The Art and Science of Finding a College
Finding the right college and gaining admission to that
institution is arguably the most important challenge facing
young adults and their parents. The high cost of tuition
combined with intense competition makes choosing the right
college, university, or technical school difficult.
Whether your interest is in the arts or sciences, whether you
are seeking sports opportunities or knowledge in a technical
field, there are many tools available to help you make your
decision and find the learning community that best suits your
needs. Even if you haven't decided upon a major, finding a
college is an important first step that will set the foundation
for your future career path.
Finding the perfect match is a matter of patience and planning.
Here are some areas to think about when finding a college:
* Location - Do you want your college experience to be an
opportunity to strike out on your own, or is it important to you
to remain within a reasonable driving distance of home? Do you
thrive in an urban environment that has access to a rich variety
of cultural venues and the arts, or do you prefer a setting
that's more bucolic and low-key?
* Size - Are you seeking the diversity of a large student body,
or do you prefer an environment with fewer people? Is your field
of interest so specific that course offerings can be found at
only large colleges and universities, or do you place more
importance on the accessibility of faculty to the student body?
How important is the size of the college's library? All of these
factors should be considered when finding a college.
* Housing - Will you be commuting from home, or living away from
home? If you were living away from home, what housing
opportunities would best suit you? If you interested in dorm
life, does the college have adequate on-campus housing, or is
there a waiting list? If you're more likely to live off-campus,
is there a housing shortage in the community? What is the going
rate for apartments, and how does that fit into your budget?
* Cost - Although there are a myriad of financial aid options
available to students who qualify academically, cost is certain
a consideration when finding a college. A community college or
state university may be more feasible than a private college or
university. Although student loans are available, being faced
with an enormous debt upon graduation is less than desirable.
Once you have gone about the task of finding a college and have
narrowed your choices, you need to work on getting admitted to
that institution of higher learning. You may wish to engage a
service that will help you define your goals, gain admission to
the school of your choice, and transform your dream into a