While it is never too early to begin thinking about college, when you are a junior in high school is the probably the most crucial time. This is when you should begin really examining what schools you may want to attend and what you may want to study. There are many factors that you need to keep in mind during this time, e.g., two-year vs. four-year college, tuition, location, housing, financial aid, etc. Now we will touch on all of these areas in separate articles, as they are each worthy of their own spotlight; this article is just to get the initial thoughts out there and possible first steps to take.
First tip, hit the web. Almost every school has some form of web presence, whether it be a site with comprehensive information or one that just allows you to request information to be mailed to you. Set some criteria to focus your research – type of school, location, cost, etc. These are great general parameters to use to guide your online searching.
Second, talk to people – your parents, friends, neighbors, other family members, and school counselors. During this phase you will probably be overloaded with information. It may be a bit much to process but it does give you other factors to consider, e.g., campus, student services, activities, etc. People can tell you a lot of things that you won’t find on the web and in reading materials, so make sure to listen.
The third and final suggestion is to visit the school. Once you have narrowed down your choices you should try to take a campus tour and attend an information session. Now I know that this is not always possible so I encourage you to view the virtual tour, if available, and contact the admissions department with any questions you may have.
Well, there you have it, just a few things to consider while developing your plan of action.