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How To Start College Search

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Narrow Down Your List

How to Start Your College Search & Application Process! | APPLY TEXAS, COMMON APP, BLACK COMMON APP

Based on the two items above , you are now in a position to narrow your search a bitjust dont narrow it too much. Obviously the institutions youve graded as F or F- could most likely be eliminated. You may be surprised at some of the options you are eliminating should you rely completely on the grades given. So if you still have an interest in a college or university that you didnt initially grade well, keep it on the list for now. However, if you continue to get the same treatment you did when first browsing their website and/or requesting information, ask yourself the following question: if Im being treated this way now, how will it be if I apply, am offered admission, and enroll?

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Cost Financial Aid And Affordability

It can be a big mistake to start your college search by excluding certain schools because they have an expensive price tag . Of course, for most students and their families, college affordability will weigh heavily on their decision-making process.

However, the initial sticker price you see will seldom be the final price you pay. Most colleges and universities realize they need to help students afford their education. And financial aid changes everything. In fact, you might find the pricey school that seemed out of reach is actually your most affordable option once you get their financial aid award letter.

College students get financial support through a wide range of sources, such as academic scholarships, special ability awards , diversity grants , or on-campus employment . Students also get money based on the results of their FAFSA and/or the CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE .

Also, pay attention to the freshman-to-sophomore retention rate and the four-year graduation rate in your college cost research, because they often signify a schools true value. For example, a “cheaper” school may be less of a bargain if a low percentage of students actually graduate in four years. And a more expensive school with a higher four-year graduation rate may actually be the better value.

Questions to ask

Find A School That Fits

Mia Mendoza knows a thing or two about transferring. She has transferred twice once from City College of San Francisco to San Francisco State University and again from San Francisco State to California State University, San Bernardino . She says she initially transferred to San Francisco State because it was close by and familiar. “I knew friends who went there, so they could help me out with anything if I needed it.” In retrospect, she wishes she’d done more research about student life, resources for transfer students and campus feel.

When thinking about institutions to transfer to, Mendoza, who is also a transfer peer mentor at CSUSB, says to look for schools that have support in place for transfer students. “One thing I would strongly recommend is to see if they have a transfer center. If they have it, I would say that’s already a good sign.”

The second time Mendoza transferred, she conducted a lot more research and made sure the campus, academics and student opportunities were all a good fit for her.

When thinking about how many schools to apply to, Jones recommends “the tried-and-true three. You should not be stressing yourself out trying to apply to 20 different schools.” Jones says students should look for three to five schools that “have programs that are suited to their end goal” and that work with their lifestyle and will help them thrive in the classroom.

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Ask The Experts: How To Research College

Well, I am a fourteen-year-old female student of an all-girl school in Detroit, Mi. The name of my school is Detroit International Academy. I would like to know how to get started looking for a college. Please help me because I dont know where to start? Shynera

Presumably, youre in the 9th or 10th grade, so you have a lot of time to consider particular college choices. Right now you should focus on taking challenging courses in your school and doing well in them. Test preparation will happen just prior to or going into junior year, so you have time on that front as well. Your college choices should be the result of your matching your strengths and interests to particular environments. Most students dont have a particular academic focus, but everyone has strengths and interests, in and out of class. So, spend the next two years pursuing your passions, concentrating on the things you love to do, and building knowledge of yourself and what kind of college environment and programs would most likely work best for you.

Heading into the summer prior to junior year you might begin your college list building, with the idea of seeing some campuses in the fall of junior year to get an idea of what is out there in terms of contrasting environments. Work with your schools college counseling program to make sure you are taking appropriate tests and not missing deadlines or planning events organized by your school.

How do you know whats the right school for you? Shanira

Head Out For College Campus Tours

Where Should I Go To College? Use myKlovr

Sometimes, the best way to assess a school is with a campus tour. Most colleges and universities offer these options on a set schedule, giving prospective students a chance to see what it may be like if they decide to attend classes there.

Typically, theyll get to view the campus, dorm rooms, common spaces like student centers and cafeterias, and much, much more.

Plus, your child can ask the tour guide questions that are relevant to them. This can be incredibly important when your student is searching for colleges and needs to narrow down their list.

Its also common to be able to speak with someone in admissions or financial aid, giving your student valuable information about the schools processes, costs, and requirements.

