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How to Find a College This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


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Ever wonder how you're going to choose a college? There are so many options! With all of the mail you receive from every college you've ever imagined, how are you supposed to pick? But making this decision isn't as hard as you might think. Here are some easy steps for finding the right college.

Step 1: Read your mail. You can glean a lot of valuable information from college brochures. College admissions offices are always willing to answer questions or send more information about their college or any degree programs that interest you. Their phone numbers are usually in the brochure, in addition to information about degree programs, sports, living arrangements, and dorm life.

Step 2: Visit their website. See what you can find out by spending ten minutes on the college's site. Take notes. You can even copy and paste important information into a document for future reference.

Step 3: Visit the campus. Call the admissions office and schedule an appointment. Be on time, dress appropriately, and be sure to have a list of questions.

The students giving the tours are prepared to answer all of your questions. Take lots of notes since you probably won't remember all the great information after you get home. Pay attention to the layout of the campus, the dorm rooms, cafeterias, and class schedules. At the end, ask for a paper application. See if the fee is waived if you apply online or go in for an appointment.

Step 4: Submit your applications. Take the time to apply to every college you're interested in. If you have a paper application, use that. Find out if there is a fee (usually $35). After you've filled out the application, check and double-check that you have completed everything, and attach any transcripts, résumés, or other required documents. If you're applying online, bookmark the final page that says you've applied.

Step 5: Make a list. After you've visited all of your colleges, applied, been accepted, and are ready to choose, make a list of pros and cons for each school. Pay attention to the tuition fees, campus, dorm rooms, and overall status of each college. Look over your notes and see which schools are a good fit for you.

Step 6: Scholarships. Apply for any scholarships that you qualify for. If a college offers a scholarship for your GPA or ACT/SAT scores, keep that information handy when it's time to decide.

Step 7: Make a decision. If you've followed these steps in your college search, you're ready to make an informed decision. Good luck with your first year!

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.





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This article has 2 comments. Post your own!

Justerespirer said...
Nov. 29, 2009 at 12:19 pm:
Very interesting and well written. Thanks so much for all the tips.
-Nic 爱
 
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Knile97 said...
Oct. 1, 2009 at 10:36 am:
Wow! Thanks for all of those great tips for choosing a great college for me!
 
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