Good Schools: Are They A Thing
When we think of good schools, we may think of the most prestigious, most selective, or even the schools with the most successful alums in the field we wish to major in.
Ivy League schools are often the first thing that come to mind when Americans think of best colleges, as are a number of small, highly selective, and highly-ranked colleges and universities.
However, if a student decides to attend a school for the perceived prestige alone ignoring their own gut feelings and instincts about the campus culture and how theyd fit into it they could very well end up unhappy even among the nations best colleges.
What is considered best is highly subjective.
Are good schools really even a thing?
Yes and no.
Student-to-teacher ratio, quality of instructors, retention rate, graduation rate, diversity of courses offered, and quality of housing and student life are all important factors to take into account for any college hopeful.
But what makes a school good is up to the individual student and their unique experiences, hopes, and dreams for their life in college.
This also raises the question: do bad schools exist?
Certainly, some schools have their share of administrative issues and lack of resources. Those are all things you can usually determine through speaking with current students and doing a little research into what the school offers.
The Idea Of Sitting In Class Makes You Exhausted
There are just some people who decided classrooms arent for them. People who realized at a very early age of third grade that being out there, creating and basking in unlimited freedom is whats for them. And we really cant blame these individuals. Sitting in a classroom and listening from one teacher to another drone on and on, that can be exhausting. It can suck out the energy in us, and how can we learn if were exhausted. Its not the teachers, okay or maybe its them sometimes, but you get the point. Millions of people choose not to go to college because of the mere fact that listening to a professor and being forced to sit in classrooms kill their souls. We should just deal with that. After all, high school graduates are not doing so bad so maybe, skipping college isnt a very bad idea as most people think.
How To Tell If A College Is Right For You
How can you tell if a college or university is right for you? Find out the right questions to ask yourself on CollegeXpress.
Choosing your college can be exciting, scary, and overwhelmingoften all at the same time. Unlike high school, which is usually determined by where you live, college is wide open. Deciding where you will spend four of the most important years of your life is a big decision. Although you may ask trusted family members or friends for their opinions, the final decision is up to you. Pretty intense, right? But don’t worry. There are a few ways to tell if a college is right for you. Assuming you already have a good mix of safety, match, and reach/dream schools on your college list, start by asking yourself these five important questions. Theyll help you figure out if the college is really right for you and deserving of your application .
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What Is The Best Way To Find A Job
Many schools host hiring events as well as list current job openings online through a Career Center For example, students can find UP jobs posted on the University of Portland job board. Talk with an academic advisor about internships in your major. Even an unpaid internship should be considered if it will give you a unique opportunity to build your resume and earn credit.
Remember that in order to be able to be hired while at college, you will need to have the necessary identification paperwork required for completing Form I-9 and Form W4. These documents can be your original birth certificate or social security card plus a state drivers license or photo ID. You can also provide a valid passport.
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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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.
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.
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What Are You Interested In
The first question you need to ask yourself when preparing to declare a major is what youre interested in. Even if your interest doesnt have a specific major, it can help guide you in the direction of the school you want to look at. By picking a major youre interested in, you maximize your chance of landing in a career you love.
If youre interested in science, math, literature, or history, your major choice will be simple. But if youre interested in video games, why not look at a computer science or graphic design degree? If you like fashion and shopping, consider something in the design field, and if youre into sports, look into a Kinesiology or sports medicine degree.
Can You Change Your Major
You can absolutely change your major in college.Studies find that most students change majors at least once and many students switch several times. No matter what year youre in, sometimes the major you declare doesnt end up being the right one. If you decide to change your major, make sure the credits you need align with your expected graduation date. Go to your counselor for guidance on picking a new major and setting up your schedule.
Its a big decision, but you know yourself and your interests better than anyone. Remember, when choosing a major, the most important thing is to make sure youre happy and clear about your priorities for your life and career after college.
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Judging Schools: Look Beneath The Surface
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.
