Friday, February 23, 2007

The College Search

The top story on the NPR website yesterday was on finding "hidden gem" colleges. I read and listened, waiting for mention of Washington and Lee, our tucked-in-Lexington, VA "diamond in the rough." The article didn't reference W&L, but it did bring up some great selling points for small schools and non-big name places. Keep these ideas, from Colleges that Change Lives director Martha O'Connell, in mind as you sell the school on your tours!

She tells the college-bound to:
1. examine what they want out of the school
2. recognize that their college does not have to be bigger than their high school
Most good liberal arts colleges have a population of fewer than 4,000 for a reason; college is a time to explore, and a smaller community is more conducive to internal exploration. It is not the number of people, but the people themselves and the kind of community in which you will learn that really matters. Many large universities have established "honors colleges" within the larger university for these same reasons.
3. realize a name-brand college will not guarantee their success
4. understand they don't need to pick a major to pick a college
5. not be scared by the "sticker price" of tuition
It is difficult to talk about money, but if you investigate all the options and ask for help and advice, you will find affordable choices. Online resources, as well as financial aid workshops sponsored by high schools in local communities, are widely available to get you started. College and university financial aid Web sites offer useful information and links as well. Investigate early and ask for help.
6. look for a college where you fit now and could see fitting in as you develop

Take a look at the rest of what the news package had to say about college-searching:


Anonymous Nikki said...

Good post.

1:00 PM  

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