The following post has been adapted from the Hispanic College Fund August Newsletter.
Deciding on which colleges to apply to can be a challenge, but it is important to remember there is a right college for you and that with perseverance, you can find it. Understanding and taking the necessary steps towards discovering your perfect college will start you out on the right track, before you even begin the application process.
When to begin?
It is never too early to start your college search. It is suggested that students being thinking about colleges at the end of their sophomore year of high school, dedicate their junior year to college visits, and their senior year to the application process.
Where to begin?
When you take off on your college search, you may not know where to start or even what to look for; that is okay. You should begin by speaking with your school counselor; he/she can help you begin your college search and help you get an idea of what you are looking for out of your university. Your counselor can help you decide what aspects of a school are most important to you, including such as location, extracurricular activities, and academic programs. Meeting with your college counselor weekly will not only make you stand out, it will make it easier for them to help you during the college application process.
Using online resources:
Additionally, begin searching online for colleges that might interest you and find out what opportunities they have to offer you. Conveniently, the College Board has created a survey, called College Match Maker, which helps you rein in your interests and then lists colleges that fit your specific qualifications. Once you have narrowed your university choices, take the initiative and fill out online information request forms for each university in order to get on their radar and receive more information throughout the application process.
What NOT to consider when applying:
When applying to college there are several factors that you should not consider. Do not consider how much the application fee will cost; there are fee waiver forms for SAT’s, ACT’s, and college applications. Furthermore, just because a school is well known or popular does not mean it will be the best fit for you. It is not necessarily important to attend a college that is prestigious or expensive; it is what you get out of the college experience that counts. If you believe there are materialistic factors which are deciding elements, you should consider them after you have applied and have been accepted.
To review the top 10 colleges and universities for medicine, business, law, and engineering programs: http://go.hbinc.com/?u=1270
College Board College Match Maker: http://tiny.cc/5ybAP
SAT Fee Waiver: http://tiny.cc/feewaiver
College Application Fee Waiver Form: http://tiny.cc/feewaivercollege