Tuesday, September 20, 2022

What College Is Perfect For Me

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how to write the perfect college essay (this worked for me!)

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Meredith College Associate Professor of Mathematics Tim Hendrix is the recipient of the 2022 Nadine Bezuk Excellence in Leadership and Service, which is presented by the Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators . He will be honored during the general session of AMTEs Annual Conference in February 2022.

Check Your Gems For Color And Clarity

When I say “check your gems,” I mean make sure that each of the three to five things you’ve found is something your target school has that other schools don’t have.

This something should be seen from your own perspective. The point isn’t to generically praise the school but instead to go into detail about why it’s so great for you that they have this thing.

This something you find should be meaningful to the school and specific to you. For example, if you focus on academics , find a way to link them either to your previous work or to your future aspirations.

This something should not be shallow and non-specific. Want to live in a city? Every city has more than one college in it. Find a way to explain why this specific college in this specific city calls to you. Like pretty architecture? Many schools are beautiful, so dwell on why this particular place feels unlike any other. Like good weather, beach, skiing, or some other geographical attribute? There are many schools located near these places, and they know that people enjoy sunbathing. Either build a deeper connection or skip these as reasons.

Also Check: Are Any Colleges Still Accepting Applications

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?

Types Of Why This College Essay Prompts

Biblio Cafe in the library at Dickinson College. Perfect ...

The “why this college” essay is best thought of as a back and forth between you and the college. This means that your essay will really be answering two separate, albeit related, questions:

  • #1: “Why us?”This is where you explain what makes the school special in your eyes, what attracted you to it, and what you think you’ll get out of your experience there.
  • #2: “Why you?”This is the part where you talk about why you’ll fit in at the school, what qualities/skills/talents/abilities you’ll contribute to student life, and how your future will be impacted by the school and its opportunities.

Colleges usually use one of these approaches to frame this essay, meaning that your essay will lean heavier toward whichever question is favored in the prompt. For example, if the prompt is all about “why us?” you’ll want to put your main focus on praising the school. If the prompt instead is mostly configured as “why you?” you’ll want to dwell at length on your fit and potential.

It’s good to remember that these two prompts are simply two sides of the same coin. Your reasons for wanting to apply to a particular school can be made to fit either of these questions.

For instance, say you really want the chance to learn from the world-famous Professor X. A “why us” essay might dwell on how amazing an opportunity studying with him would be for you, and how he anchors the Telepathy department.

Below are some examples of actual “why us” college essay prompts:

Tell me all about … me.

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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.

Convert Your Gems Into Essay Topics

Every “why this college” essay is going to answer both the “why us” and the “why you” parts of the back-and-forth equation. But depending on which way your target school has worded its prompt, you’ll lean more heavily on that part. This is why I’m going to split this brainstorming into two partsto go with the “why us” and “why you” types of questions.

Of course, since they are both sides of the same coin, you can always easily flip each of these ideas around in order to have it work well for the other type of prompt. For example, a “why us” essay might talk about how interesting the XYZ interdisciplinary project is and how it fits well with your senior project.

By contrast, a “why you” essay would take the same idea but flip it to say that you’ve learned through your senior project how you deeply value an interdisciplinary approach to academics, making you a great fit for this school and its commitment to such work, as evidenced by project XYZ.

Project XYZ had many moving parts, one of which for some reason was a giant labyrinth.

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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.

What Degree Is Right For Me

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Are you struggling to figure out what college degree best suits you? Answer these few questions and you can uncover what type of degree best fits your interests and personality.

Questions

These questions when answered completely honestly will lead you to the degree of your dreams. Discover what degree is most like you and what will set you on the right path for the rest of your life!

Fun

This test is not based on any scientific study whatsoever.It is intended for fun only so do not treat the result too seriously ๐Ÿ™‚

Answers

Do not think about the answers too long. If you think you answered incorrectly, you can always go back to any question and change your answer.

Enjoy and share

At the end of the quiz we will give you the result. You can share it with your friends ๐Ÿ™‚

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Whats Next After Finding Your College Match

Now that you have your list of college matches, there are a few next steps. After all, college is a big investment of time and money. The first step is to do your own research. Look up student reviews and see if you like what they are saying about the school.

While you are online, you could also take a virtual tour of the college. It can save you a trip and gives you an idea of the campus, services and vibe from afar. Keep in mind, gaining admission to any specific school is not guaranteed. This means you should apply to a few schools. You may improve your odds of admission in a school youre interested in.

Some of these can be safety schools, where you think you have a good chance of getting in. Others can be target or dream colleges. Many college students also find that submitting the Common App makes it easier to apply to multiple schools.

Fill out the FAFSA to know how much federal aid you qualify for. If you get into multiple schools, you compare each ones financial aid packages. Many eligible middle and low income students use financial aid awards to offset the cost of college.

Schools may also offer different scholarships based on either merit or financial need. Depending on what a school offers you, a more expensive school on your list may become more affordable. In some schools they may automatically consider you for their merit scholarships.

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What Colleges Get Out Of Reading Your Why This College Essay

Colleges want to check three things when they read this essay.

First, they want to see that you have a sense of what makes this college different and special.

  • Do you know something about the school’s mission, history, and/or values?
  • Have you thought about the school’s specific approach to learning?
  • Are you comfortable with the school’s traditions and the overall feel of student life here?

Second, they want proof that you will be a good fit for the school.

  • Where do your interests lie? Do they correspond to this school’s strengths?
  • Is there something about you that meshes well with some aspect of the school?
  • How will you contribute to college life? How will you make your mark on campus?

And third, they want to see that this school will, in turn, be a good fit for you.

  • What do you want to get out of college? Will this college be able to provide that? Will this school contribute to your future success?
  • What will you take advantage of on campus ?
  • Will you succeed academically? Is this school at the right rigor and pace for your ideal learning environment?

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What is the perfect college for me

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Read Also: Colleges Accepting Applications For Fall 2020

Were There Any Surprises/struggles Along The Way And What Did You Learn From Them

At one point, I began getting frustrated with the educational path I was on to the point that I made the decision to stop attending college and focus on gaining professional experience.

This is something that I still struggle with, but I have learned that continuing your education leads to pathways previously unknown. There have been topics and areas of study that have fascinated me and led me to pursue more knowledge about them. Ive never shut the door to education, because there is still so much that I do not know. If youre not learning, youre not growing. That has been my take-away with regard to higher education.

Alum / 2017 / Sociology & Marketing / Cosumnes River College

After growing up in a tough neighborhood in Oakland where there was more temptation than opportunity DeWayne discovered Cosumnes River College spoke to him. He connected to CRC’s campus because of its serenity and positive atmosphere. He found he could think and reflect more easily without the added pressures of inner-city life.

CRC is where DeWayne discovered the joy of learning. And it is at the Oak Park Community Center where DeWayne shares his learning discovery with youth and teens who can benefit from real-life inspiration. He is there as a mentor, Youth Development trainer, and outreach & development coordinator he has even advocated for them as an ambassador at city council meetings.

Alum / 2019 / Sociology / Cosumnes River College

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.

Also Check: What University Has The Best Dorms

Let Colleges Come To You

A representative from So and So University will be at Your High School on such and such a day. Sound familiar? Go to these information sessions, even if youve never heard of the college or university. Its a great way to learn about all of your options and establish personal connections with the people who decide whether to admit or deny applicants.

Judging Schools: Look Beneath The Surface

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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.

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