors in your GPA, test scores, extracurriculars, and more to calculate your odds of admission at hundreds of schools across the country.
Location And Distance From Home
Your college experience hardly stops at the edge of campus.
What type of college location is best for you? In a big city, youll have access to exciting activities, from concerts, theater, and art exhibits to shopping and nightlife. However, if you prefer starry nights to city lights, you might be happier at a more rural school. Looking for the best of both worlds? Consider a suburban school with easy access to the city.
Maybe you want to go far away, or maybe you want to stay close to home. Whatever your preferences, make sure theyre part of your college search!
Questions to ask:
- Do I want to attend college in a rural, suburban, or urban area?
- Do I want to be far away and on my own or close enough to travel home on the weekends?
- What is the weather typically like during the academic year?
- What kinds of recreational opportunities and amenities are in the area?
- What is the transportation system for students who dont have a car on campus?
- What is the crime rate typically like in the area?
- What are the areas employment opportunities like for students looking for internships and part-time jobs as well as recent grads looking for full-time positions?
- How big is the schools campus in terms of acreage ?
- Can I live off campus? Or if I want to stay on campus, is housing available all four years?
- What is the town-gown relationship like between the college and surrounding community?
- What is the average cost of living and general quality of life?
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Size Of School & Program Of Interest
Think about the questions below to clarify if a smaller college or a big university is a better fit for you.
- Do you thrive in smaller, more personal settings or large bustling environments?
- Would you prefer to be the proverbial big fish in a small pond?
- Are you more attracted to smaller classes that enable active student interaction or large lectures?
- Is it important to you that professors know you by name?
Sat And Act Test Scores
According to The National Center for Fair & Open Testing , over 815 colleges and universities do not use the SAT I or ACT to admit substantial numbers of applicants, and that number is growing. While wed like to think its because of their altruistic concern to holistically admit the best student body, there could be another reason. SAT/ACT scores are one factor in almost all rankings, so it stands to reason that schools will want to report the highest average scores to improve their rankings.
This is, perhaps, one reason that colleges will super score or choose your highest Critical Reading from one test date and Math from another. Consider the effect of making test score submissions optional in the admission process. Those with solid scores will likely submit them. Those who think their scores wont help their cause will likely choose to leave them out of consideration. The overall effect on an institutions average standardized test scores, then, is a likely increase which in turn may help their ranking.
Clemson University landed in the middle of a media frenzy in June 2009, when an institutional researcher presented a session at a professional conference indicating the myriad ways in which the university was attempting to raise its ranking into the top 20. Needless to say, the university denied many of the allegations leaked by one of their own but were not able to articulately refute all of the unethical charges of manipulation against them.
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Talk To Current Students
I always ask current students at a college, If you could change one thing about this school, what would you change? If they tell you its the quality of the ground beef, thats one thing. But, if they tell you that they cant get into the classes they need, wont graduate on time, or find it difficult gaining access to their professors, you might feel differently.
Making Your College List
When you decide on your final list of colleges, you should be considering schools that exist across a fairly wide range of selectivity and cost. Think about priorities versus preference. You might have a preference for one quality in a school, but it won’t make or break the experience. What are the MOST IMPORTANT qualities that need to be present for you to get the most out of college? Make a list of your top 5-10 requirements for a college based on the qualities listed in the sections above and your self assessment.
- Academic climate
- Cost/financial aid generosity
- Any other stuff that is important to you!
Using Cappex or another research tool of your choice and your own list of priorities, make a list of fifteen or so schools that you believe are good fits for you. Again, in this process, start with the big priorities. You can sort schools by location and major availability on Cappex, and for any school thats suggested to you youll get a small panel of statistics that indicates the cost, location, and size of the school.
Looking at the student reviews can also be helpful in sorting out which school sounds like a better fit for you. Even if two schools look similar on paper, they may be different in that one has a stronger sense of community or students are overall more engaged in learning. These are things youll only learn from the students themselves.
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If You Answered Mostly With The Second Column
You should go to a local school! Let’s face it, you’re really not that into the whole college life thing. Sure, you want a great education, but the thought of living with people you don’t know really freaks you out! You should look into commuting to a local college. You’ll be able to live at home, save money, and spend time with family and friends without missing out on challenging classes and meeting new people. Commuting is a total win-win: When you’re tired of home, you get to leave and hang out at school and vice versa. Just be aware of how you’ll commute and how long it will take you to get there, since it will become a huge part of your daily life.
Using The Change In Perspective
With this change in perspective, everything that comes after it will become easier and easier. Even if its a new challenge, a challenge of a level that you have never seen before, your new self will meet it with the gusto and internal braggadocio of a champion.
Right now you are feeling lost, so obstacles, goals, and dreams seem like crossing an ocean. Using your new change in perspective, it will be like jumping over a puddle, and youll stop to splash around in it too, because the reward comes in two parts: the act of accomplishing it, and the accomplishment itself.You will not become another person when you find yourself. You are the same person, but the best version of that same person possible. That comes down to a new perspective and regular action.
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How To Find Your Best Fit College
To find the right college fit for you, think about what you need in four different categories: academics, campus culture, financial aid, and career services. For 28 years, we’ve surveyed students at hundreds of colleges about their experiences on campus. We’ve learned a lotfirst and foremost, that no two students are exactly alike, and no two schools are exactly alike. That’s why we publish our ranking lists and school profiles every year: to help you compare colleges and find the best college fit for your unique personality and goals.
Do What’s Best For You
1.Rushing the process.
2.Being a follower.
3.The legacy lure.
