Navigating the College Admissions Process
Applying to college is such a small part in the scope of your entire college and career experience, but the college application and admissions process defines a lot about what your college and career experience will look like.
As you begin to apply to college and start the next chapter of your life, keep these best practices in mind.
1. Look Beyond Your Major
When high school seniors are researching college options and digging through website after website, many times they are simply focused on the college’s academic programs. Although the goal as a college student is to receive a degree, it’s important to also look at other programs that will enhance your overall college experience.
Ask these questions when looking at a college:
- What leadership opportunities are available?
- Does your college participate in competitions to refine your area of study?
- Does your college match you with potential employers through job fairs, networking events, etc?
You’re not simply looking for the best place to get a degree. You’re looking for a college that will best prepare you for a career.
2. Contact An Admissions Counselor
Colleges are finding that more and more students are learning about their school through the use of websites and social media. However, by contacting an admissions counselor, you’ll be voice-to-voice with a wealth of knowledge about not only the admissions process, but also the school itself. Many times, admissions counselors are alumni and will be able to share their personal knowledge of the school and what it all has to offer.
3. It’s Not About the Name
Apply to a college that is going to send you off into the world well prepared to conquer every challenge, not one that has a specific location or ranking. Find the best college for you. Name and location are nothing if the school doesn’t emit the atmosphere and opportunities you are looking for. College is where you spend at least four years of your life, finding out who you are and what you’re suppose to do. You shouldn’t spend any of that time still trying to figure out if that’s the right college for you.
4. Step Foot on Campus
The Internet and social media can only portray a small part of a specific college. Physically visiting the school’s campus will be very beneficial and will answer a lot of your questions about the campus.
As someone currently in the college admissions process, there’s no doubt it’s stressful choosing where to spend the next four years of your life, butDECA has awarded us many experiences that will help eliminate some of the challenges that come with college admissions.
Reach out to your DECA advisor, school counselor, or friends in college. They can be especially helpful during this process.
Keep your head up! You’re a DECA member; you can do it!
Follow Tyler on Twitter @decavptyler.