In part one of the early college planning discussion I discussed the courses to take to impress college admissions officers. In part two I discussed standardized tests that should be considered early in the college admissions process. Part three reviewed the importance of extra curricular activities in the college process. Our last post discussed why working at a job may help you in the admissions process. Now let’s examine the importance of early college visits.
Early college visits are different from college visits that I recommend during the junior year of high school. The purpose of an early college visit is to help the student understand the different types of colleges. Do you want a large or small college? One that is academically oriented or one where athletics is king? Not sure what the issues are? Here is my list of what to consider to find the right college for you.
At this point you are not looking to find a particular college for your needs. Try to get a feel for the type of college you might wish to look at further when you are a junior.
Because you are not looking to find a particular college you can look for colleges where ever you might find them. Know some colleges near you? Visit several different types of colleges to see which type feels right for you. Going on a summer vacation? Try to visit some colleges near where you are vacationing.
What is important at this time is to simply look at a variety of different colleges. If you have time, take a tour and talk to some current students. Most students will start to get a feel for the right “type” of college after visiting a few. Once you know the type of college for your needs, then the search for the right college later will be that much easier.
I will finish this series next time when I look at some of the issues surrounding financial aid that may require early planning.