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Starting the College Search

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Finding the perfect college is a difficult task for anybody. Future undergraduates do various college applications but never visit every college they applied to. If you do visit a college campus, follow these points to fully take advantage of your college visit.

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Searching for your future possible College

Starting the Search:
Technically, you can apply to 1,000 colleges. But keep in mind that each application requires significant time, energy and fees. If you spread yourself too thin, you’ll do a poor job on your application and jeopardize your chances of getting in. Here’s how to narrow your search.

Talk to your friends and family. Ask the people your respect for guidance. You don’t have to take their advice, but you may find it helpful.
Talk to your guidance counselor. Your counselor will give your input on our college search. She or he will also help you with the transcripts, recommendations, and other essentials you’ll need for your applications.
List your criteria. Imagine your ideal school. What would it look like in terms of academics, location, size, sports, students body, campus life, and so on?
Attend college fairs. Your high school will probably host a college fair or two per year. Go to them, talk to the college reps, and take a brochure.
Request school information. Go online or call admission offices for school info. Ask for financials aid info, too. Narrow your options a little before requesting information packets, unless you want to be inundated with paper.

Refine your choices: Divide your list into three choices

Reach Schools: Schools are highly competitive. Your GPA and test scores are on the lower end of their average. You’ll want to apply to 2-3 of these types of schools.
Target School: Great match for you, based on your test scores, grades, and activities. You’ll want to apply to 3-5 of these types of schools.
Safety School: You’re confident you will be accepted because your test scores, grades, and activities. You greatly exceed their averages. Apply to 2-3 of these types of schools.

Stay Organized
You’re going to get a large number of documents from a large number of people. Keep your files up to date. Throw out stuff you don’t need. Refine your system as things come in. Use the labels included in this binder to help you keep your files organized

Visit Schools
Make an appointment with an admissions counselor and take a tour of the campus. Exploring the campus will give you an opportunity to observe student life and help you decide if the campus is right for you. Take advantage of programs that allow you to spend the night in a college dorm. Establishing a relationship with an admissions counselor will give the admissions office a clearer picture of you, one that isn’t always visible on paper.

The College Visit
Campus Tour: Sign up for a campus tour either online or take note when the next tour will take place.

Admission Officer: Get an interview with an admission officer to get to know your choice of college better.

Join a Class: Join and sit in on a class of a subject that interest you to test if you like the class environment.

Talk to Professors or Coaches: Talk to professors or coaches in your chosen major or sport and explore what it provides and see if it interest you.

Dorm Room/Building: Find the dorm buildings and ask if you may see the dorm rooms. You can check if it big enough for you and if you want a room mate.

Read the Newspaper/Student Bulletin Board: Grab and read the Student Newspaper or Bulletin Board to see what day-to-day student life is like.

Ask Students Questions: During your campus tour or if you have time ask nearby students their opinion of the college, their major, and life on campus.

Explore Campus/City: Walk/Drive in the campus and around the community surrounding the campus. If living on campus then you’ll need to know where everything is.

Library: Locate the campus library. The library is filled with resources for students in order to succeed. Explore these resources and think if you they might be useful to you.

College Bookstore: Browse the bookstore. Are the class books too pricey? If you like the campus, does the clothing suit you?

Imagine: Imagine yourself attending this college for four years. Do you like the environment the campus gives off? Do you like the location of the campus? Do you like the students in campus?

For more information on how to help your child with the college application process click here for tips!

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