The College Search
    *Special Thanks to http://lhs.lexingtonma.org/Dept/Guidance/ for this information.
    Variables to consider when choosing a college.
    Consider your interests, abilities, goals, and expectations before beginning your college search.
    Students should review the course work, extracurricular activities, and/or community service which they have found most interesting throughout their high school years. Academic records, standardized testing, special awards, and feedback from teachers, coaches, club advisors, and other adults can help students assess strengths, weaknesses and interests. Information in the Career Center may be useful in considering personal and career goals. Students are encouraged to meet with their guidance counselors to explore all these factors.re all these factors.
    Factors to consider when choosing a college:
    Type of institution – two- or four-year, co-ed or single sex
    Geographic location – region, state, distance from home
    Majors offered/curriculum – liberal arts, technical, business
    Size of institution – small, medium, large, very large
    Selectivity – Most competitive, moderately competitive, open
    Cost – tuition, room and board, books, fees, travel, financial aid
    Diversity – ethnicity, religion, international representation
    Extracurricular activities – sports, entertainment, culture, religious, community service organizations
    Housing – on/off campus, co-ed, single sex, special interest, size of room, meal plans, rules, roommates
    Facilities – buildings, dormitories, libraries, athletic facilities, student unions, classrooms, lecture halls, stores, a laundry, handicapped accessibility
    Specialized programs – programs and services for students who are learning disabled, physically challenged, or who have English as a second language
    Attending College Fairs
    Suggestions for Students Attending a College Fair
    Look over the list of visiting institutions and identify several schools to contact at the fair. Your counselor can help with suggestions of schools in which you may be interested.
    Develop a few specific questions to ask each school representative. Questions might include special academic interests, particular sports, support services available, or financial aid procedures. Collect written materials from schools that look interesting.
    Sign a card provided by the college. It will put you on a mailing list to receive more information from the school. If you have already visited a college or have had an interview, a quick hello to the admissions person visiting SEHS is good way to be remembered.
    Ask about the off-campus interview opportunities. The fair does not allow the opportunity to be interviewed by admissions personnel, but many colleges offer evening interviews when the admissions representative is in the Savannah area.
    Be open to schools which might not have been on your original investigating list but which seem interesting
    Making the Most of a College Fair
    Walking into a field house filled with hundreds of colleges, and not having any idea how or where to proceed can be an overwhelming experience. We are providing you with some helpful hints, so that you can make the best use of your time, and get the most out of the experience. While some of these suggestions may seem basic or obvious, they are designed to make life easier for al involved.
    A college fair is a great opportunity to get more information about colleges that interest you and to ask questions of college representatives. Getting the most from a college takes some advanced planning, and here are some suggestions:
    Find out which colleges will be at the fair, and target which schools you know you want to hit. When you’re done with those, then you can “wander around” and look at some other schools. Most college fairs arrange the schools in alphabetical order, so you’ll know where to find Abilene Christian University vs. Youngstown State. If it’s crowded (it will be crowded), you may want to approach in the reverse alphabetical order. Those schools at the end of the alphabet may not be as busy, especially early in the evening. Prepare a list of questions that are important to you as an individual (cars on campus, a radio station, meal plans, internship opportunities, etc.).
    Carry an empty knapsack. You’ll acquire catalogs, view books, videos, applications, pennants, etc., and you’ll want something to comfortably carry it all home in. Also, bring a notebook and a working pen to jot down notes, names, addresses, web sites, phone numbers, and answers to your specific questions. You may also write down some of your general impressions of the school and/or the representative that you spoke with.
    Ask those questions that you prepared earlier. They shouldn’t be questions that are easily answered in the college’s literature. You have a live person to speak with––ask them the tough questions.
    No, you don’t have to hang out with them all night. Split up, but make sure you hit the same schools. Then you can compare notes afterwards.
    The college rep’s are going to see hundreds of students and parents that night, so they may not remember all of them. However, if you plan on meeting with a rep at a school that you are sincerely interested in, and you plan on asking them a lot of questions, make an impression on them. They could be the person who reviews your application and/or the one who conducts your admissions interview. A three piece suit isn’t necessary, but look good. If the representative has a business card, ask for one. You can send them a a nice note thanking them for their time.
    Get the job done, and then go look at some schools that you’ve never heard of. You may find yourself interested in a school you never considered.
    Visiting a College Campus
    A personal visit to a post-secondary institution is often the most useful step in helping students and their parents decide whether or not to apply to a particular school. Students are encouraged to make use of group tours, open house events and group information sessions as a way of obtaining first-hand impressions of schools. Visits during the regular academic year provide a more accurate view of the academic and social life of a campus, but families often make use of summer vacation to visit several schools that are at a distance. Where possible, it is a good idea to avoid the distortions of the days of registration, final exams and special campus events such as homecomings or festivals. Several high school holidays such as Columbus Day weekend or Veterans Day allow students who visit colleges to minimize the disruption to their own academic program. Typically students visit colleges either in the spring of the junior year, during the summer before senior year or in the fall of the senior year.
    What are some questions to ask during a college visit?
    What constitutes a typical freshman program?
    Who teaches freshman courses? Graduate assistants or permanent staff?
    What is the average class size for first-year students and introductory courses?
    Which departments are strongest? Will they be truthful?
    To what extent is there interaction between faculty and students?
    How good are the library facilities? How many volumes are available and what technology and support are available?
    What cultural opportunities are available in the community?
    For what reasons did the students choose that particular college?
    What is the make-up of the student body? Are there a number of foreign students and students from all over the U.S.?
    What types of financial aid are available?
    If the college is co-educational, what is the ratio of men to women?
    How complete are infirmary and health facilities?
    Is there a professional counseling service available for career planning and personal concerns? Faculty advisor?
    How active and effective is student government?
    How strong is school spirit? What activities are offered to encourage school spirit?
    What are the opportunities for participating in intercollegiate or intramural sports?
    What type of housing is available to first-year students?
    How are roommates chosen?
    Is campus security an area of concern to students or faculty?
    What is the return rate for second-year students? How many of the original freshman graduate?
    Is there an active Alumni Association?
    Computer Software and the Internet
    Students can use the computers in the media center to develop a list of colleges and to find specific information about individual colleges. While using either the Internet or our software, students can quickly conduct college searches and locate sources of financial aid. Students can also download applications, generate personalized letters requesting information from colleges, and electronically send applications and/or information about themselves to college admissions offices.
    General College References
    The College Board’s College Handbook
    Barron’s Profile of American Colleges
    Yale Daily News-Insiders Guide to Colleges
    Peterson’s Guide to Four Year Colleges
    Peterson’s Guide to Two Year Colleges
    Peterson’s Competitive Colleges
    The Chronicle Four-Year College Data book
    The Chronicle Two-Year College Data book
    Princeton Review-Big Book of Colleges
    Rugg’s Recommendations on the Colleges
    Peterson’s Colleges with Programs for Students with Learning Disabilities
    Peterson’s Private and Secondary Schools

    College Searches on the Web

    On-Line College Search
    Specialized College Information:
    www.hillel.org/  (Information on Jewish Organizations)
    www.ajcunet.edu/  (Jesuit Institutions)
    www.aauw.org/home.html  (Women’s Information)
    www.aicad.org/  (Art and Design Schools)
    www.ncaa.org  (Athletics/Eligibility)
    www.hbcu-central.com  (Historically Black Colleges and Universities)
    www.dv-8.com/resources/us/local/campus.html  (GLBT organizations
    www.myfuture.com/  (Military Careers)
Last Modified on September 28, 2018