Choosing A School

Pros and Cons of a Summer College Visit

No Comments 07 June 2017

College visits: It’s not a question of if you should do it but when. Take a look at the pros and cons of planning a college visit during the summer to see if this is the right time for you.

Pro: It’s a Vacation

College visits usually are crammed into one weekend. But when you visit during the summer, you can take your time. You can explore the sights a campus offers. Take a look at dorms, the library and academic buildings you might spend time in. With the freedom that summer has to offer, you can stretch the visit across a few days. Plus, you’ll even have the time to check out the surrounding city.

Con: Few Students

Your potential academic program is one of the most important reasons to pick a college. Feeling at home with the other students, however, is just as important. There will be fewer students on campus if you visit during the summer. Unfortunately, that means you might not be able to experience the energy that the students bring to the campus. Consider visiting that college again in the fall to see what it’s like full of students.

Pro: More Attention

College visits during the academic year can be filled with dozens of students. During the summer, there’s a good chance it’ll just be you and maybe one or two other prospective students. That means the tour guide will have more time to give to you. Use this to your advantage and ask as many questions as you want.

Con: Fewer Activities

Since summer means fewer students on campus, that means fewer activities to see. During the fall, colleges often offer overnight visits. That means you can spend the night with a student in his or her dorm room. You shadow them in classes and extracurricular activities. You might have the option to see a summer school course, but visiting a college during the summer will limit the number of student activities you can experience.

Admissions, Choosing A School

Make the Most of Summer

No Comments 30 May 2017

Think of your summer break as extra time to prepare for college. Follow these steps to make sure you’re optimizing the next few months.

Volunteer

Find an organization you are passionate and look at volunteer opportunities. A positive volunteer experience can be a great topic for a scholarship or college essay. Colleges will be impressed to see that you spent the summer volunteering since it shows that you are a well-rounded individual.

Choose Colleges

Take some time to evaluate the kind of college you want to attend. Think of every aspect of a potential college – size, location, majors offered — and add them to your college list. Make sure you have a decent mix of safety, reach and match schools. When you’re ready to apply to colleges, you can consult this list.

Find a Summer Job

Every little bit helps for college, so start saving now. In addition to having extra money for college, this shows schools that you are a hard worker. Plus, jobs can be great leads for college scholarships.

Take Classes

Sure, summer school might seem like the least desirable thing right now, but taking a class or two this summer could pay off in the long run. Look into general education classes at your local community college. Your future college likely will accept these courses, which means that you will not have to take them in college. This will give you time to take more classes in college that interest you or graduate early and save money. Before you enroll in a class, talk to your future college and make sure they will accept these credits.

Relax

You’ve worked hard this school year. Between working and preparing for college, find some time to unwind this summer. Go to the pool, hang out with friends and catch up on Netflix. You’ll be more prepared to take on the upcoming school year if you feel refreshed.

Admissions, Choosing A School

What To Do if You Don’t Get Accepted into College

No Comments 26 April 2017

Getting rejected from the colleges you applied to is heartbreaking, but it might not be the end of the road for you. If you did not get to any colleges, take a look at these options to pursue.

Look Into Late and Rolling Admissions Schools

Don’t fret – all hope is not lost. Research schools that have late acceptance and rolling admissions policies. Schools with these policies continue to accept and review applications and accept new students until they’ve filled all available spots.

Not every rolling admissions school operates the same way, though. Some colleges will enact a rolling admissions policy after their regular admissions date if they have openings. Other colleges will have a rolling admissions policy year-round.

Consider Community College

Your college journey does not have to begin at a four-year university. Enrolling at your local community college is a great way to kick off your pursuit of higher education. It’s important to remember that community college is not just like high school. You will get opportunities to meet new people, take college courses and find out what you want to pursue a career in, just like you would at a four-year college. You can make your own schedule, which means you also will have the time to pursue other interests.

Take a Gap Year

You don’t have to attend college directly after high school – throw tradition out the window and take a gap year. Take time to find out what you’re passionate about. This could guide you to selecting a major you never would have thought to pursue. A gap year also gives you time to work a part-time job so that you can save for college. Get organized, keep your dreams of higher education in your sights and you’ll be ready for college in no time.

Admissions, Choosing A School

Why Community College Isn’t Like High School

No Comments 17 April 2017

Don’t believe the myth that a local community college only will include students from your high school. Students from multiple high schools attend a single community college. Hundreds, or maybe even thousands, of students will be enrolled at the college. You will see new faces every day on campus. You could see a former high school classmate every now and then but eventually you might enjoy seeing a familiar face.

Along with new people to meet, you will have a class schedule that is completely different. Unlike high school, you will be able to schedule classes whenever you want. If you’d rather have classes in the morning so you can dedicate the rest of your time to a part-time job, go for it. If you prefer to sleep in and want your classes in the evening, that works, too. There is no timeline to receive your associate’s degree so you are also able to move as slowly or as quickly as you’d like.

You also have the option to take more diverse classes than you did in high school. Chances are that if you didn’t like a certain subject in high school, you will not need to take a lot of that subject at your community college. You’ll also be exposed all new classes that you did not have the opportunity to take in high school.

If high school came easily to you, you might be in for a shock. Although it isn’t a four-year institution, community college still is a college. That means the classes will be harder. So you cannot put in the same effort as you did in high school and expect to succeed. But luckily you will still have plenty of resources available to you to make sure you will do well in your classes.

Life outside of the classroom will be different in community college than what it was in high school, too. Community colleges offer extracurriculars, just like any four-year university. If you couldn’t find a club or sport that interested you in high school, odds are you will be able to find something that will interest you in college. And if you still can’t find something that interests you on campus, you can likely start your own club.

If you decide to pursue your bachelor’s degree after completing your associate’s degree, follow these steps to make sure your transfer is as smooth as possible.

Admissions, Choosing A School

How to Decide Between Two Colleges

No Comments 12 April 2017

Deciding which college to apply to is an important choice. This decision might become even more difficult when there are two schools left on your list. Ask yourself the following questions to see which school is the better choice for you.

Which school ranks highest for your major?

It’s important that you select a top-notch program that can propel you into a successful career. Do a little research and see which program has a better reputation. Having a well-respected department on your resume could make the difference in landing your first job out of college.

Does one school cost more than the other?

If there is a big enough difference between the out-of-pocket costs between the two schools, this could play a big factor in selecting which school you should attend. You also should look into any additional fees that may arise at either school.

How do the internship and job opportunities compare?

Landing an internship in college is vital to getting a job after graduation. Talk to representatives from the departments at each school and see which institution has a better internship program or resources to help you land an internship. You also should compare the statistics for each school for students finding jobs within the six months after graduation.

How do the activities on each campus compare?

Although academics are important, they are not everything when it comes to your college experience. It is important that you enjoy yourself outside time spent studying and in class. See if you can find a list of on-campus activities for each college and see which list sounds more appealing to you.

How do the logistics of each college compare?

Is the size of one school more appealing than the other? Is one school in a more ideal setting in the other? Is one school a more desirable distance from home than the other? These little details should not be the most important thing when selecting your school but they can make a difference in your everyday life on campus.

Do you feel more comfortable on one campus over the other?

This might be one of the most important factors when selecting the right college for you. You will spend every day for the next few years at this college – it is important that you feel comfortable and happy at your new home.

 

 

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