strategies to pick your best-fit college: a guide to admitted/waitlisted students days, virtual resources, and college research
First and foremost, CONGRATULATIONS! If you’re reading this, you are probably a high school senior/transfer student about to embark on a huge life journey: COLLEGE. You’ve worked hard during high school/community college to keep up your grades, which all culminated in a lengthy college admission process. Now, with most of those days behind you, you have a huge decision to make.
Congratulations! March is coming to a close, which means you will be hearing back from all of the colleges that you have applied to. The national deadline to commit to a college is May 1st, so you have until then to choose which college you want to attend. This blog will give you some factors to consider when making your final college decision and some factors that you should not consider when making this life-changing decision.
Breaking down public vs. private colleges: Everything that you need to know when applying to college
When applying to colleges, it can be tough to refrain from focusing too much on “prestige,” “big names,” top-tier reputations, and public vs. private classifications. While it can be helpful to compare and contrast colleges, and while reputation and knowing whether a college is public or private can provide useful information about the community, academic rigor, and legacy of the university, it is important to keep in mind that these labels can often be misunderstood.
The pandemic has forced us all to change so much about our lives: from our daily routines, rituals, and activities, to our most beloved hobbies, adventures with friends, and holiday vacations. Whether you’ve been affected financially, socially, academically, or emotionally (and the list goes on…), as a high school senior in the middle of the college application process, the last thing you need is extra added stress about finding the right place to spend your next four years.
With the onset of COVID-19 this past spring, we all found ourselves feeling the effects of social-distancing on a variety of levels. Whether it meant struggling with the emotions and sadness that comes with missing your friends, working to find a work-life balance in school with everything shifted online, or figuring out how to navigate a huge transition in your life (college applications, new jobs, new schools, etc.), all of us were thrown into situations we had never experienced before.
During my college admissions process, there were many factors that I wasn’t completely decided on in terms of finding the perfect fit. I didn’t truly know how to rank universities and figure out my priorities in terms of tangible goals, because at that point, I didn’t know what I wanted my future to be. I hadn’t decided on my intended major, I didn’t know what location would be most exciting, and I didn’t completely understand how to navigate the financial process.
When applying to colleges, it’s important to consider whether the school you’re applying to is a quarter school or semester school. A quarter school system is made up of four 10-week sessions through fall, winter, spring, and summer. A semester school system is made up of two 15-week terms through fall and spring. Though it doesn’t sound like much of a difference, there are actually many pros and cons to both school systems.
Picking a college to enroll in is a VERY big decision for students entering their first year. It’s not a short term decision; usually, students have to stick with their choice for 2-4 years. It affects not only your academics, but also social and financial aspects as well. Consider these 5 factors when deciding between colleges.
Many college applications require students to decide on a particular program, college, or major before submitting their application. Sometimes this is a binding choice, automatically signing you up for the program once you enroll, and sometimes it’s just a soft commitment to an area of interest, so the university can see where your interests lie. Being thoughtful and strategic about this factor of your application can help your chances of admission, and help you be enrolled in what you’re interested in once you attend the school. Here are some tips for making this decision, and what to look out for.