How do you match up with:
College size (enrollment, gender)
Would you be comfortable in a college of more than 15,000 or less than 1,000
students? Are diversity and gender balance important to your college decision?
Geographic location, housing & campus life -
Do you prefer an urban or rural environment? Do you want to stay close to
home or are you ready for a change? What about climate, recreational options,
culture, food and housing?
Method of instruction -
Is a competitive or relaxed learning environment more attractive? What is
the best class-size to compliment your learning style?
Length of program -
How long do you want to be in school? Programs may be 1 year, 2 year, 4
year or more.
Many college cost options are available. Remember, cost is more than just
tuition and fees, it also includes books and supplies, food and housing,
transportation and other expenses. College financial aid is based on this
"Total Cost of Education.
Narrowing College Options
Contact prospective colleges as soon as possible. To plan
completely for college it is important to start planning at least 9 months
before the start of classes. Call the college admission office (Tip - most
colleges have free 800 phone numbers) and ask for a new student information
packet. Be sure to tell them your possible areas of study and ask for specific
information on appropriate programs. Ask for information on college financial
aid and scholarships at the same time.
|Request information on programs, admission, financial
There is no substitute for first-hand experience. Make every
effort to arrange a campus visit and tour. Visit while classes are in session
and ask to sit in on a class. Talk with students on campus, they won't give
you a sales pitch. Most colleges offer overnight, weekend and summer visit
programs. Call the admission office to arrange your visit. If you cannot
visit the campus ask if a video tour is available.
You're not in this alone. Talk with peers, family, friends
and teachers about your educational plans. Contact people who are already
working in your prospective career and ask them what worked for them. Many
college alumni groups offer prospective students contact with alumni working
in a variety of careers. Contact the alumni office and ask if this is available?
Find a mentor who you can talk with on a regular basis.
|Review choices with professionals in chosen career|
BE SURE to ask every college the following questions:
| Ask about retention and placement|
1. Retention - How many of the students who enroll at your
school actually complete a degree. Nationally, about 60% of the college
freshman move through to graduation. Persons of color should ask about retention
rates for their racial ethnic group.
2. Placement - How many of the graduates from your area
of study actually receive job offers in their chosen career? Which companies
recruit on campus.
Colleges that cannot answer these questions should be avoided.
REQUESTING COLLEGE MATERIALS
College Planning On-Line
Collecting information on colleges and applying for admission
can be as easy as accessing the Internet. While many individual colleges
have sites on the World Wide Web, it is even simpler to use one of several
free college search programs.
CollegeView, CollegeTown and College Board all produce
well organized, user-friendly college search sites, free on the Internet.
The Web sites allow students and parents to enter student data and match
characteristics with any college in the United States. Students can then
request materials and apply for admission electronically with many colleges
or fill out requests or applications to be printed and sent to any college.
College Planning Network offers direct links to these sites and other online
resources via www.collegeplan.org, as well as offering full college planning
Until recently, most of these resources were only available
through high school counseling offices or career centers who had purchased
the programs. Now these tools are available right at home.
Campus Tour Check-List