“If you don’t like your college, you can always transfer.” How many times have you heard that? You must admit, it seems to take the pressure off of finding the right college. You choose a college, and if it doesn’t work out, you transfer. Sounds easy enough, right?
But before you make a decision just to end the tiresome college research, let’s look at the implications of transferring: Read the rest of this entry »
Planning for college can definitely be intimidating. After all, there are THOUSANDS of colleges out there, each with beautiful web sites and brochures of students studying on the “quad” or bicycling through the fall leaves. It’s enough to make you think that no matter where you go, you will have a wonderful college experience. You just need to focus on your SAT, GPA, and essays to submit strong college applications. Right?
But don’t be fooled, because reality can strike hard. That college that you never visited but really meant to—can quickly turn into a big regret. Perhaps you thrive in a competitive academic environment and find the students in your classes to be apathetic. Or maybe the campus doesn’t offer the activities you love to do in your free time. College acceptance doesn’t necessarily mean college satisfaction. Read the rest of this entry »
WiseChoice has released the results of its latest survey of over 800 college freshmen nationwide. The results are eye-opening: One-third of current college freshmen are thinking about transferring. (One-third!) And more believe that there must be a better school for them than their current one. Some of the reasons cited are:
The survey reinforces the idea that investing the time upfront on a thorough college search could prevent students the trouble of transferring. Instead, they could thrive and be happy succeeding at the right college from the start. Plus, transferring schools can be an expensive proposition (think: another round of application fees, possible lost credits, and so on).
Read more about the results of the freshmen college survey in our latest WiseChoice Press Release.
Application deadlines are drawing close and if you’re like many students, you’re finding the admission essay to be the most daunting aspect of the college application process. But don’t be intimidated! Look at the essay as an opportunity for your voice to be heard in the admissions office. (Wouldn’t it be great if you could accompany your application right to the Dean’s desk?)
Here are some essay tips to help you conquer that blank page: Read the rest of this entry »
Now is the time—if you haven’t already done so—to ask your teachers for letters of recommendation. (Asking for recommendations the day before Thanksgiving will not win you any points from a teacher who would rather be enjoying holiday turkey with family and friends!)
The teacher recommendation plays a significant role in admissions decisions, particularly at selective colleges. Be sure to choose your recommender wisely:
Hello, I’m Toby Waldorf and I’ve been an educational consultant for 20 years, working with high school studentsand helping them make good college choices. I’ve traveled the country visiting campuses big and small, urban and rural, highly competitive and a little less selective. Surprisingly, in all these years I’ve never been on a campus that I didn’t like! Truth be told, every college has something appealing about it. Put a lot of 18-22 year olds together and there’s a certain magic that happens.
So how do you decide which of the schools is the best of the best? Good news! It’s only November and you don’t have to make that decision for another six months! (Unless you applied Early Decision in which case you’ve already made that choice.) If you’re going the “Regular” Decision route, your focus for now is on applying, not accepting. Put all of your energy into creating the best possible application that you can. Then, when they’re all sent in, take a deep breath and give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back.
In the coming months you’ll hear from each of the colleges you applied to. That’s when you’ll begin to analyze which schools are the best match for you academically, socially, and financially. For now….just focus on the task at hand. GOOD LUCK with those applications and let me know if you have any questions. I’ll be on the WiseChoice Community Forum during our special November Experts Month, answering your questions.
Just the other day I learned that colleges and universities like to see prospective students actively demonstrating interest in their school. Attending a college fair or fairs is one of the early steps in demonstrating that yes, you really are interested in a particular school and this makes the inevitable decision process of “which college do I attend” that much easier on you.
Think of it this way: let’s say that you attend a college fair at the end of your sophomore year of high school. You will already have an idea of the type(s) of school(s) you would like to apply to, thus giving you an opportunity to see whether or not a school might be the right fit for you. Read the rest of this entry »
I should probably add that I wasn’t all that traumatized by applying Early Decision. Once it was over and done with, and I was safely at school and settled in, things were fine. The point is that this decision of where to go and how to apply is a big one, and I want you to feel that you are able to make the best decision for you. There’s a lot of responsibility wrapped up in that last sentence but if you are reading this, you are probably more than aware of how this decision will impact your life. Good on you.
Now let’s say that you aren’t like me. You have some idea of schools that you feel are your best fit, but there isn’t one that really stands out from the rest. That is fine as well. Not everyone will follow the same path to college. But if you are in that position, there are other ways to apply so that it doesn’t feel like you have to make The Decision right then and there. You can pick a different early application/acceptance program so that you can spend the rest of high school making detailed charts and graphs and packing lists.
There are four early notification programs: Read the rest of this entry »
So you want to apply early to college? That’s fantastic. I did. It was a good time. While many of my friends spent the winter gnawing on their cuticles waiting for their Dream School to accept them, I spent the winter being lackadaisical about pretty much everything. It was lovely and my only worry was my AP test(s) at the end of the year. I’m sounding like some sort Class A overachiever, and believe me I was not, but I knew in my heart of hearts that American University was the school that I wanted to attend. Applying early decision just meant knowing earlier rather than perpetuating a cycle of anxiety.
I was the type of person for whom the Early Decision option was made for. I had spent years thinking about college; specifically how far I could get away from Upstate NY without ending up at the University of Fiji. There were spreadsheets made with pros vs. cons. I am freely admitting to the world that I would spend night after night researching my top choices and practicing essays, and wondering if I could grow to love Ithaca (I applied to Cornell) even in February. The answer was a resounding no, I could not. Read the rest of this entry »
Let’s face it; applying to college can be tedious, boring and one giant labyrinth of tests and paperwork. Toiling over college websites, school essays and writing the pros vs. cons of each institution can feel like a lonely place. It seems that there is nowhere to go to find the answers to all of your burning, college-related questions and no community to fall back on when deciding on these next big steps in your life.
Of course, all of that nonsense was way back when and now you have WiseChoice. And aren’t you lucky. WiseChoice—along with the WiseChoice blog—is the preeminent one- stop shop for finding the information you need, brought to you by individuals who have been there, done that and want you to find your perfect match when it comes to post-secondary education.
Here at WiseChoice, we want you to enjoy the college-finding experience whether you want to stay at home or move 3,000 miles away and whether you want to major in Kinesiology or Political Science. Either way we want to get you there intact. With guidance on financial aid and the differences between universities in Washington State and Washington, DC, we are here to provide you with the ultimate experience in planning this next step of your future.
So sit back and relax. Welcome to the WiseChoice blog.