Creating a college list is not easy. Sure, all the information is easily available at your fingertips. But with hundreds of colleges across the US, all sounding off-the-charts impressive, creating a focused list can be incredibly challenging.
Find yourself going round in circles and unable to make a decision? Then it may be time to get off the internet and speak to a few people around you for some high school advice. This will help you get a more objective view of things. It makes it easier for you to narrow down that college list which just seems to be growing longer every day.
Here’s some high school advice on who you should speak to:
Your High School Teacher Or Career Counselor
Nobody knows more about your academic strengths and interests than your high school teacher and academic counselor. They will help you gain some insight into your strengths and weaknesses. It will also help you understand why a certain program may be better suited to you rather than the one you are thinking of choosing.
Besides, teachers and counselors in high school would have helped hundreds of other students with their applications. They would have firsthand knowledge of the eligibility criteria of different college requirements and also how each of these colleges handles applications and financial aid.
Are they excessively discerning when assessing applications? Are they generous with their financial aid? Is the school highly competitive? Is the school environment right for you or will it stress you out or frustrate you?
High school teachers and counselors are in the best position to give you excellent tips about which schools may be a good fit for you.
Current College Students With Similar Interests
If visiting the campus and talking to students is possible, do that. Visit the college and talk to students on campus. Preferably talk to students who are already enrolled in a program that you may be interested in.
Alternately join online groups for interested students and post whatever questions about whatever you want to know about that college. Most college students are very helpful and love answering questions. They will give you the most honest answers to your questions, helping you make more informed decisions when narrowing down your college list.
A Professor Teaching In That College
Different schools may have varied approaches to the same course or program. A professor in the college you are interested in is in a position to give you a lot more information about the way the program is structured and the resources that are offered at the institution.
The best way to do this is to make an appointment for a personal visit, but if that is not possible, the second best alternative is to send your query by email. Most professors love students who are enthusiastic about their program and will make it a point to reply.
Whether you speak to your high school teacher, career counselor, fellow-student or professor, remember to follow up with a thank you note as a courtesy.
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