Youre Going Only Because Of Societys Rules
Oh boy, here we go with society. Please dont. And I mean, please dont do something just because society told you so, or because its trending, or just because everybody else in your girl gang is doing it. Not a bright idea, my friend. It may not affect you now but it will affect you soon, and its going to be negative. See, we love following trends. We love doing something because the people around us do the same thing. But the question is, do we also really like to do it? Are we really having fun with this social trend? Im guessing, when it comes to college education, its a no. I mean, who sees debt as fun? Who sees years of expensive tuition fee as fun? So, my friend, this is your reminder that you can do whatever the heck you want to do. You can take one short course after the other, or you can go to college and get a degree. Anything. Even when society thinks its weird.
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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.
Applying To Community Colleges
Applications for admission are straightforward, and acceptance for most programs is guaranteed to students with evidence of a diploma from an accredited high school, or an equivalency diploma. Current high school seniors must demonstrate adequate scholastic achievement based on their junior or latest senior average. To apply, request that your official transcripts be mailed to the college Admissions Office from your high school and any colleges you attended. Once your file is complete, you will receive a decision letter in the mail. Each academic program has specific entrance requirements, established to ensure student success, so some programs may be more selective and require certain classes or test results in high school for entrance. Because most programs are open admission, SAT scores are not required.
Tip: Community colleges do not have unlimited spaces, so plan to get your applications in early!
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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.
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?
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Tuition And Financial Aid
On average, the annual average tuition for in-state students is much lower than four-year institutions, and financial aid is still available. The Federal Pell Grant is open, so you can even qualify if you go part-time. The Federal government offers grants, loans, and work-study to qualifying students attending any accredited postsecondary institution, and each state has grants and scholarships available to qualified full- and part-time students.
Tip: Tuition doesn’t cover the cost of books, fees, and transportation, so you will need to include those items in your budget.
When You Have To Declare A Major
If youre not at all sure what you want to do with your life, dont worry. You arent alone in fact, about a third of college students change their major at some point in their program. But the good news is you dont have to decide what you want your major to be the second you hit campus.
Most colleges dont require you to declare a major until you start taking major-specific classes. In most cases, this doesnt start until your junior year, so you dont have to declare a major until the end of your sophomore year. Before then, youre taking the same core classes everyone takes, and you have time to explore what you want to do.
Visit A Starter College
Campus visits are an incredibly important part of your college search . However, if youre just starting and arent quite sure what youre looking for in a college, spend an hour or two walking around the closest campuseven if youre certain its not the right college for you. It can get your imagination going and help you gather your thoughts.
Lock In Your Safety Reach And Match Schools
Its important to look at your academic record and abilities and focus on colleges that match them. Before you invest time and money in applying to any colleges, compare the average admitted students credentials to your own. That will help you figure out if youll almost certainly be admitted , if youll probably be admitted , or if you may not be admitted . You should also consider the cost of tuition, percentage of the student body receiving financial aid, and average amount of aid this information will help you and your family rank the school for its financial feasibility too.
However…heres the most important thing about choosing your safety, reach, and match colleges: make sure they’re all schools youd be happy to attend. Truly, legitimately, genuinely happy. Dont treat your safety schools as throwaways, and dont make your reaches the three most selective schools youve ever heard of. Keeping an open mind is often the secret to success in collegeand that “safety” school might be your dream school after all.
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Opportunities For High School Students
In order to learn more about two-year colleges, think about the following options:
- Taking a course: In some school districts, students have the option to take classes at a community college to fulfill both high school and college credits. Inquire with the guidance counselor at your school for more information and to see what is available.
- Attending a college fair: Here you can talk to a college representative and pick up literature on the programs. You may also choose to sign up for a tour of the campus and attend an information session with an admissions counselor.
- Talking with your guidance counselor: You guidance counselor is a great source of information about options and steps to follow the path that you choose. Your counselor will also be able to help you identify what your options are. Many schools offer evening workshops on postsecondary options, applying for financial aid, and much more â take advantage of these opportunities whenever possible!
What Is A Major Whats The Difference Between A Major And A Minor
A major is a specific subject area college students specialize in. Typically, between one-third and one-half of the courses youll take in college will be in your major or related to it. Some colleges even let you design your own major!
A minor is a secondary field you can study in while completing your major degree program. Its a specialization that requires fewer courses than a major. Minors are only required for certain degrees.
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