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How to Benefit from Your College Search

applying to college college admissions college consultant college decision college planning college preparation college search Apr 30, 2022

When it comes to making one of the most critical decisions in your life, you want to be sure that you are doing everything possible to make the best choice. For many students and their families, that means researching and visiting colleges and universities. There are several ways to make the most of your college search, and we will outline some of them in this blog post.

Start early

This may seem like obvious advice, but it is worth repeating. The sooner you start your college search, the more time you will have to explore your options and make an informed decision. Start by doing some basic research online and then narrow down your list of potential schools. Once you have a list of about 15-20 colleges, you can begin visiting them. 

If you wait until your senior year of high school to start looking at colleges, you may feel rushed and stressed out. By starting early, you can take your time and make sure that you choose the right school for YOU.

Know your priorities

What is most important to you in college? Do you want a large school or a small one? A school that is close to home or far away? One with a strong academic program in your chosen major? 

Be clear about what you are looking for in a college before you begin your search. This will help you narrow down your options and find the schools that best fit you. Once you know your priorities, make a list of them in order of importance. That way, when you are comparing colleges, you can easily see which ones meet your needs and which ones don't. For example, if the location is not as important to you as having a strong academic program, then you would put that lower on your list of priorities.

Visit the campus

There is no substitute for actually visiting a college campus. It is the best way to get a feel for the school and see if it is a place where you could see yourself spending four years of your life. When you visit, be sure to take a campus tour and sit in on some classes. You should also talk to some current students and ask them about their experience at the school. 

If you can't visit in person, there are other ways to get a feel for the school. You can watch videos or take virtual tours online. You can also read student blogs or articles about the school.

Consider your finances

One of the most important factors in choosing a college is affordability. You want to be sure that you can afford the tuition and other expenses associated with attending the school. Some schools offer need-based financial aid, which means that they will provide money for students who cannot afford the full cost of attendance. If you think you might qualify for financial aid, be sure to include those schools on your list of potential colleges. 

You can also look for schools that offer merit-based scholarships, which are awarded based on academic achievement or other criteria. When considering your finances, it is also important to think about the cost of living in the school's area. Some cities or states have a higher cost of living than others, it is something to keep in mind when making your decision.

Ask for help

Many people can help you with your college search, so don't be afraid to ask for assistance. Your parents or other family members may be able to offer advice and guidance. Your high school counselor or teacher may also be a valuable resource. They can provide information about colleges that might be a good fit for you and can help you with the application process. You can also talk to friends or relatives who have already gone through the college search process. They can share their experiences and give you some helpful tips. 


At Clark College Consulting, we can help you compare schools and answer any questions you may have.

Have a Broad Spectrum of Options

When you are looking at colleges, it is important to keep an open mind. There may be schools that you have never heard of that are an excellent fit for you. There may be schools that you think are perfect for you but end up not being what you were expecting. So don't get too set on any one school, and make sure to keep your options open! 


The best way to do this is to research a variety of different types of colleges. Include both large and small schools, ones that are close to home and ones that are farther away, public and private universities, etc. By considering a wide range of options, you will be more likely to find the perfect college. Reach out to us at Clark College Consulting and we can help compare a number of schools.

Participate in Programs That Colleges Offer

Many colleges offer programs that simulate the college experience. These are typically called "preview days" or "college days." By attending one of these events, you can get a feel for what college life is like without actually committing to anything. You'll also be able to ask current students and professors about their experiences. This can give you a more well-rounded view of what the school has to offer.

Some colleges also offer summer programs. These are usually shorter than preview days, but they still give you a taste of college life. Summer programs often have a specific focus, such as academic enrichment or leadership development. If you're interested in a particular field, attending a summer program at your top-choice school is a great way to get started in that field.


As you can see, there are many ways to make the most of your college search. By taking advantage of all the resources available to you, you can ensure that you find the right school for you. Your college search can be a fun and rewarding experience with a bit of effort.

 

Photo by Kampus Production: https://www.pexels.com/photo/serious-young-woman-with-diverse-groupmates-working-on-laptops-in-library-5940712/

 

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