Finding the Glass Slipper
College is a once-in-a lifetime experience. Find the perfect fit to get a fulfilling experience. Envision yourself as a college student; what do you need to succeed? Use this guide to help you explore what is important and you will soon discover the right school fitting to your personality and learning style.
1. Online Search Tools – There are online interactive college search engines that create a student’s college snapshot based off the needs they deem most important. This information can then filtered through school databases where the student is matched with selected colleges and universities best fitting to their criteria.
2. What Are Your Aspirations? – Investigate the academic reputation of the school. Find out what available academic programs they offer, what is the post-graduate job placement and graduate school admission success, what famous names hail from this university. You want to know there is a return on your educational investment.
3. Write Out Pros vs. Cons – Stuck in between colleges? Create a grid and rank your priorities for the school’s campus culture, population size, geographic location, diversity, social entertainment, student life and cost of attendance. Weigh the pros and cons. This way you don’t waste time and money applying to schools that don’t fit your personality.
4. Get A Student Perspective - The best college reviews for students are those by college students. Talk to current students who can provide further insight about the student life at that particular school.
5. Visit the School – You will never get a real sense of the school until you walk its campus grounds. Check with local community organizations to find programs that sponsor college tours. Some colleges even sponsor “fly out” programs to fund your college visit if you meet certain qualifications.
6. Buy the Experience Not the Brand! – Don’t get fixated on elite named institutions. Don’t buy into the school’s mystique if it can’t offer the experience you desire.
7. Meditate – At this point in the semester you are fretting about finding your dream school. Balance your energy. Reflect on the various choices and picture where you can see yourself for the next four years and beyond.
Find your future. Choose your schools wisely. Make sure you are satisfied with your with school selection by taking the time out to adequately assess how your school can benefit you as a student. College is an adventure of memorable experiences. Leave regrets at the door.