Hello College-shoppers! Looking for a college that’s right for you can be challenging, especially if you don’t have a road map guiding you through the process. Luckily for you, I’m here to pass on just a few tips I wish someone had shared with me when I was looking for a college.
-Go to college fairs! For my first college fair, I honestly only went to get bonus points for my English class, but I’m so glad I did! Simply by going to that college fair, I met Elizabeth Wallace, my admissions counselor, and ending up coming to visit MC.
-Make friends with your high school counselor! My guidance counselor in high school helped me so much as I applied for schools and looked for scholarships. She helped me put together my resume, gave me an excused absence to go on a college visit, and gave me lots of good advice on life in general.
-Apply, apply, apply! Even if you’re not sold on a certain school yet, applying to many will keep your options open and give you lots of feedback and interaction with different schools. I hadn’t officially decided on MC when I applied, but the application was quick and easy so I went ahead and applied anyway. Having the application under my belt definitely made the decision process easier!
-Make a pros and cons list! When I narrowed down three schools I wanted to pursue, I made a list and looked at the pros and cons of everything from the school’s distance from my home, the student body size, the personality of the campus, availability of academic programs I was interested in, the food and on-campus living, scholarships, and churches in the community. Think of the things you really want in a college and pursue colleges that best match up to the pros you are looking for.
-Come visit! Obviously a campus tour is a must, but consider approaching your tour as more than a simple mental picture of campus. Go the extra mile to see if the school fits you. Ask your admissions counselor to schedule a meeting with a professor or sit in on a class from a department in which you might be interested. Come on a day when students are there so you can see how a typical student lives day to day. See what it’s like to go to and from class, eat where the students eat and maybe even visit a dorm room and library to see what study time looks like.
-Check out the town! If college is going to be your home for the next four years, you’re going to want to know about your new college-town. When I first came to Mississippi, I remember my mom and I went to Jackson to shop at Anthropologie, but also had coffee and went antiquing on the Brick Streets in Clinton. I loved the closeness of the big city but the hometown feel of a used book-store on the Brick Streets is was sold me!
Hope this helps! Merry Christmas!