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How To Find Which College Is Right For You

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How to Find a College That’s Right for you

In reality, colleges have different strengths for different student populations. Some schools have produced a disproportionate number of authors, others engineers, and still others, artists or actors. The best school is one that gives you the forum to stretch your comfort zone intellectually and socially. It will challenge your thoughts and introduce you to new ways of thinking. It will prepare you to make your mark on the world. To make this determination does not mean to put like colleges on a level playing field. Instead, it means to look at them individually and to look at the quality of the output and the resources they put into getting you there.

Top Tip #: How Do You Like To Study

Hopefully you have some idea by now of how you prefer to study. And hopefully the answer is not by sleeping or by crossing my fingers as I walk into the exam hall. Some people prefer final exams, others like regular assignments to keep them busy throughout the year. Some like theory, others like practical hands-on application, some like to work in groups, others like to work individually. Some like to present their assignment verbally, others prefer to create written reports. Choose a course that suits your study style, and you will be more confident in your success. Or, if you want to challenge yourself, choose a course that will take you out of your comfort zone!

Career Services And Other Campus Support

For many students, college success means tutoring. Others might need counseling for dealing with homesickness or other emotional issues. And most college students need at least some guidance as they conduct their first internship and job searches.

Thats why colleges and universities have ample resources to support you throughout your time on campusand often long after you graduate.

Questions to ask:

  • How will the school help me determine and achieve my career goals?
  • What is their postgraduate job placement rate like ?
  • What does the career services office offer?
  • What kinds of experiential education opportunities, such as internships, co-ops, and volunteering, exist on and around campus?
  • What academic services are available, such as tutoring?
  • What health and wellness services are available, such as mental health counseling and fitness facilities?
  • Are any of these services available after graduation?

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How Do You Interpret Rankings

What makes one college better than another? Is UCLA better than UNC ? Is Colgate University any better or worse than Rice University? College Raptor is obviously not the only place to find rankings of colleges. This in and of itselfthat many different sources may provide different rankingsis a telling consideration. Each site or publication likely uses its own combination of factors, with different weights placed on each one, to come up with their own rankings.

Rankings can certainly be valuable in understanding how colleges and universities stack up against each other. But, even metrics that seem straightforwardlike ACT/SAT scoresmay not be quite as telling as they seem.

Narrowing Down Your College Choices

Colleges of Distinction: Find the College that is Right for You.

While there is no right answer to how many applications you should submit, it’s a good idea to apply to five to eight colleges with a range of selectivityyour matches,reaches, and safeties. There may be times when applying to more than eight schools is appropriate , but for most high school seniors, eight should give you plenty of solid options. If you are struggling to narrow your college list down to fewer than 10 schools, its time to revisit your college search or maybe do more research. You probably want to do a gut check toowhy are there so many schools on your list?

But the most important question to ask yourself when considering where to apply is this: Of the colleges and universities on my list, if only one of them admits me, or only one is affordable, can I go there happily? The answer should always be yes. If you answer no, ask yourself why youre applying to that institution in the first place. Be brutally honest with yourself. With the wide array of colleges in the country, why would you submit an application to a school you would never ultimately attend?

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How To Start Choosing The Right College

Sometimes the hardest part of finding the perfect college for many students is getting started especially if you do not have a particular college in mind. The complicated and lengthy process of undertaking your college search can seem overwhelming. You want your college experience to be the best it can be!

Start by breaking down the process into smaller goals and steps. Instead of trying to make the decision all at once, work backward from the goal of having a shortlist of colleges to apply to. Splitting up the college search process into small, achievable stepslike researching schools that offer your major or scheduling tours of college campusescan make it less intimidating. Other factors, do you want a big school or a small school?

Why Should I Take The College Match Quiz

Taking the College Match Quiz may help you find the perfect college for you. Many high school students wonder, which college should I go to? or where should I go to college? If this sounds familiar, the college match quiz offers a way to find out.

There are over 8,000 colleges, universities and trade schools in the US. Choosing one may take lots of time and energy. The good news is the college quiz filters schools for you. It also suggests potential colleges to apply to based on your input. Not only does this take some of the stress away, it may also save you money.

