My last College prep post was: High School Junior College Prep: PSAT, SAT & ACT Testing where I discussed the importance of each test and some need-to-know information. This College Prep post is about the next step-choosing a college.
It is fall and by now you should at least know your direction of study so you can research schools that offer the degree you wish. Here are some things to keep in mind as you start the college search. Once you narrow down your college, the next step is to visit the campuses. Every college website has a ‘Future Student’ section where you will find a calendar of visit schedules. Visits should be done fall through spring of this junior year. You will need the information they give you so you are taking the correct High School courses now.
2 Year or 4 Year
For the most part, a 4-year university is more expensive than a 2-year. If you can get your degree in 2 years, consider these colleges. You will not get the dorm life, but there will be nearby student apartment or rentals that work great for location and networking. Private colleges also have a much deeper financial aid budget so don’t overlook private schools. Your chances at better packages are much greater than public schools.
All colleges and universities have their own standards. They are very similar for the most part, but there can be differences. Most 4-year schools want 2 years of foreign language where that may not be a requirement for most 2-year schools. Make sure you meet with the counselor so they can help make sure you are in classes that will be required by your colleges of choice for admissions. Every college website lists their requirements. It is not only about GPA anymore, classes and curriculum have a lot of weight.
Find a career choice first
Make sure you find a school that offers the career degree you desire, don’t choose a degree based on a school. If you do not have a career choice by now, meet with your counselor. There are some ways they can dig deep and help guide you to a career you may not have even considered or knew as an option. Knowing your career choice is crucial to staying on the college planning track. You need to narrow this down now!
Until the spring, find that career choice, meet with the counselor on admission requirements and visit the campus! Believe me, there is nothing more motivating than stepping on that campus and tasting that college life! Also, ask if there are overnight tour options. These truly give you the campus life experience. You will leave hungry to get to a campus as soon as High School ends!