Athletics And Other Extracurriculars
A lot of your time in college will be spent in activities outside the classroomas it should be!
College extracurriculars span virtually every interest you can imagine, from academic clubs to cultural groups to theater troupes to intramural sports. Campus clubs can also help you figure out what major is right for you or if youre on the right career track. And they can help you develop all kinds of useful skills, from teamwork to creative problem solving .
If youre serious about sports, athletics can also add a whole new dimension to your college search too. Student-athletes should start by realistically assessing their abilities and considering which schools are most likely to give them a team jersey. Talk to the coaches at your high school and at the colleges youre interested in and ask them to evaluate your chances of being formally recruited for your sport.
Questions to ask:
- Does the college offer what Im looking for when Im not in class?
- What kinds of extracurricular opportunities exist on campus in art, music, theater, community service, athletics, etc.?
- How many students participate in extracurriculars?
- Are there clubs or pre-professional associations related to my major or intended career?
- Can students start their own clubs? How easy is it to do?
- What is the athletic recruitment process like?
- What athletic conference and division is the school?
Do Your Research And Seek Assistance
Start talking to your parents or current/former college students about college locations and majors. Its critical to have as many ideas as possible in order to effectively complete your homework on which college is the best fit for you. It may seem overwhelming at first, but it is critical to begin planning your college future now rather than waiting until the last minute and others experience can help you on how to choose the right college for you.
You can also connect with us at Leverage Edu to assist you to examine your college and major alternatives.
Public Colleges + Private Colleges: Aim For Both
To know more, check out the following blogs: Public vs Private Universities: Which one to Choose?, Public vs Private Colleges.
If your list comprises primarily public universities, you should think about private, non-profit universities as well. There are variations between the two types of universities, and you may be missing out on benefits if you dont examine private colleges as well. Because they have a smaller student body than most public universities, private colleges typically have smaller class sizes.
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Course Structure And Content
What teaching and learning methods are used?
Some courses focus on research, lab work and field trips, while others place great emphasis on independent study, seminars and lectures. The teaching format will greatly depend on the university, faculty and programme.
Whats the size of classes?
Smaller class sizes allow you to engage with and get to know your peers and professors better. Meanwhile, bigger classes give you more anonymity and allow you to stay under the radar.
Does the course offer work experience opportunities?
Some degree programmes will offer work experience opportunities that will allow you to develop professional skills and attain valuable credentials, either through internships, a year in industry or integrated work placements.
What are the main assessment methods?
Assessment methods can include research essays, projects, lab reports, oral presentations, concept maps and exams. These will vary across each module and faculty.
Are there opportunities to study abroad?
Many courses offer study abroad opportunities, which will allow you to develop new skills and establish a network of professional contacts overseas.
Aim For Scholarships Too
Although you can apply as a college student, you will have more options when you are in high school or have recently finished high school. Other places to look for scholarship options include your employer or institutions, which may offer one-of-a-kind scholarships to students applying or presently enrolled.
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Schools Fall Into Four Different Categories:
1. Reach: You would really really like to go to this school, but your chances of being accepted are small.
2. Possible: Your chances of being rejected are higher than being accepted, but the school does accept some students with your credentials.
3. Probable: Your chances of being accepted are higher than your chances of being rejected.
4. Solid: You will almost certainly get in. The school rarely rejects students with your credentials.
Include at least one solid school, one probable or possible school, and one reach school in your final list. Note that Ivy Leagues and other schools with admissions rates of less than 15% are reaches for all students, even those with a 4.0 and perfect test scores.
To figure out your chances of acceptance manually, look up the SAT/ACT score and GPA ranges for the schools on your list. Most schools provide a range for the middle 50% of SAT/ACT scores for accepted applicants. If you scored significantly higher than the high point of that range, then that school can be considered probable or solid.
The same applies to GPA statistics. If your GPA is in the top reported range for the latest class at the college, youre likely to be accepted. Cappex also will give you your chances of admission at each school if you fill out a profile with your scores and GPA, so you don’t necessarily have do all of this legwork yourself.