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Learn More About The Colleges You Find

Once you have a list of six to eight colleges that meet some or all of your criteria, dive in and find out more about them. Research them online, visit their websites and YouTube channels, take their virtual tours, or look them up in a college guidebook. If a college looks like it could be the right fit, visit the campus. If you cant visit, tour some nearby colleges that have features similar to that college.

Attend One Or Two College Fairs

College fairs are often high school students’ first taste of the college admission experience. Theyre big, loud, exciting, and overwhelmingbut theyre a great way to dive into the college search process. If there is a National College Fair in your area, go to it, because there will be lots of schools there. Talk to as many college representatives as possible and ask informed questions. Stop at the schools youve never heard of before. Gather as much literature as your arms can carry, and have fun shopping for a college.

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Cover The Basics Of The College Search Process

1. Assess your academic style.2. Determine your desired social scene.3. Consider your future career path.4. Practically apply your collegiate dreams through research.Explore college campuses from your living room search colleges on Fastweb.

Be Careful With National Rankings

how to start & organize your college search my college research list & tips

College rankings, such as those published by U.S. News and World Report can serve as an easy starting point to learn about popular colleges. But its dangerous to assume that a highly ranked college is right for you, or that the ranking measures the factors important to you. Create your own college ranking based on the factors you are looking for in a college. For more information about college rankings, see Get Smart About College Rankings.

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Your College Search: When And How To Start

Do you feel lost when trying to begin your college search? You’re not alone. Find out more about when and how to start your search process now.

Vice President, Enrollment Management and Marketing, Stonehill College

Originally Posted: Sep 25, 2013

Do you feel lost when trying to begin your college search? Does the idea of narrowing down the colleges and universities you are considering into a manageable list seem overwhelming? You’re not alone. You should start by asking yourself, What is most important to me as I begin to search for the right school? Then take a deep breath and dive right in. Here, we break down the most important aspects of your college search

Help Your Child Stay On Track Academically

Students are required to take certain subjects in high school in order to qualify for admission at certain colleges . Sometimes these requirements vary depending on the major or the college. Make sure your child is aware of these course requirements now so they can work with their counselor to craft an appropriate class schedule each semester. Gradesincluding nowcount, too!

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High School Juniors: Start Thinking Beyond Standardized Tests And Explore College Options

Now that all is said and done for the high school seniors who will be attending college in Fall 2012, the focus will turn to high school juniors and the impact that many societal factors will have on their college admissions process. My advice remains the same: avoid focusing on standardized tests during the upcoming weeks. It is so easy to fall victim to the hype surrounding the controversial exams, but in the process students lose the opportunity to attend college fairs and information sessions right here in Los Angeles. A few words of advice: 1) Remember, not only does the college choose you, you also choose the college do your research and meet representatives any chance you get! 2) The more times you express interest in a college, the better the chances you will be admitted . Every time you attend a college fair or information session, make sure you complete the form to let them know you attended. Colleges put this information in your file and track your interest. 3) As a follow-up to #2 go online and request information from colleges express interest early and often. 4) Do your research: know when colleges will be in town and dont miss them! Its so easy to do when all you can think about are those standardized testsalmost seems contradictory, doesnt it?

PresidentInside Track To College, Inc.

Starting Your College Search

How to Start Your College Search

One of the first steps in the college planning process is to explore colleges. With thousands of choices, it’s hard to know where to begin. Take these five steps to kick off your college search and start building a list.

  • Open up a discussion with your family, guardian, school counselor, or teacher about your interests and goals. Find out how you can start building a network and create a mentor/mentee relationship for advice and support. Talk to people whove been to college and learn about their experience.
  • Keep an eye out for college brochures and emails in your mailbox and inbox. This information gives you a better understanding of your options and can help you find the school thats right for you. If youre not receiving college mail yet, opt in to the College Board Student Search Service® to connect with colleges and scholarship programs. To opt in, visit this page, sign into your College Board account, and click Yes in the blue section at the top of the page.
  • Attend college fairs held at your school, a nearby conference center, or a local community center. These events are an ideal way to meet college representatives and ask questions about student organizations or dorm life. Make sure to get email addresses so you can send thank-you notes later.
  • Use your free College Board account, and build a college list with the College Search tool. Start your search today at:
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    Template For Senior Year College Search Checklist

    Need a calendar-pegged template you can use to develop your high school senior college checklist? Ours is based on one presented by The Scholarship System. You can tell TSS is thorough because it begins by telling you what you should have done before the start of the senior year:

    • Choose your college team, from counselors to family members to friends and mentors.
    • Begin building a list of colleges you want to target.
    • Start pondering a career path. Its about finding your passion and identifying majors to help you fulfill it.
    • Start the research process by attending college fairs, reaching out to college reps, and engaging with counselors at your high school and colleges. With COVID-19, picking a school takes even more information.

