As high school seniors across the country finalize their college decisions and commitments for fall, the collective nervous energy of high school juniors (as well as sophomores, freshmen and their families) begins to mount. Are the right steps being taken to prepare for university? Have you started to consider what school(s) might be right for you?
This new phase can be daunting for any family. Fortunately, one of the nation’s most successful college admissions experts, Jodi Redmond of Aureus Prep, has offered up a checklist of topics to consider when thinking of what schools to apply to.
For high school students thinking about what school to pursue, Redmond recommends the good, old-fashioned pro-and-con list. This will help students narrow down what they are looking for in higher education and have something to work towards moving forward.
The primary topics to consider, according to Redmond, are:
1. Location: Is it important to have a school near family? Rural or urban? Is weather a factor?
2. Size: Do you prefer a big or small campus? What’s the class size in freshman courses at the schools you are considering?
3. Area of study: Do the schools you are considering have the research opportunities you need? Do they offer the majors (and minors) you are interested in?
4. Sports: Do you want a Division 1 school? Or would you prefer to stay as far away from athletic activities as possible?
5. Finances/financial aid/scholarships: What do the various schools offer? How do they stack up, in terms of affordability?
6. School culture/fit: Does the school fit your politics? Your way of life? East Coast vs. West Coast?
7. Extracurricular/student organizations: If you are going to a small liberal arts school, what are your options?
Redmond stresses that these topics are just the beginning of what should be a carefully managed process leading toward the application process.