Many juniors are well into the research phase of the college admission process. This is the time when students have to do some deep soul-searching, often with the help of parents and counselors, to determine the qualities of a college that are most important to them. Every student’s wishlist will be different. But oftentimes, students don’t know where to start. Of course, meeting with a Campus Bound counselor will help, but we also present in this blog the four big questions to ask yourself as you begin exploring different colleges.
Following up on last week’s blog, we decided it would be a good idea to make students and families aware of some “lesser known” colleges that are actually really great! Inspired by Loren Pope’s book, “Colleges That Change Lives,” college counselors are often trying to expand the minds of students and families by suggesting colleges they may not have heard of. With over 3,000 colleges in the United States alone, there are many more schools out there than you can name. And since we at Campus Bound know that it’s really all about the “fit” of a school, we urge you to consider schools that may be new to you. The schools that Loren Pope writes about in his book are places where students thrive. They are schools that have high graduation rates and that their graduates rave about. They are the schools with happy students, the schools you may not know about, but should.
One of the biggest mistakes parents and students can make in the college search and application process is listening to the advice of unqualified people. The title of this blog is meant to be humorous, but in reality, it happens quite a bit. Someone who went to a particular college years ago may have strong feelings about and memories of the school that just aren’t relevant now. Or, a family member may have heard something about a college once that left a bad taste in their mouth. But that information is completely unrelated to what your experience would be like there. The point of this blog is, take what others say with a huge grain of salt.
This is the time of year when juniors tend to kick off the college process. During their first meeting with us, we college counselors ask them, “have you thought about where you’d like to attend college?” We ask about the size of the school they would prefer, what they’d like to study, etc. And then we ask, “Do you know where you’d like to be located for college? What part of the country/ what state(s)? And, in my experience, around 75% of students say, “Someplace warm!”
Part of the college process in the winter/ spring of junior year is deciding what kinds of students you want to surround yourself with in college. Which types of students inspire you and enable you to do your best? Different schools attract different students, which influences the culture on campus.
By now you have likely heard of a “safety school” and have some understanding of what that means. (Read more here) In that sense, we are talking about changes of being admitted to a particular school. But there is a newer phrase in the world of college counseling that you may want to understand better, and it is, “financial safety.” In this blog we will go over what it is, and why it makes sense to have one on your list.
There is a saying when talking about colleges and universities that it’s nice when they have a “work hard, play hard” mix. If you think academics are the only thing that happens in college, you’re wrong. For traditional students, academics certainly come first, but the social aspect of college is a close second.
As Seniors head back to school and their final year of high school is underway, the reality of college may start to hit. Many students are now stressing about impending application deadlines, completing college essays and making sure they have a well-balanced college list. Sometimes, fear sets in and students begin to think about the worst-case scenario: “What happens if I don’t get into any colleges?”
Although the college admission process isn’t an exact science, Campus Bound counselors give each student a good sense of their chances of admission to the colleges they intend to apply to. Using data published by colleges and our accessibility to previous admissions decisions and trends, we sit down with each student and give him or her a clear sense of what to expect. Of course, nothing is a sure thing, but when students have a balanced list, the odds are in their favor!
So what makes a balanced list? Campus Bound recommends that students apply to roughly 8 colleges. Of those 8 colleges, at least two should be “Likely.” It’s also a good idea to apply to two or so “Reach” schools, and the rest should be in the “Target” zone. A description of each category is below.
A “Reach” school is a school where a student’s chance of admittance, based usually on GPA and standardized testing scores alone, is low. Typically a “Reach” school denies students with a profile comparable to yours.
A “Target” school is a school where the student’s chance of admittance, based on GPA and standardized testing scores, is 50%. This means that a “Target” school sometimes admits and sometimes denies students with a profile comparable to yours.
A “Likely” school is a school where the student’s chance of admittance, based on GPA and standardized testing scores, is high. This means that a “Likely” school typically admits students with a profile comparable to yours.
Deciding which category a school falls into for youcan be tricky, and that’s where a trusted college counselor comes in. We have the experience and knowledge to make informed recommendations and take guessing (nearly) out of the equation. Of course, college admission is not an exact science, but students who adopt the 2-4-2 recommendation will ultimately end up at a colleges that they are happy and excited to attend.