Posts Tagged ‘choosing a college’

How to Pick the Best School for Your Career

Categories: Admissions Advice

In your quest to find your perfect college match, you’ve considered your major, the distance it is from home, the number of people from your high school going there, the food, its appearance, the cleanliness of the bathrooms, whether or not you’ll have to take a gym class, and a hundred other pieces of criteria! It’s a big decision, so there’s a lot to think about! Have you considered what college will do the best job at preparing you for your career? Check out these ways you can verify that the college you’re choosing has what it takes to actually get you a job!

 The Reputation of the Program

Once you’re sure a college has your major, you’ll want to find out more about the program and its alumni. How popular is this major on campus? What percentage of its graduates are able to find a job in that major? What do the students currently enrolled in the program think? How long has the major existed on campus? Who’s teaching the classes? The more you can find out about your future program online and through the college, the better. If your program has been around for a while, is gaining popularity, and has accomplished individuals teaching new information, that’s a good sign!

 The Relevancy of the Program

The job market is different than it was twenty, or even just ten years ago, and with technology constantly changing, you’ll want a program that’s adjusting their coursework so they’re ahead of the game! As an education major, you don’t want to learn the art of overhead transparencies. You want to learn how to use multi-media in the classroom, and how to look for signs of bullying. As a creative writer, you don’t want a heavy emphasis on the classics. You want to learn how to produce and market work in today’s writer’s market! Make sure the school you choose has a program that knows how to adequately prepare students for today. A quick look at the required courses and syllabi are often enough to get a few clues!

The Opportunities Given to You

When looking at a perspective program, look for what the college has to offer that other colleges don’t. What opportunities does this program give you that will better prepare you for a job than other programs? Will you get the chance to create a documentary your sophomore year as a film major? Will you be asked to observe how a classroom is taught your freshman year as an education major? Is there a literary magazine writing majors can help produce? Is there a famous professor with brilliant insights in charge of your program? If you can’t see why getting your program at one college would be better than getting it at another college, then you probably need to keep looking.

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5 Not-So-Awesome Reasons to Choose a College

Categories: Admissions Advice

Here are 5 not-so-awesome, A.K.A, probably bad, reasons to choose a college:

It’s where the parties and bars are: Every semester there’s someone who admits to applying to that particular college only because of its social reputation. That person doesn’t usually make it past a semester or two. While it’s important to choose a college with a culture you’ll enjoy, the education you’ll receive at that institution is what you’re paying for. Keep your education the first priority and put the parties, bars, clubs, and other social elements a few notches down the list.

My best friend/boyfriend/girlfriend goes there: It can be very tempting to pick the college where your significant other or best friend is going, especially if you’re in high school and you’ve been maintaining a long distance relationship with someone who’s already in college. The thought of seeing that person all the time can weigh a ton on the college decision. It’s one thing if that college also happens to have the best academic program for you, but if there are other institutions you could attend that offer better programs , or if you think you’ll feel more at home somewhere else, or you’ve been offered an awesome scholarship, consider maintaining your friendships and relationships while you attend different institutions.

My father went there, and his father went there: When there have been generations of family members that have attended a particular college, it may seem that you have no choice but to continue the trend. If you love that college, then great. But if you think there are other colleges that would better suit your needs, you might be faced with a lot of stress, especially if Mom and Dad are paying. While you don’t want to disappoint your parents, when it comes down to it, it’s your life and your education. Go with what’s best for you–you can still root for their alma mater even if you don’t attend it.

Mom wants her baby close to home: While you might find it hard to leave your hometown to go to college, your parents probably find it equally as hard to let you! Just as you’ll need to adjust to living on your own, they’ll need to adjust to not having you around everyday. In addition, they may be facing realizations that they’re getting older, or missing their own college days. They’re also going to really miss you! As a result, they might subtly begin urging you to check out local and community colleges, or suggest you live at home and commute. While you don’t want to break mom’s heart, do what’s best for you and your education. After a few months you’ll adjust to living on your own, and they’ll adjust to having you away.

Everyone from high school is going there: Sometimes a large percentage of your high school will choose to apply to a particular college. If you love high school and everyone in it, it might be tempting to go, too; however, continuing the next four years with people who’ve known you since birth isn’t always the best idea. In college, you’ll figure out who you really are. You’ll make changes to yourself based on that self-discovery. College is often times crucial for individuals to form an independent identity and it may not be what they were at home or in high school. Those who attend college with a high percentage of their high school class may find this process to be more difficult.

Want to know how to research and find the right college for you? Watch this video!

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I Got Accepted! What Do I Do Next?

Categories: Admissions Advice

Our last post on getting accepted, waitlisted, or rejected seemed like relative hit among you college-bound youth out there, so we figured why not go a little deeper into each subject matter?

Today, we’ll voyage to the not-too-far-away land called Accepted Island–a place where high school seniors land after receiving a thick envelop in the mail and a congratulatory pat on the back by their parents. So celebrate on that island for a little while, and then pack up your stuff because you’ll have to make some moves.

Choosing a college:

After getting accepted into college, you don’t really have that much time to make your final decision. Most colleges require a decision by May  1. So you may have a month or less to decide. Sure, congratulate yourself with an hour extra of reality TV, or whatever your guilty pleasure is, but then it’s time to get back to business because you have plenty of things to take care of.

With a limited amount of time you’ll have to weigh your options. One of the best ways to weed out schools is by looking at the most black and white factor of them all: money. Is one school offering you a bigger scholarship? If money is a big factor in your decision making, then your decision can basically be made for you then and there. If one school is offering more money, but you prefer another school, you can always ask if they will match the other school’s offer. What do yo have to lose? They may not agree to match the scholarship, but they’re not going to lower it–unless you say something scary on the phone. So avoid that.

If that doesn’t help narrow down which college you’ll enroll in, you might want to visit the campuses. If you haven’t already visited, this is definitely worth the trip. A visit will give you the overall feeling of a school and can help you decide if it’s the right fit.

And…if that doesn’t help you choose which school you will be enrolling in next fall, then it’s time to get introspective. What do you want out of  college? What do you want for your career and your future? Make a checklist of these items and see which colleges meet more requirements. You can always seek guidance from a parent, teacher, or counselor to help you make the best decision.

Finishing high school strong:

Senioritis is not just a contagious attitude that will keep you up late watching Hoarders, it’s a state-of-mind that can actually threaten your future. Colleges may ask for your end of the year transcript, and if your grades slip too much, they could possibly take away your scholarship.

The same goes for extracurricular activities. Avoid winding down your effort in the activities that may have helped you get into college. Your team, club, or group depends on your leadership and actions. Giving up because you got an acceptance letter is a bad stain on your character.

Not too sound to much like your mom, but you should also stay away from trouble. Just because you got into a college doesn’t mean you should party harder. An acceptance letter can’t do much for the unknown consequences of bad decision making. Sorry, we definitely got into Mom-tone on that one.

Speaking in the positive light, an acceptance letter/s should drive you to continue working hard and doing good work.

Staying humble:
Don’t let a few acceptance letters go to your head. For one thing, you don’t want to alienate yourself from friends who may have not had such luck with college admissions. That doesn’t mean you have to hide your success, but try not to push it in others’ faces. There’s also a strange phenomenon that sometimes occurs where students who get into college assume they’re set for life. You can always improve, keep pushing, and continue making strides. Don’t stop moving because you’ve been recognized for your work one time.

Do you have an experience with getting accepted to college? Tell us your story in the comment section below! 

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