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Top 10 Rules for Selecting a College or University
- Never make your final college selection without visiting at least your top 2 or 3 choices. Spend a few hours on campus no matter how well you think you know the campus. Take a family member with you on college visitis because it gives you extra "eyes and ears" and people who you can discuss you impressions.
- There should be no exceptions to rule # 1.
- A college is not necessarily right for you because its name is familiar to you.
- Investigate at least 3 or 4 colleges you know little or nothing about but offer your field of study/major, matches your SAT/ACT scores, are in the location you like and that meet your personal criteria for a college. A little research can go a long way and open opportunities that you may not have considered.
- Choosing a college based on your firends going there or a boyfriend/girlfriend going there is not a good reason to choose a colllege.
- Investigate your options. Don't accept other's opinions i.e. "this college is good/bad", "hard to get into", "too expensive", "party school", etc. Know the facts.
- Do not rule out a college right away due to cost. Many colleges offer scholarships, financial aid, and tuition installment plans that make them more affordable than they may first appear. You won't really know how much it will cost until you are near the end of the financial aid process.
- Deadlines are not suggestions. Keep track of all college related deadlines i.e. application, SAT/ACT registrations, financial aid and scholarships.
- Remember to apply to at least 1 "Reach" school, 2 - 3 "Good Match" schools and at least 1 "Safety" school. If you take the time to choose schools you would be happy to attend, you'll eliminate anxiety that is typically experienced during the application process.
- When its time to make your final choice, discuss your options with your family and other who know you well and whose judgment you value. Once you make your choice, don't agonize over it. If you have followed these rules there is an excellent chance yourfinal college choice will be a good one.