Amherst College…what are they REALLY hiding behind all those trees? You’ll have to visit to find out.
How To Choose The Right College Course
Why are you studying?
Before you commit to a specific college course, you have to think about the reason you want to attend college. Are you looking to start a new career? Do you want to receive a promotion in your current industry? Are you simply curious about exploring an interest? Answering these questions will help give you some direction in making your choice.
If you currently work as a secretary in a dental office, for example, taking dental assistant courses may help you break further into the industry and start a differently-focused career.
Consider the location
The location of the college and the delivery of the courses is key to ensuring you are successful in your chosen college courses. Will you be able to attend classes during the day? Do you require night courses? Would online courses be suitable for your lifestyle and study habits?
Online courses provide a ton of flexibility if the college is located far from you or you have a busy and inflexible work schedule. Some colleges, such as KLC, offer night classes for some courses. If you have a long commute to class or have a difficult schedule to accommodate, youre less likely to enjoy the program and be successful in it. Considering the location and the course delivery of a program at a college is key for your success.
Consider Your Interests and Personality
Get Help if You Need It!
Resources And Support Systems
To foster long-term success, you should consider your needs and wants as a whole person, not just as a student. Before choosing a college, make sure the school can accommodate your spiritual life and any medical conditions or special learning requirements you may have.
Many students experience homesickness and other emotional challenges when starting college, so it’s a good idea to check the availability of counseling services and health and wellness programs ahead of time.
While writing assistance and tutoring are ubiquitous among higher education institutions, be sure you can conveniently access these resources should you end up needing them.
What Are The Housing Options
If youre required or planning to live on campus, youll want to learn more about the dorms, the roommate process and the cost of room and board.
Your comfort level with your living situation can play a key role in your success and happiness at college, so its particularly important that you pay close attention to these details.
What are the dorms like and what kind of amenities do they have? Can you choose your roommate or are they randomly assigned? What are the personalities of the various dorms? Which ones are more social and which are more academic-focused?
These types of questions can help you to narrow down your preferred living arrangement while taking classes.
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The Story Told By The Campus Newspaper
When you visit colleges, you hear messages carefully crafted by college admissions offices intended to appeal to visitors. Tour guides, often the cream of the schools crop, are instructed to be honest. But, theyre often the students who are genuinely happy with their school and adept at expressing their enthusiasm.
So, how do you get the real view of what goes on at a school? No college is perfect. In a visit that often only lasts a few hours, it can be hard to get the whole picture. Youre going to spend a lot of time and money at whatever school you choose. Its important to get all of the information you can.
The campus newspaper can provide a great window into the real-life on campusthe good, the bad and the ugly. Campus newspapers are uncensored by the administration. Some examples of how the campus newspaper can give you the real scoop:
One college, trying hard to shake its image as a party school, sported a large article in the student newspaper entitled, Best Places to Buy Booze Part 2. Did it take two parts? What might that say about life on campus?
Another newspaper gave front-page space to the debate on gay marriage, calling The National Organization for Marriage one of the only organizations in existence that is still fighting for discrimination in the 21st century. This points to a politically active campus open to the idea of gay marriage.
Weigh The Pros And Cons Of Each College
After completing the steps above, it’s time to sit down with a trusted advisor to weigh the pros and cons of each college and see which one best meets your criteria. For example, the school that offered the most money may allow for the least amount of debt, but what if it doesn’t offer a campus culture that aligns with your needs?
Gathering ample information about your target schools can better prepare you to choose your college and find an institution that’s the best fit for you.
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Academic Support And Career Services
How a college assists students with academics is an important factor in what kind of education you will be getting. Some schools offer little support and want to foster an environment of independence, while other schools offer options like free tutoring groups and writing assistance. Also knowing what the schools placement rates are for jobs and postgraduate schools are critical to consider because it gives an indication about the success and depth of each program.
Know Exactly How Much Your Attendance Will Cost
As you start to narrow down your list of potential colleges, begin to figure out exactly how much it will cost you. Its not easy for young adults to fully grasp the concept of money, so its important to realize that student loan debt is a huge commitment, and is likely to follow you around for decades.
