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Mistakes in the college search process

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Choosing a college is one the most important decisions in life. It is a huge investment in time and money. However, many students make mistakes in the college selection process that can be easily avoided.

Following prestige
The top colleges in the country provide excellent academic opportunities. However, colleges with less well-known names also offer unique opportunities with outstanding outcomes for alumni. A recent Gallup poll concluded the experience a student has in college is more important than the type of college attended.

Not visiting
Colleges spend huge amounts of money to market to prospective students. The pictures in the view books and websites are beautiful and are meant to make students want to attend. However, pictures cannot capture the feeling one will have on campus.

Following others
Just because a college is a good fit for a sibling or friend, it does not mean it is a good fit for everyone. College is the place for one to grow as a person and discover passions. However, attending an institution that is not the right fit can be detrimental to the college experience.

Believing “sticker price” is actual price
Sticker price is the published price to attend a college. However, millions of dollars in financial aid is awarded to college students every year by these colleges. Before taking a college off the list, students should review the net price calculator at all of the colleges they are considering and see how much financial aid could potentially be offered. There is even a chance a private college could be less expensive than a public institution.

Letting family dictate college choice
Parents want the best for their children and sometimes take the driver’s seat in the college process. However, parents are not the ones attending college. Therefore, while it is okay to listen to the thoughts and opinions of parents, students should consider colleges that feel right for them.

Going away to get away
Teenagers are notorious for wanting to move out of their home after graduating from high school. Many think they have to go far away to college to get away. However, living on campus is an option for all students at most colleges, even if the student lives a block away from campus.

Being hasty
The college search process is very time consuming when done properly. When the search process is left until the last minute, students cannot truly research and discover the wonderful opportunities colleges can offer. Instead, students choose colleges based on other criteria that are not helpful in finding the right fit.

The college a student ultimately attends will be a place they will spend four years of their lives. This is why students should avoid these mistakes, research and find the colleges that are the right fit for them.

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