Acceptance letters are rolling in and merit awards are popping up. Congratulations to the high school graduating Class of 2016. Your college experience awaits. But how do I say “yes” to a college and will it be the one for me?
Yes, this is a big stage in one’s life and some thought must go into picking the environment that will provide for continued academic and personal growth. So here are a few questions to consider under what I refer to as the “will the college” ……?
- Push me to think as an individual, challenge the growth of my learning capacity & help me be stronger academically?
- Provide a setting that will respect my personal space but also allow me to explore my interest, desires and beliefs?
- Be far enough away from home but close enough to give me the emotional support (if needed) from my family and friends? [planes, trains and automobiles to get home}
- Offer me career focused direction and guidance from the day I step on campus or is it typically held to those who are almost done?
- Can I adjust to some of the little things; three to a room, shared bathrooms, noisy neighbors & walking in the rain?
- Do you get the vibe that if I have individual needs the support system is there in the faculty and administration to help me; tutoring, advising, advocacy for social issues?
- Set the pace of my academic programming (availability of course) allow me to graduate in four years?
- Make my enrollment affordable?
- Is my tuition, fees, room and board guaranteed to only increase by x over four years?
- Is the financial aid I received today good for four years? or is some of the aid “front loaded” and will be it be lost in my later years?
- What will be the net cost to attend in three – four years and will I be able to afford it?
- Are scholarships I received from private external provider’s renewable or good for one year?
If the answers to these and other questions have been reviewed and a choice has risen to the top, congratulations. If the list is now narrowed to one or two, then continue the process. Revisit the campus, speak with faculty, dine with students and ask your questions.
A choice awaits…. Congratulation >the Class of 2020.