While high school seniors are wrapping up supplemental essays and preparing to submit applications, it’s time for the juniors to get their college search underway. And while it’s all well and good to like a college because you’ve been a fan of their basketball team or because one or more of your parents are alums, it makes a whole lot of sense to understand just what it is about a college that makes it a good option for you.
Here’s a few things to pay attention to as you work on building a strong college list:
1. Don’t get hung up on location
Not until you’ve really investigated a college, at least. If you’re willing to be open-minded, sometimes a great school might be just around the corner from what you think is your comfort zone.
2. Be realistic
Especially when it comes to gauging your chances of admission. When you see ranges for GPA and test scores for colleges and yours fall in the lower 25th percentile of who gets admitted, your chances really aren’t that great.
3. Merit scholarships go to the top students
Don’t think a college is going to give you a merit scholarship just because you’ve worked hard. Often, your GPA and test scores BOTH need to be in the top 25th percentile of who gets admitted for you to be considered for merit.
4. Find your WHY
Why you like a college is important. And it should never just be about the college’s name.
5. Majors are not created equal
If you’re looking for a major in sports management, you will find it at some schools. You will also find it as a concentration under a business major at some schools. Don’t be so quick to discard a school just because you don’t find something listed exactly how you hoped you would. Also, keep in mind that many students change their majors and, for the ones who don’t, a major doesn’t always dictate what they will do in their lives. So be open-minded!
The bottom line? You have to research and turn over all the rocks to make sure you find what you’re looking for. You have nothing but time right now so put it to good use developing your college list. When you visit college campuses, you will have a more informed idea of who they are and what you need to find out before you submit your applications next fall.
There’s a lot to like about that.
If you would like some assistance with your college search, contact me today for a free 60-minute consultation.