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Choosing a College

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1 Choosing a College

2 By the Book One of your primary resources in the college search should be books.college search A trip to see Fina or a high school's counselor (or college office) will provide you with free access to university reference books. These books will provide info on tuition fees, graduation rates, and admission requirements for various schools Others may be focused on uncovering all aspects of a particular institution. Sometimes the career center has pamphlets or brochures published by colleges themselves and enable you to learn about particular courses they may have offered in the past as well as the various requirements that exist for different programs and degrees.

3 Wireless Info Thanks to the Internet and Web savvy college officials, you can now conduct most of your college search from the comforts of home, or your local library. Most universities have their own Web sites online that you can find after a simple search, and these sites have specific areas set aside for prospective students. You can download past course offerings, read opinions from current students, and even check out the campus student newspaper. Alternative college reference can be found in the form of sites like LiveJournal, where current students set up communities devoted to their college. Overall Expectations Eastern WU ALL Perusing their posts, and even putting up your own, will allow you to get a first-hand feel for the schools that you're considering. Just remember; no matter kind of school you're looking for, use every university reference source you can access. To make the right decision, you'll need to rely upon a variety of college references and opinions from those in the know.

4 Step 1: Determine what you might like to study or major in at college. Try to identify what areas you would like to major in. Take a career inventory that helps you identify what majors are helpful Use this info to find a college that supports your majors or career interests

5 Step 2: Develop a list of criteria you want to use to evaluate and weed out colleges. Do you want to live close to home, or far away? Do you want a large university or a small college? What about costs?

6 Here's a list of common criteria: degrees offered majors/minors location (rural or urban setting)/distance from home size of the student population (from small at 1,000 to large at 35,000+) public vs. private costs (tuition, room and board, etc.) financial assistance packages campus resources (labs, libraries, computer access, etc.) graduation rate/time placement success/internship and co-op programs accreditation class size faculty contact/classes taught by full-time doctorally qualified faculty quality/reputation/ranking degree of pressure to excel safety (campus, community) student body (diversity, gender, etc.) social life (Greek organizations, sports, school spirit, etc.) religious affiliation/independent housing options (dorms, apartments, living at home) realistic entry expectations (based on typical student admitted)

7 Step 3: Compile a list of possible colleges and universities. With at least some idea of the criteria that are important to you, begin the gathering phase. You can find college information in books, such as The Fiske Guide to Colleges Check out books on career resources for teens such as Teen Books.Teen Books Another resource is TheAdmissionsOffice.com. Check out online resources such as College Planning Resources for Teens.College Planning Resources for Teens You will surely also get suggestions from family, friends, and high school teachers and guidance counselors. You should also consider attending college fairs, where you can actually meet representatives from the schools, as well as gather important literature.

8 Step 4: Gather all your resources and information about each school you're considering. If you don't have all the information you need on a particular college, you should consider visiting the college's Website. And most colleges offer some sort of virtual campus tour, so you can get an early taste of the look and feel of a college from your PC.

9 Step 5: Use the criteria from Step 2 to narrow your list of colleges to a manageable number. This number will vary widely depending on how many college you and your family can realistically visit or which ones fit what you need. Most experts suggest narrowing the list to 10 or fewer, but some students have close to 20 colleges for this phase.

10 Step 6: Visit the colleges on your list from Step 5-if you can. The best way to really get a feel for a college is by visiting the campus, taking a tour, meeting with students or reps, attend a class, read the campus newspaper, eat in the cafeteria, or spend the night in a dorm (if possible). You have to feel "at home" at the place where you will spend the next four years of your life, so if you can, visit.

11 For more information and strategies see: How to Make the Most of Your Campus Visit.How to Make the Most of Your Campus Visit OR If some schools on your list are just too far away to make a trip, take a virtual tour of the campus and talk to reps or students who have attended the school. CampusTours.com (listed on the College Planning Resources for Teens) has links to virtual tours and college Webcams.CampusTours.comCollege Planning Resources for Teens

12 Pop Quiz List one of the primary sources of college info What do most universities have that help you see info about them? What is a good 1st step to start looking at colleges List one thing that is good to consider for choosing a college List one resource guide for finding info on colleges How many colleges do many students seek info on? What is suggested for really getting to know a college?

13 Assignment-Homework & Career Go to: Make a list of your favorite colleges—try for 8 but make sure you have explored at least four outside of UW Explore Majors, Fill out test interests


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