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How To Decide What College To Go To

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Judging Schools: Look Beneath The Surface

How To Decide What College To Go To

Society often prizes delivering life in bite-size morsels. Social media updates are all fractions of thoughts that give us a sense of a greater thought. High school students often try to categorize prospective colleges into these same info-bits: nerdy, preppy, middle of nowhere, small, etc. While it has been said that stereotypes are often rooted in the truth, they can be short-sighted. It can leave us seeing only half of a story.

Lets take the University of Maryland, a large state school with over 25,000 undergraduates on their flagship campus. Sound like a daunting number, so you cross it off your list? Well, U of Md certainly isnt right for everyone. But, before you toss it by the wayside, consider this: beyond the introductory level, class size is very manageable. The schools various honors programs subdivide the larger student population into smaller, cohesive communities. Dorms and clubs further dissect the originally amorphous sounding number into manageable groups. Many big schools will tout the fact that they have the resources of a big school with the feel of a small school. U of Maryland has gone to great lengths to ensure that you feel like much more than just a number.

Similarly, schools that have a student body barely larger than your high school will have some of the same advantages and opportunities as a larger university. Dont judge the proverbial book by its cover instead, read the pages within.

What Are Your Career Goals

After digging into what youre interested in and potential careers options, its time to think about your goals and your future careerand how easy or how hard it might be to find employment.

If you have a specific career goal in mind, you might need to pick your major or program in advance, sometimes as early as when youre applying to college.

Its also good to know what degree youll need for the field that interests you. Heres an overview of different college degrees:

How To Choose A College

This article was co-authored by Jennifer Kaifesh. Jennifer Kaifesh is the Founder of Great Expectations College Prep, a tutoring and counseling service based in Southern California. Jennifer has over 15 years of experience managing and facilitating academic tutoring and standardized test prep as it relates to the college application process. She is a graduate of Northwestern University.There are 7 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 163,712 times.

Trying to choose a college can feel daunting, especially with so many major decisions to make. Where you go to college will affect the type of education you get, the people you meet, and the opportunities that you have access to. That seems like a lot, but don’t worry! Whether you’re trying to figure out where to apply or choosing between colleges you’ve been accepted to, you can ease this process by doing extensive research on your own and then reaching out to others to figure out if you are making the best decision for you.

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Students Should Experience What They Like And What They Dontfirst Hand

Ive worked with no shortage of students who really believe they want a particular characteristic in a school, only to change their minds once theyve experienced it.

With this in mind, the best college search might just have no real, definitive beginning. You wont announce that today is the day you will begin to define their future. Instead, youll tacitly pop onto a college campus on the way to your grandparents house simply because youre nearby. If you enjoy soccer, why not take in a game as a way to get a flavor of a given campus. Take advantage of concerts or art exhibits in your hometown and as you travel. You will learn about what you like and what you dont. For some, this very exercise may well excite you about college and motivate you to work hard.

So, like Mikey from the 1970s Life Cereal commercials, try it, you may like it!

Advice On Choosing Where To Apply

Applying to College With The New York Times

There are over 2000 four-year colleges in the United States, each with a unique constellation of resources, course offerings, and extracurricular programs. Schools differ in size, location, academic requirements, selectivity, etc. With so many choices, you will need time to explore what is out there and how the options match your interests and needs. Start your research early, and as you make a list of schools to consider, keep your mind open to ones about which you may not have heard much before. Students who focus only on a handful of the most selective or well-known colleges are missing out on the wonderful range of schools that exist and that might be a good fit for them.

Its also a good idea to discuss with your parents or guardians what is important to you and what you hope to get out of college, so you will all be on the same page by the time you start working on the applications.

Your goal is to create a list of schools about which you are truly excited. By visiting schools, talking with current students, reading viewbooks, and digging into websites, you will figure out why you are excited about each school on your list. The more carefully and thoughtfully youve considered each possible college, the stronger your applications to those colleges will be.

Here are some questions we recommend you try to answer while researching colleges:

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Things To Consider When Choosing A College

Posted by Celine Ives

Four years of hard work, standardized tests and extracurriculars have led up to this moment. You have a few college acceptances in hand, and now its time to choose which one youll attend. Its exciting to have options, but its also a little scary. The important thing to remember is that no school is perfect, but by considering a few major factors, you can find the school thats the right fit for you.

