After all the work in writing college essays, personal statements, preparing resumes, gathering recommendations and doing all the college prep work needed, the waiting is almost over for high school seniors! College admission notices get sent out within the next few weeks and making an informed and correct college choice is crucial.
There are a variety of ways that each student goes about choosing a college and making their final decision. Factors in selecting a college may vary from person to person. However, there are some common questions that most should take into consideration.
Here are a few easy tips for students to decide on a college:
Eliminate colleges that students would not consider attending. This may reduce their acceptance list and make the college choice a bit easier.
Proceed with caution if students have not visited the college. If they have not had an opportunity to visit and still have time before the final decision, then make time. It's not a good idea to accept an offer of admission otherwise. If you don't want to visit, then this college should most likely be removed from the list.
Academically, make sure the college has a host of opportunities especially if the student hasn't decided on his/her major. Explore different courses and know there are lots of options.
Most colleges do have a wide array of extracurricular activities. However, if the student has special interests and activities in which they would like to partake, make sure the college has this available or that the choices of activities of interest are nearby.
Consider the location of the college. If it's close to home, students should not visit home within the first few months to give themselves a chance to acclimate to their new surroundings. It is likely that a sense of independence will be gained more quickly if your student doesn't live at home and visit too frequently.
Social relationships in college are important. However, choosing a college based on where high school friends are going to college is not a good idea. College years can be a great time to make many new and lasting friendships.
As parents, we love our kids and want the best for them. However, while choosing a college, the final college decision should be the student's decision. If parents decide and it winds up not working out, there could be resentments. Parents should set some boundaries and discuss finances, but stay out of the final decision.
Accept a period of transition when students begin college. Know that they will grow, learn and change regardless of where they choose to go. The right college choice does have an impact on their lives and perhaps their eventual career. Students need time to give their college decision thought and be thorough in their research.
Finances may play a major part in your student's final college decision. Students and parents should discuss the issue in detail, as often students take out loans while others may choose to live at home for a period of time. You can also call the financial aid offices of the various colleges to see how they can help in college financial planning.
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