Finding your perfect college may help you to graduate and thrive too. Many people lose interest when the college doesnt end up suiting their style. Studies by the NCES show that only 6 out of 10 students in public colleges graduate. And, most take up to six years to earn a bachelors degree.

Dont worry, there are no right or wrong answers! But the success of the quiz relies on your honesty.

Here are 6 helpful things to consider before taking the quiz.

  • Narrow down the field you want to study STEM, business, fine arts, liberal arts etc.
  • Assess how far away or close you want college to be from home
  • Know if you prefer a small, medium or large college
  • Figure out what kind of degree you need
  • Have your GPA, ACT or SAT scores on hand as the college application process and criteria vary from one to the next
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    Which College Is Right For You

    As youre weighing pros and cons, keep in mind that the sheer number of criteria an option meets is less important than the significance of those criteria.

    A school that checks off a lot of little factors, like niche clubs on campus and close proximity to your favorite pizza joint, may still not be right for you if it misses the big factors, like regional accreditation. You might end up choosing a school that falls short on less important criteria but outshines all others with the curriculum and research opportunities in your field.

    Choosing the right college is an art, not a science, and its subjective. Not everyone has to agree with your decision for it to be the right choice. And, if you ultimately decide that a school isnt the right choice, youre not stuck there permanently. Transferring schools is always an option. If this is the case, check out the transition support many colleges offer.

    Key Things To Consider

    How to Choose the Perfect College for You.
    • Ask current students about the shortcomings of the college. Every school will have strengths and weaknesses. Make sure you can live with the worst weaknesses at any college youre considering.
    • Dont jump at the first big-name college you can find. Consider how important a colleges prestige might actually be in relation to other factors that are also important.
    • Rankings can help you compare colleges, but be careful not to let them make your decision for you.
    • Use statistics like retention rate and graduation rate to determine if students generally stay at the college and ultimately graduate.
    • Dont wait to reach out to a college if youre interested. Not only can you get more information from campus staff, but demonstrating interest may actually affect your admissions chances.

    Did you know that only about 10% of Fortune 500 CEOs received undergraduate degrees from Ivy League schools? Did you know that the Ivy League was nothing more than a college of football teams at its inception? U.S. President Ronald Reagan went to Eureka College and President Chester Arthur graduated from Union College . Famous Star Wars filmmaker George Lucas attended Modesto Junior College and Doonesbury cartoonist Garry Trudeau went to Yale. Late-night talk show host Jay Leno attended Emerson College .

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    Campus Community And Social Life

    In addition to nailing down a general location, its important to consider the type of campus vibe you want. Are you seeking an intense research university? What about a school with bleed-the-school-colors spirit? Do you want to attend an institution affiliated with a religion or with a strong commitment to athletics, Greek life, or the arts?

    The campus atmosphere will likely be an important part of your happiness at schooland that can have a profound impact on your overall college experience. Happy students are more likely to graduate, so spend some time thinking about what makes you happy, and look for colleges with opportunities that match.

    Questions to ask:

    • What is the social scene like on campus?
    • How do students spend their free time on campus and off?
    • What are the students generally like ?
    • How many students live on campus full time?
    • How many stay on campus during the weekends?
    • How many are on campus during breaks?
    • What kinds of fun things are available to students through the school and in the community?
    • How friendly and welcoming do the students and staff seem?

    What Makes A College Right For You Anyway

    First things first: there is almost certainly more than one right college for you. Some might be reach schools, some might be safeties. In any case, when youre searching for colleges, try to remember what college should be. It’s a place where:

    • You’re comfortable being yourselfbut also challenged to be better.
    • You find people to talk with late into the nightwhether its because you totally agree with each other or youre debating something you care about.
    • You have opportunities to study things that fascinate you, play the sports you want to play, work at internships that help clarify your career plans, and join the clubs you want to joinand you are expected to take advantage of those opportunities, because they wont just fall in your lap.
    • You learn how to learn, communicate well, and solve problemsskills all employers want to see, no matter what industry.
    • And you can get this kind of education without breaking the bank and taking on crazy amounts of student debt.

    Speaking of college costs, heres the dirty little secret: because there are so many schools out there and a variety of financial aid to be had, you can almost always find a college that meets your needs and your budget.

