The envelopes are in.
If your student has more than one thick envelope in hand, they’re in the driver’s seat. The colleges have taken their sweeeeet time choosing you, and now it’s your turn to choose them. They’ve given you the month of April to make your choice. Far beyond the glossy paper of the brochures, here are some things college advisors at International College Counselors say you and your student should consider:
Economics. It’s hard to deny that this may be a factor for many students. If they’ve been offered a generous financial aid package or a scholarship, it’s going to be hard to ignore this “bonus”.
If the student has not received the full financial aid offer, college advisors at International College Counselors recommend you begin to explore your financial options through free tools like the one offered on FinAid.org.
The Ivies and a small number of other schools have policies that allow them to attend irrespective of their ability to pay. Contact each school separately for information on these policies.
Fit. Where does a student feel like he or she will fit in best? Some students thrive at universities where the city itself plays an important role in one’s overall education. In cities such as New York and Boston, the cultural and internship opportunities are enormous. However, city schools tend to be more impersonal. Residential campus schools like the University of Florida pride themselves on a school community atmosphere. Then there are considerations like the size of the school, the role of Greek life, the athletic culture, and more. College advisors at International College Counselors recommend that your student look for the campus energy that matches his or her own.
Academics. Ideally, a student should have a vague idea of a desired career path. What is needed is a school that offers a major or program that will allow your student to explore that option to fullest.
Culture. Michael Roth, president of Wesleyan College presents this consideration excellently:
“The evolution of student culture over many years that comes to define the way a place feels to the young men and women who spend these transitional years on campus. Students – not teachers and officials – make that culture. At Duke, for example, there are extraordinary programs and deep research going on. But over several weeks of the spring semester, it’s Blue Devil basketball frenzy that takes over campus culture. At Middlebury, there is currently an energetic student debate about the meal plan, which many students see as a defining element in their campus experience. At USC, the entertainment industry seeps into the fabric of the place, even when the subject areas are quite distant from Hollywood. At Wesleyan, the students have created vibrant music and film contexts that seem to fuel independent rock and hip-hop on the one hand, and popular film and TV on the other. Although most students here study neither music nor film, the energy of these areas percolates around campus.”
Job connections. After college, your student will want to get a job so it’s smart to consider a college’s career services center. Call them and ask about job fairs, internship opportunities, on-campus corporate interviews, and the number of students per career counselor.
Only you and your student will know what is truly important to you. Ask questions and take a good hard look at the school. Visit the top two choices again if you can. This is going to be your student’s home away from home for the next four years.
Experienced college advisors at International College Counselors believe if a student is having a tough time choosing among two or more schools it is probably because he or she has done a good job putting together the list. Most likely that student will be happy at whichever college is chosen.
Worse comes to worse, a student can transfer.
Most importantly, don’t let your student procrastinate. This is probably the biggest decision they can make at this point in their life.
For help from an experienced college advisor, please contact the expert college counselors at the Miami based International College Counselors of http://www.internationalcollegecounselors.com
International College Counselors
About International College Counselors
International College Counselors is a Miami-based company that provides expert college counseling on undergraduate and graduate college admissions, financial aid, tuition, essays, and college applications. The college admissions counselors at International College Counselors work with domestic and international students. International College Counselors, founded by Mandee Heller Adler, tailors college counseling and college coaching services to address the goals, needs, and dreams of each student.
International College Counselors has seven offices in three countries.