Begin by using websites like College Navigator to find tuition costs, information about how much tuition is likely to rise, and the percentage of students who receive some form of financial aid. Then check out the colleges personalized cost calculator to figure out your proposed annual cost based on your individual needs. Once you know how much debt youll have come graduation day, you can research further. Explore the website PayScale to discover a colleges average Return On Investment . If a school is expected to cost you $249,000 over the course of four years, but has a 20-year net ROI of $1.123 million as is the case with Massachusetts Institute of Technology then more likely than not you will be able to comfortably repay any loans. If you already have an idea of future career, researching its ROI is also helpful.
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It Is All About The Fit
Once the schools have made their decisions it is up to you. If you have done things right all the places that accepted you should fit your basic profile, offering the type of college experience you seek as well as the programs that serve your needs. Now you need to determine which place is the best fit, the most comfortable, the place where you will grow the most and be best able to maximize your ambitions. Too, you need to take a hard look at the financial side of things. College can be expensive and you want to spend your resources wisely. If graduate or professional school are in your future then you do not want to spend it all now. Ultimately how it feels can be the key. For all the things that can go on a pros and cons list, a gut feeling can go a long way towards helping make the final choice.
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Connect With The Students & Faculty
Nothing beats chatting with current students at the college you want to attend. During your campus tour, ask about students experiences as well as basic questions about the college that you may not have thought to ask. If you want to learn more about the whole experience of that particular college from a graduates perspective, you can contact their alumni groups and ask them questions.
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What If You Cant Decide On A Major
Its okay to enter college as an undecided major. You dont have to know what you want to major in during your major search process. College gives you the opportunity to take classes you think you might enjoy or even classes youve never been exposed to before.
Volunteer and find internships. Internships and volunteer work are the best ways to get real hands-on experience in fields a major can lead to. Youll get a great understanding of what day-to-day life in the profession is like. If you can, talk to people in different departments to see if their work interests you.
Events at local colleges/college visits. You can learn a lot from visiting colleges or attending events on campus. Colleges have open houses or accepted student days where department representatives answer questions and offer you their knowledge. There are also students around you can talk to about their major and class experiences in the major.
What Do I Want
Start by doing some honest soul-searching, says first-year English student Gabrielle Cole. Compile a list of the things that are really important to you when choosing a school, she says. If you just jump into the websites, it can be really overwhelmingtheres so much information. Shes happy with her decision to attend McGill University in Montreal, which she chose in part for its strong reputation. The school also offered her the opportunity to leave her home in Richmond Hill, Ont., and to study in a city where she could regularly use the French she learned in elementary school immersion. I think I did adequate research and weighed all the options, Cole says.
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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.
Factors For How To Choose A College
There are many ways to choose a college. You could choose one based on where you want to live, where your parents went to school, or even where your friends plan to attend. When selecting a school, its important to consider various metrics in order to find the college that best suits you and your unique needs.
A metric is a measurement that is used to gauge the quality of an attribute, and essentially tells you if something is good or bad. For example, when you want to know if a movie is worth watching, you may look at movie reviews to see how many stars were given to the movie. The same sort of principle can be used when choosing a college.
What metrics should you analyze when trying to find the best college for you? Here are some ideas to get you started in the areas of academic life, student life, and financial factors.
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How To Choose The Right University: A Quick Guide
Unsure which university to apply to? Follow this guide to help you.
Content Manager and Career Expert
While a lucky few may have known their dream school since childhood, others need to determine which university would be the right fit based on a range of factors. In my case, the decision-making process included long pros-and-cons lists, endless hours of research and long discussions on the merits of each institution. While I was happy with my final choice, in the end, it did take some time to reach a decision.
So, if you are currently finding yourself in a similar situation, trying to pick the university that could potentially become your alma mater, were here to help. Our guide will walk you through a series of questions you should ask yourself, as well as some useful tips that will allow you to pick the right university for you.