    Even if you’ve dreamed of going to a certain college your whole life, not checking out your other options is a mistake. Finding your perfect college match takes time and effort, but it’s worth it in the end.

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    Top Tip #: Whats Important To You

    While you are researching, youll come up with all kinds of different criteria to judge a university or course by. So make a shortlist of the top three features youre looking for. These could be school ranking or prestige, research facilities, practical experience and internships, cost of tuition, student support services, safety, social life, chance to travel there are so many variables, and whats right for you may be completely wrong for someone else.

    When Do You Have To Decide On A College

    Is college right for me?

    The process of choosing a college can be divided into two stages. The first takes place during the application process in the fall as you figure out which schools you want to apply to, and the second occurs in the spring after you’ve received admission decisions.

    The national college decision deadline is May 1.

    In the fall, most high school seniors apply to several colleges that interest them, though it’s common to have a single top choice. You can use the factors below to help you narrow your list of schools to a more manageable number.

    In the spring, once you’ve received admission decisions from all of the colleges you’ve applied to, you’ll need to start thinking hard about which school you wish to attend. The following factors can help you choose the best school for you. The national deadline by which you must submit your college decision and nonrefundable deposit is May 1 .

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    Ethnic Cuisines And The Importance Of Keeping An Open Mind

    Do you like Nepalese food? Guyanese? Turkish? Youve never tried it? Youre willing to go on faith that you might like it if you had the opportunity to try it? Hold that thought.

    I think its kind of funny that we ask 16 and 17-year-olds what kind of characteristics they want when they choose a college when theyve had, at best, limited exposure or experience with many of these variables to be able to respond in any kind of educated way.

    So, Sam, do you want to go to a big school or a small school? Even kids who go to exceptionally large high schools cannot fathom what campus of 20,000 or more might feel like. Sitting in an introductory biology course with 400 students or engaging in an upper-level recitation class with only a small handful of other students can both be wildly intimidating experiences. But how could your high school junior predict this? They may say they want to be far from home, but on the 4th hour of an 8-hour drive, it hits them exactly how far, far really is. Theyre likely never to really know any of this, until theyve tried it, much like Nepalese cuisine.

    What To Look For In Your Colleges

    Finding your college match boils down to one question: does this college have what youre looking for?

    As you can imagine, there are a lot of factors to consider when researching colleges. And every student’s needs and wants will be different. However, the categories below apply to just about everyone. Theyre extensive, but this is how you find best college match for you and make the most informed college choice possible.

    Also remember: when the college match is clearly right on your end, the admission committee may be better able to see you as their kind of student tooand they may be more likely to admit you. And perhaps offer a more competitive financial aid package.

    Here are the general college search criteria categories :

    • Academics and majors
    • Career services and other support
    • Public or private?

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    Everyone Has Different Needs

    We cannot all use a similar ranking system because we do not have a similar set of priorities. For some students, a politically active environment is key. Others may want a Holocaust teaching and research center while still another may want Division III intercollegiate water polo. Ive had many students who place a high priority on the feel and warmth of a campus. Others want the spirited environment of a large sports powerhouse. Your priorities are not right or wrong. Your challenge is to know what you want , and to proudly pursue it. Be proud of who you are and what you have the potential to become. Find the place that you believe will best let you do this and enjoy it.

    The College Visit And Campus Tour

    Finding the Right University for You

    One of the best ways to determine if a school is a good fit for you is to visit the campus. Before your visit, contact the admissions office to set up a campus tour. Your tour guide will be very knowledgeable and will be able to help answer your questions about the university Pay attention to the feel of the campus. Do you see students doing the things you like to do? Can you sense camaraderie and school pride among the students and professors?

    In addition to a campus tour, make the most of your visit by meeting with an academic advisor who can talk to you about your major. Also, make an appointment with the financial aid office to review financial aid and scholarship options. Spend as much time on campus as possible. Talk to students about their experiences. Taking a look at the UP map, for example, can give you an idea of the size and layout of the campus as well as where students live, eat, and study together.

    If you are lucky enough to be visiting during a concert, athletic game, or guest speaker, try to get tickets to attend. For example, if you visit the University of Portland, be sure to see whatPortland activities are happening during your visit.

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    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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