|To "Do college"...or "Not To Do college"...that is the question.
This is one of the many huge decisions high school students and
their families have to make in their lives. It is so serious
that some parents have already planned for their children's
college education even while they were still infants or
sometimes even before they are born.
And why not? College is a big undertaking that does not only
have a great impact on your education but it will decide on your
profession and the kind of work you will be doing for the rest
of your life. It sounds scary, doesn't it?
But, if you have planned ahead and have given things a lot of
thought, it wouldn't be. It is always recommended that high
school students start planning and thinking when they are
already in their junior year in high school, or better yet,
So, if you are one of those students who are already considering
the college they want to get into, here are some guidelines you
can mull about before deciding on the right school for you:
1. The first and most essential step is to know what you want to
study in college and what you want to be as far as your work
life. When you already know what you want to "major in", that
will help to determine the schools and colleges where you can
enroll that offers the necessary courses. Try to check with your
guidance counselors in your high school or take career
assessment tests if you are still undecided and uncertain on
what course to take.
2. Determine what type of college you want to enroll in. There
are so many colleges and universities in the country, each with
their own unique characteristics, offerings and specializations.
The following questions can help you evaluate the college you
might want to enroll in:
- What are the degrees offered in the college and the majors and
- Do you want a public or a private college?
- Are entry expectations realistic in the college?
- Where is the college located and do you want to study near
your home or away from home?
- How safe is the location of the college?
- What are the housing options in the college? Do they have
dormitories, apartments and other areas for boarding near the
- Do you want to enroll in a highly populated college or a
smaller one? In this area, try to consider also the class size
given for course subject.
- How much are the tuition fees and other expenses that could
incur on your stay in that college such as board, etc?
- Does the college offer scholarships and other financial
- How are the facilities such as libraries, laboratories, etc.
in the college. This is a special consideration especially if
the college course you want to take requires extensive use of
facilities or up-to date facilities.
- What are the internship programs offered by the college?
- Is the college accredited by distinguished accrediting bodies?
Does the college have a reputation of giving high quality
- Is the college composed of highly qualified faculty members?
- How diverse is the population of the college in terms of
gender, race, culture, etc.?
- What are the organizations and activities in the college that
contribute to the social life of students?
3. Check out various college and university information in your
school, or check out school websites in the Internet. Advice and
suggestions from families will help, as well as information
disseminated at college fairs and career orientations.
4. With the answers you gathered from the things you need to
consider in step 2, gather a list of colleges and universities
from step 3 that match up with your requirements. Narrow down
the list of colleges you want to consider entering. The number
of colleges should be realistic enough for you and your parents
to be able to check them out and visit them.
5. Visit the colleges that you have considered in the previous
step. This is an important phase for you to determine if the
campus feels right for you. You can do this by attending a
class, meeting some of the students, touring the school and its
facilities and trying things you will be doing there should you
enroll in that college.
6. After doing all of these, submit application letters to the
colleges that made your list, that you visited and you feel you
want to be enrolled at. The number of schools where you should
apply will depend on your situation financially since most
colleges charge application fees. Try to consider the best
college for you and some colleges that you feel will take you
just in case the best college turns you down.
7. Let's face it. A college education is very heavy on your
parent's and/or even your own pockets, so while waiting for your
application results, try to look for scholarships that can help
mom and dad with your college tuition fee especially if you need
financial assistance. Check out with your high school or in the
Internet for listings of college scholarships.
8. If you've been accepted by some of the schools you've applied
in, you have to make the ultimate choice on where to attend.
About the author:
David Arnold Livingston believes in higher education including
college. For a great resource, visit: http://www.fccollege.com/
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