5.Youre a die-hard fan.
6.The temptation to party.
7.How a student body looks.
8.Assuming the worst.
9.Location, location, location.
10.Cost obsessions or carelessness.
12.Relying on reputation.
14.Having a one-track mind.
15.The college specializes in your current major.
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Which College Should I Go To
Choosing a college is a big decision, one that requires a great deal of research and careful consideration. Dont feel like you have to make the decision alone. Share what you have learned about the colleges you are considering with your parents, guidance counselor, mentors, and close friends. Ask for their feedback and keep an open mind.
Each college will have its own list of pros and cons. Organizing a pro/con list can be helpful in making your final decision. If you are struggling to decide between two or more schools, making a weighted pro/con list may help you decide. Visualize how well a school scores in a particular value category, such as extracurricular activitiesand then give weight to the values that mean the most to you. Make your decision and then sleep on it. Do you still feel good about your decision the next day? Do you wake up wishing you had chosen the other school? If so, think about the decision some more.
Thank you for your interest in the University of Portland. We invite you to visit our campus and consider all that the University of Portland has to offer. Graduating from high school is an important achievement with exciting opportunities, and we wish you the best in your college decision process.
How To Decide If College Is The Right Choice For You
Get your degree if you want to succeed. This is pretty common advice for students who are trying to figure out what comes next in their lives. And education is always a good solution if you want to build knowledge and skills. Plus, a degree is usually a baseline requirement for more and more jobs out there, as many people find when they hit the job market with a high school diploma in hand.
But a college degree is also a significant investment of time, money, and personal resources, so its more important than ever to make sure its the right choice for your own life. Is it worthwhile for everyone? And more importantly, is it worthwhile for you? Lets look at the most important factors to consider as you decide whether or not to go for that college degree.
Consider the debt
Any conversation about college these days has to involve the specter of staggering debt. Per CollegeData.com, the average price tag for a college education is $25,290 per year for a state college or university, and $50,900 for a private college or university. And tuition isnt the only cost to consider: housing, books, and living expenses all factor in as well.
but also consider the earning potential
While student load debt is becoming a significant national burden, its also seen as a kind of necessary evil when you look at how much college grads make vs. their counterparts who have a high school diploma or an incomplete college degree.
So is college worth it?
What are my goals?
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How To Find The Right College
So, how exactly do you decide on schools that would be a good college fit for you? Start by narrowing down your list to a select number of colleges that you can see yourself succeeding at academically, emotionally, and even spiritually.
With each college on your list, ask yourself questions like:
There are no right or wrong answers, and you might be surprised to answer no to some of these questions regarding a few of your top choices!
Keep in mind that no school will ever be perfect, and college life really is what you make of it.
Keeping all of these questions in mind, however, will help ensure that you have the best experience possible.
Looking for some helpful resources when it comes to building your list and making it as perfect and easy to navigate as possible?
Ask Yourself Some Honest Questions
In career development workshops and in one on one coaching, I always emphasize that people need to be very thoughtful and analytical about their job decisions. To often people base it on emotion and when a bad situation arises may jump from one bad job to the another.
First, I recommend people do some soul searching on what they really want out of their career. This can be introspectively on your own or with a career coach. Here are some questions people should think through and answer:
What is really important to me in my job? Higher pay? Becoming an executive? Intellectually stimulating work? Better work-life flexibility? Enjoying the people I work with?
What do I really excel at?
How can I build on what I am best at to deliver business results and enhance my career?
Do I enjoy being an expert or master of a certain function, or would I prefer to leave details to others?
Do I enjoy continual movement between roles and jobs and being challenged with new things?
Do I like breaking new ground as an innovator, or do I work better in a familiar environment?
Do I have interest in working in multiple locations, and does my personal situation support such a move?
During my career, do I want to be a people manager or not?
Do I thrive on executive interaction and exposure, or do I prefer backroom analysis?
Am I a Spreadsheet Wizard and love working with numbers, or do I prefer marketing and sales concepts and processes?
Stan C. Kimer, President of Total Engagement Consulting
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Other Ways To Help Determine If The Shoe Fits
So you want to be an English Major . According to College Raptor, there are more than 300 four-year colleges with a large English program, so how do you possibly choose a college? After isolating your geographic region of choice, size, and selectivity, you may still find the list is longer than you can manage. You can now look at some nitty-gritty to help you determine which places are best suited for you.
Its here that you will want to begin looking at the personality of the college. Is the campus very conservative and you consider yourself pretty liberal? Is the percentage of students belonging to fraternities and sororities a number that excites you or scares you?
College Requirements And Academic Level
When choosing a college, its important to make sure you meet the requirements. Research each schools college requirements and look for statistics on incoming freshmen. This information will help you know if the college is a good fit for you academically. You want to ensure you are pursuing colleges and universities that are a good match for your academic preparation and abilities so you can succeed as a student.
Each college has its own GPA requirements, and with a little digging, you should be able to find the average high school GPA of incoming freshmen. If your GPA meets or exceeds the requirements or the average GPA, then you are a good candidate academically. ACT and SAT scores work in a similar way but are more objective, since everyone takes the same test. Determine if there is a required ACT or SAT score for admission to the school and find out the average college entrance exam score for freshman students.
Another thing to look at is the admission rate to the university. Schools can be classified as somewhat selective,selective, or highly selective based on the rate of acceptance. As you narrow your list of favorite colleges, its a good idea to include a mix in order to have the most options.
Many students also find it helpful to classify a college as one of the following:
- Safety/Foundational School
- Match School
- Reach School
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