High schoolers … read this!

There are all kinds of great resources on the web to help you find not only the best college but the best deal in a college education. I’m going to highlight a few of these resources this week, so you know what is out there to you.

Picking a college is tricky! If you do well on any of the standardized tests, you postman will not be happy as piles of mail will start arriving for you, each showcasing the school that sent it.

How to pick??

First thing would be your interests. If you want to be a biomedical engineer, you need to be sure that the schools you apply to have the program. If you don’t know what you want to go into, a liberal arts college can be fantastic. The exposure to different curriculum and content areas can help you find your way, but if you know – you’d best be darn certain your college of choice offers the program.

What is an acceptable distance from home? Yes … I know … often it is ‘how far can I go?’ rather than ‘how far should I go?’ but it is a question to consider. Would you like to go home for a weekend? Are you content with staying through until Christmas break? What will transportation costs add to your educational expenses?

What type of institution are you interested in? Do you want a small, rural college? Do you long for a big city? Do you want to be one of a few hundred or one of many hundred in your graduation class? Do you want a institution that has high pressure academics or one that is more relaxed in its approach? So many different types of college are available to you. It may help to visit a few.

With my daughter, we hadn’t really figured out size until we went to visit a large state university. That visit showed her that she wanted a smaller college. Just the acreage she would need to cover between classes encouraged her to look smaller.

My son found a very small college that he loved … unfortunately, they didn’t offer the program he was looking for and so he had to broaden his search.

One of the online resources available to day is MyCollegeCalendar. With entry points for freshmen through senior and a special place for parents, this site helps show students that choosing a college starts much sooner than senior year.

In high school, the classes you take, the activities you participate in, the extra curricular programs that eat up your time all help paint a picture that admissions people will look at. The more you fit what they are looking for, the higher your chance of not only being accepted but also of being accepted with a workable financial package.

Check out MyCollegeCalendar … I’ll have another site for you on Thursday!

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