    Search For Schools Using An Online College Finder

    After you’ve figured out your preferences, the easiest way to find schools that you like is to use an online college finder tool to search based on your criteria.

    One option that you might consider initially is College Navigator. You can specify location, size, major program, public or private, tuition, test scores, and more in your search. This tool will give you all the statistics on different schools and help you locate options that seem like the right fit. As you investigate the results of your search, add schools to your “favorites” and compare them side by side to see how they differ. This might eliminate some options based on factors like cost and admissions rate.

    A screenshot of the College Navigator search tool

    Another site to investigate is Cappex. Cappex is a college matchmaking site where you can fill out a profile and get matched up with schools that align with your preferences. The site provides suggestions for schools that you might like after you complete your profile. It has a pretty complete overview of each school including student reviews and information about campus life that might not be included in the College Navigator statistics.

    If you find schools that you like, you can add them to your running list and compare them against each other. Cappex also links directly to the application pages for schools on your list of favorites, so you can check out what materials you’re expected to submit.

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    Campus Visits: An Essential Tool

    Your next step is to create a plan to start visiting college campuses. If at all possible, visit a variety of campus types: large and small, urban and suburban, undergraduate colleges and larger universities. These initial campus visits will help clarify the characteristics that seem the most attractive to you, and theyll give you a better sense of what your life there might be like. Deciding on a list of schools to visit is an important discussion to have with your family as well, so you can plan for school and summer vacation opportunities.

    Campus tours, information sessions, and personal interviews are typical campus visit experiences, though not all schools offer the opportunity for a personal interview. Be sure to plan in advance what you want to learn on each campus visit youll get a lot of valuable information from a formal tour or presentation, but be sure to ask questions that are specifically important to you or your family. Most importantly, allow yourself to absorb the campus environment. Can you see yourself studying there? Making friends? If you plan to be a resident student, can you see yourself living there? The visit should engage your senses, and its helpful to take notes regarding your thoughts and gut reactions to the campus that you can refer to later. By the end of your visit, you may not be able to say, This is the one, but you should know whether it stays on your list.

    Which Checklist Do You Need

    College search: WHERE TO START
    • Make sure that youre in the right classes for college admission.
    • Prepare for the ACTYou may find free or low-cost prep courses, and lots of resources are available online. Your counselor may even be able to help you with fee waivers!
    • Meet with your counselor againTalk about classes during your senior year. Ask about taking classes at UA Little Rock over the summer to earn early credit towards your degree.
    • Take the ACT
    • Attend ExploreWell make sure you meet all the right people as our Trojan VIP! Learn about scholarships, academic programs, tour campus, and attend the Trojan basketball game for FREE!
    • Explore summer opportunitiesCall our Admissions Office to explore summer enrichment opportunities, like taking a summer class on campus or attending one of our camps.
    • Plan your recommendation lettersStart thinking about teachers, counselors, or employers who you can ask to write letters of recommendation for your scholarship application.

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    Putting Your Picks Into Categories

    Safety Schools

    Easy peasy. These are the schools you know youll get into.

    Its best to start closest to home and with the options you are most familiar with by adding safety schools to your list first.

    Safety schools should be schools that:

    • youre not worried about acceptance to.
    • have high acceptance rates.
    • have average applicant profiles with GPA and test scores lower than your own.
    • are, typically, in-state colleges that youre familiar with and are close by.

    Although this is rarely mentioned elsewhere, safety schools should also be financial safety schools and either offer low cost of attendance overall or substantial merit scholarships to match your statistics.

    A good rule of thumb to follow is to look at housing, as price conscientious schools rarely charge over $11,000 for housing and meals.

    For these financial safety schools, youll likely be adding mostly in-state schools, since nonresident tuition typically edges tuition out of the safety category.

    Neighboring states often offer reciprocity with border states, so you might find a great deal in the next state over. Private colleges with $60,000 tuition rates should not be in this category, even if they have high acceptance rates.

    With safety schools, the focus should be on accessibility of admission and affordability.

    Safety schools are great options to add to your list because they offer flexibility.

    I recommend adding at least three safety schools to your list.

    Match Schools

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