How Do You Tell Someone Theyre Not Going To College

The best way to communicate your decision to the school is by using the same channels of communication that you have been using all along. If youve been emailing one particular admissions officer to get the clarifications youve needed, send an email to that same admissions officer and inform them about your decision.

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How Students Decide Which College To Attend

After monthsor even yearsof dreaming of, planning for, and applying to college, the most difficult step in the entire process can be picking which college to attend. Its one of the biggest decisions a student will ever make, so how do you ensure they make a great choice?

Of course, theres no magical algorithm to determine which school is perfect, but students can take a look at what other students are basing their decisions on. Eduventures Research recently released their annual Survey of Admitted Students, which reveals the biggest factors behind eventual college enrollment choice for high school students:

The survey covers all manners of data points from over 100,000 American high school students looking back on their decisions, but the results showed that there were definitely some common driving factors.

80% of students pointed to one of seven reasons behind their final decision: affordability, desired program, career outcomes, reputation/academic quality, value, proximity to home, and of course, that elusive fit.

So as a student is making their decision, its important to keep those seven decision segments in mindand figure out which is most important.

A few key findings for students and families:

What Does Going To College Mean To You

How to Choose the Right College to Go to // Why I Regret Choosing UCLA

College means independence, maturity, responsibility, accountability, excellence, and future opportunities. All these aspects work together to create the best college experience. For me, attending college is not just showing up for class, but rather being engaged in the class, learning, and preparing for my future.

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Why Are You Going To School

The answer to this may seem obvious: Youre going to college to get an education. Youre going to get a degree so youre prepared for the specific field youve chosen to study and eventually find a job in. And for a lot of students, thats true.

However, for a significant portion of eighteen-year-old young adults, getting the education is only part of the goal. A larger one is having the college experience. That involves living away from home for the first time, experiencing independence, and learning how to live without constant parental supervision.

The students in it for the college experience have been told that getting an education is important and they believe it. But many of them enter college uncertain about what they want to study and what career they want to pursue. There are two financial dangers in sending these young adults to school with very little idea about what they want to do.

  • They will likely flounder for the first couple of years, and that floundering comes at a really high price. A lot of college students head to school still unsure of their future career goals. During the first year or two while theyre there trying to decide what to do with their lives, they amass huge debt taking general education credits. While those credits will ultimately go toward a degree, there are other ways to get them without paying top price for them.
  • Graduation Financial Aid Admissions For This Year’s College

    Yes! There are a lot of tools to help you decode confusing college aid letters. We have one on our website and some school districts have tools that help too. So gather up all your financial aid offer letters and emails and start to plug in the numbers. Remember that your different offer letters aren’t apples to apples because each school writes their own letters, they do their own calculations. Sometimes these documents will include loans. Since every school costs a different amount of money, you can’t just compare the sum of money you are offered from each school. You’ve got to be really careful about decoding these and not getting distracted by the big bold number on the bottom.

    This is also an opportunity to experiment with digital tools with your guidance counselors. Sanjay Mitchell, a guidance counselor in D.C, works with students who are prepping for college. Right now, he’s working with students remotely to analyze these financial offer letters.

    “I’ve had a student send me their financial aid award letter, and then I put it on my screen. And so I share the screen with them and just go through it line by line as if they were sitting in my office,” he says.

    In a typical year, students need to get these decisions in by May 1st. Is that still the expectation?

    Has the coronavirus pandemic changed how college-bound students think about going far away to school?

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    How Long Does The Salesforce Certified Administrator Certification Take To Complete

    Those starting with no knowledge or experience typically need to dedicate at least 10 hours of study a week for approximately six months. Guided professional training and preparation is the best way to guarantee a successful exam result.

    Joining a Salesforce-based peer community online, like the Facebook group Salesforce for Everyone, is another way to get support from individuals in all stages of the Salesforce certification process.

    Bradley Rice, one of the highest-paid Salesforce Professionals in the world, offers an excellent, free email course called the Talent Stacker Salesforce 5-Day Challenge. Along with actionable tips, tools, and advice, he shares his expert knowledge and experience to help you jump-start the journey to a lucrative Salesforce career.

    Step by step, Bradley helps you attain key milestones and understand how to learn Salesforce most successfully. Going above and beyond other experts, Bradley teaches how to showcase yourself to potential employers and shares the quickest path to gain the real-world experience needed to land your first job.

    Picking A College For The Fall Here’s How To Decide For An Unknown Future

    How Do I Decide Which College or University to Attend?

