Choosing a College for All the Wrong Reasons
Sep16

Choosing a College for All the Wrong Reasons

by Suzanne Shaffer, Parent Editor Since choosing a college is an important decision, you want to be sure that you and your teen use the right criteria. When you put all your time, effort and hard earned money into sending your teen off to college, you want to be reasonably sure it’s the right college for them. Choosing a college for all the wrong reasons Here are some commonly used criteria for choosing a college. As you can see, using them might cause some regret in the future: Going to the same school a boyfriend or girlfriend is going to—The danger here is obvious. High school romances rarely last and once the romance ends, so does the love for the college. Only look at the colleges your best friend is viewing—Friendships, while many last a lifetime, are no reason to make a college choice. Friends oftentimes have different educational goals and career paths. I saw many college friend explosions over the years when my kids were in school. It taints your view of the environment. Choose a college because you love their football team—Being a Texas Aggie fan or a Texas Longhorn fan or a Notre Dame fan is no reason to attend their college. Investigate their academic programs and choose it if it gives you the best education for your needs and for your dollar. Choose a college based on its “party” ranking—You would be surprised how many students choose schools that are ranked high as a party school. They convince their parents it’s for the academics, but truthfully it is not. Limiting location—Don’t just look at colleges close to home. Check out some schools that are a little further away. It will increase your options. RELATED: Finding the Application Submission ‘Sweet Spot’ Making cost the only determining factor—Until you have investigated how a college gives out financial aid, don’t discount pricey schools. You might be surprised at the amount of aid you receive that will offset the high tuition. Not visiting a college before applying (or even accepting)— Many students accept based on other students opinions or recommendations. Before you apply, visit the college to get a feel for the campus. Let the choice just happen—Many teens just slide in to the most comfortable place: they got an email from someone; their friend suggests it; their parents went there. Neither of these are good reasons to attend college. Pick a college to impress someone—This is not a reason to choose a college. Keeping up with the Jones’ or trying to impress your friends will only result in your teen being unhappy at school. Believe that the harder...

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Parent College Coach Tip #28: Attitude Trumps the College Name
Aug15

Parent College Coach Tip #28: Attitude Trumps the College Name

Much is debated about the college name and prestige, especially among parents; but where you go to college is not as important as you might think.

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Calculating the College ROI: Is College Really Worth the Cost?
Apr09

Calculating the College ROI: Is College Really Worth the Cost?

Everyone knows a college education is a valid goal, but it makes sense to step back and consider why. Rankings of “best” are fine, but what are your own reasons for pursuing a college education? Keep these in mind to make sure your college choice is, in fact, the best place to enroll to meet them.

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Scholarship Mom Tip #38: Don’t Wait to Choose a College
Aug29

Scholarship Mom Tip #38: Don’t Wait to Choose a College

— Not sure where to go to college? Don’t let that stop you from applying for scholarships!

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My College Decision: Journey to Endicott College
Oct11

My College Decision: Journey to Endicott College

by Erin Westerman  | @ErinSCV | Smart College Visit Intern   As you enter junior year of high school, you might find that every long lost family member, parents of friends, and basically anyone that you meet will begin to ask you where you’ve decided to go to college, what you want to study, and what you hope to do for the rest of your life. My answer to all of the above used to be “I have absolutely no idea” and after a while I dreaded the questions. . In fact,  I was so overwhelmed by the thought of college that I had no idea where to start. Then, halfway through the summer that led up to my junior year in high school, I realized that my college decisions would be coming up much sooner than I was prepared for so I needed to get myself into gear. For starters, I decided that, as tempting,  warm and sunny as Florida is, I wanted to stay in New England so I could be  far enough away that I wouldn’t have to take a plane  to come home every once in a while . That was a good enough starting point so I bought the latest edition of the "Princeton Review’s Top Colleges and Universities," used my high school’s college search database to find matches around the area, and checked out each college’s website. To organize myself, I had a notebook in which I wrote where each college was, the programs they had that interested me, and other pros and cons of the school. When I toured each school on-line, I wrote pages of notes about things I loved and those I wasn’t a big fan of.  There were other criteria that I found important, such as if there were good study abroad and internship programs. Once I had done all the boring research, I decided that I needed to take more initiative so I started calling up the schools that were within an hour’s driving distance to set up tours, which I proceeded to drive myself to. I figured that if I really loved a school I would bring my parents back to see it. I ended up applying to six schools that seemed right for me. This process, though tedious and overwhelming at times, was what gave me the push I needed. It makes me proud, looking back, that I did everything myself and that I essentially made the decision all on my own.    The first time I stepped on Endicott’s campus, I fell in love; that’s how it is sometimes. I just got that gut feeling that...

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Student Reflections: College Tours & College Decisions
Jul28

Student Reflections: College Tours & College Decisions

  From the editor: During CampusChat on July 25, 2012, I posted the question:  If you were choosing a college to attend yourself, what would you do differently today? Zach Richards, who had joined CampusChat for the first time that evening, took the question to heart and, after some reflection, decided to launch a blog about his college journey.   Zach is entering his senior year in Sports Management at Southern New Hampshire University. He is president of the Sports Management Club at SNHU, an intern for the Fisher Cats and a residential advisor. During CampusChat he advocated living on campus and getting involved with student organizations and activities. It's certainly worked well for Zach! We are pleased to have been the inspiration for Zach's blog: zrichards: learning through experience and then sharing and the post: If you were applying to college today what would you do differently? .   We'd love to hear your thoughts on what you would have done differently during your college search years, too! Please post a comment here or on our Facebook...

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