Your blog is really helpful for me as it describe the thing very simply and easy to understand for a new person in the market.
5 Tips for Your College Search
5. Narrow Down Your Choices
There are thousands of college institutions in the country (4,140 to be exact) and sometimes the task to pick one school can be quite daunting. Of coarse your choices are narrowed down based on what you plan to pursue after high school, but I have met students who had 10 or more schools on there list of places to visit! With today's economy, traveling to various schools can be a little pricey, so if you can narrow your choices down to 5 schools, you can save a ton of money (that you can set aside for tuition lol). This practice can also help give you a better perspective on each school and your stressing yourself out with trying to remember which school offered what. When you are more focused, you make better decisions! :)
4. Do Your Research
Part I. Most schools have their own reputation, whether its being known for being a liberal arts school or a more technical school, there maybe more to a school than you think. I know when families come to visit RIT, they come to know the place as an engineering/computer school. When they learn that we have a great business school or photography program, they are kind of surprised. It never hurts to spend an hour or two to browse the school's website to see what other areas are available. You never know if you might switch your major or want to take a few classes outside of your intended major.
Part II. Check what the school offers, as far as a visit goes. Check the tour times, available appointments, special events, or if they're open! I have experienced many times where families come from distant lands and not call ahead, only to find out we're either closed or could not accommodate them fully because of such short notice. Not only is it common courtesy to let schools know when you are arriving, but you can schedule everything you want to do on campus in order to have the best experience.
3. Money, Money, Money
Again with the economy being the way it is, college tuition is a main concern for students and even more so...parents. When money is tight, students often settle for schools that don't really enhance their talents or feed their academic appetite. I am not saying to completely disregard college expenses when it comes to choosing a school, but don't count it out if it's a place you are really interested in. If you think that tuition would really be big hit to your wallet, I highly recommend contacting the financial aid office during your visit because they can go over your options, various scholarships you are eligible for, or just different ways to ease the financial burden that college is. Here at RIT, once you have applied, you are automatically considered for our many scholarships/grants. Most of our students receive financial aid.
If you feel like you won't receive as much aid as you would have hoped for, there are always outside scholarships. There is a great website called fastweb.com that has a list of hundreds of scholarships ranging from $10,000 to $500. If you apply for as many as you can, the dollars really add up. And if you only get a small amount, don't be bummed. You can use that money to buy books or food, every penny counts. And when you do receive a scholarship, you can always put it in your resume, which is always a plus.
2. Puckman, Tigers, and Beavers...Oh My!!!
Over the years, we have been confused with other schools. We've had families call and even a schedule visit without realizing what school their calling! I know is sounds silly, but it happens more than you would expect. So just in case...we are the Rochester Institute of Technology, not RPI, MIT, U of R, and most definitely not Rhode Island Tech (which doesn't exists) :P
Most students dread the stress of looking for colleges and it can be. I think most of the stress comes from the idea of going to college, the fear of the unknown, the fear of rejection and ultimately the growing up thing. It's pretty scary. Some students come into the office with the absolute fear in their eyes, while others hide behind their parents. But there's nothing to be scared of! We want to you to be as comfortable as possible, we don't want you to think that we're judging you or sizing you up for anything. These visits are meant to help you find which school is best fits you.
Think of it this way...college visits are like a first date. You're nervous at first, you don't know what to expect, but you still want to impress the other person. You don't wanna air out your dirty laundry, but you want to highlight your best qualities. And if you feel like you can see you have a future with the other person, then jump in! It is a fairly painless process...
Well that is all I got...I hope this helps those of you who are a little overwhelmed by this whole process. It's all worth it...I promise :)