    So most college campuses have closed, which means they’re not allowing visitors. They’ve canceled campus events, tours, info sessions, orientation events, accepted student days, and they’ve kind of shifted all of this online. A lot of people make a decision based on the feeling they get when they visit, so this is a big deal for them.

    I talked with a high school senior from Austin named Xander Christou. He planned to spend the spring visiting some of the campuses he was accepted to. “Online, the colleges are just names and logos and programs,” he says, “nothing will compare to actually being on campus and speaking face-to-face with current students.”

    But schools are trying: Admissions officers are getting creative they’re doing virtual tours and allowing prospective students to tune into the online learning experiences they’re offering. The University of Virginia actually had all of its campus tour guides make TikToks.

    Schools have “ramped up their online videos, their chat availability,” says Bingham. “That’s one of the things that admissions officers are working on really hard right now, is making sure that even if students can’t visit, that they can still get a sense of a place and of information.”

    In some ways, this change could make things more equitable. In-person college visits are expensive, so they often leave low-income students out. Virtual content has the potential to actually make it easier for more students to have access to campus.

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    Things You May Think Dont Matter

    These last few things may seem a bit silly, but theyre the things that will make a difference in your day-to-day college experience. Dont leave them out!

  • Surrounding City – Is the school in a college town or a big city? Is it far away from anything else? Does it have the mountains or beach nearby? You might not think this matters but being in the surrounding city is what youll be doing whenever youre not in class which is a lot.
  • Weather – Most college students walk to class. If youre looking to go to college in a chillier state, make sure you can handle it!
  • Sports – If youre a sports fan, a college with a great team can heighten the college experience. Be honest with yourself is it important for you to be able to go to football or basketball games?
  • Food Options – If you have any kind of dietary restriction, make sure to check how the dining halls and on-campus food options fit into your existing diet.
  • Car and Public Transportation – Does your school let you have a car on campus? Are there parking options available? If not, how are the public transportation options? When youre a freshman without a car and need groceries, youll want to have looked this up in advance.
  • Hear From Crimson Students

    The words of brilliant Crimson students who achieved their goals working with us

    • âLooking back now, seeing all I have done and the unconditional support my team provided me, I just know that Crimson helped me be the very best that I could be.â

      BLUEBELLEYale & Oxford University, Class of 2024

    • âMy Crimson team was there for me every step of the way. I knew they were rooting for me as they pushed me to be my best. I would not be going to St Andrews without them.â

      SARAHSt Andrews, Class of 2023

    • âI know Crimson have the information and their tutors and mentors are the best, but the fact that they get so invested – that they give you such peace of mind, that was just incredible.â

      JOSHStanford University, Class of 2024

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    Match What You Have Come To Know About Yourself To A Course

    During this phase of the career planning process you will decide which course is the best fit for you based on what you now know about yourself and the courses you have researched. This will entail looking at the jigsaw pieces of your life to date and putting them together. Considering your interests, hobbies, skills, aptitudes and achievements, both academic and personal, and identifying certain personality traits combined with appropriate course exploration will hold the key to successful course choice.

    Take Part In Accepted Student Days


    If your set of colleges that you are considering offer an accepted students day, virtually and then hopefully in person, take advantage of this. I cannot stress this enough. Seeing your list of colleges that you are considering through this set of eyes is very different than when you were just considering whether to apply. Dig deeper to understand if this college can be your home away from home for the duration.

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    If Youre Still Unsure

    If youve done your research and visited schools but you still cant decide what is right for you, a good option is to choose a large school that has smaller branch campuses. This way, you can start out at whichever type of campus you think you would prefer, and easily transfer to a larger or smaller campus if you end up being unhappy where you are. Attending a smaller branch campus of a big school can also give you the best of both worlds. You’ll get many of the perks of a big school, such as a large alumni network and name recognition, but you’ll get to do it all from a smaller campus.

    Another option is to start out at one type of school and only take your general education courses that will transfer to other schools. This could also be a way to save some money if you do a year or two at a cheaper school for gen ed classes and then transfer to your dream school for the rest of your education.

    Once you get started at a school or in a major, it can feel like thats where youre stuck and theres no turning back. If you start out at one school and find out that youre miserable and you made the wrong decision, youre not stuck there for four years. Even if it means it takes you a little bit longer to finish school, an extra year or two is worth it if it makes you happy and means youre better able to figure out the rest of your life.

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