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Finding the Right College or University For You

Researching post-secondary institutions is an important first step to discovering the one that suits your requirements, ideals, and academic goals. You may believe that you already know where you’d prefer to go, but you should research anyway. You may end-up realizing that the perfect school is buried in lists of colleges or a pile of brochures. Check these tips:

Upward view of a campus building

Step 1: speak with students and alumni

Currently enrolled students and alumni are the best resources for frank, no-holds-barred opinions of what the college or university is like and how it could meet your needs and goals. Look for former students of your high school who went to the school or friends of your parents who may have graduated from there. Asking them tough questions: How did you like it? What’s it like to live there? Was the school helpful in finding a job? What are the professors and the classes like?

Step 2: surf the web

Nearly every college and university has a web site. Touring them can be an invaluable source of information. Many sites are really online brochures. Some though, allow you to read between the lines to decipher what the school is genuinely like. Look for campus photos, school resources, course catalogs, demographic data, graduation rates, and more.

Step 3: professional guidance

Your guidance counselor can also be an important resource for details about colleges and universities, particularly financial aid and scholarships. Together, you should discuss your academic goals and your transcript. Discuss factors like your grade point average and high school course requirements. Find out how you stack up against the admission requirements of your short-list of schools, then determine how you might be able to increase your probability of getting admitted.

Step 4: commercial sources

There are countless books, magazines, software packages, and commercial web sites that present information and rate post-secondary schools, financial aid, their admissions processes, scholarships, and more. Before spending any money, research the organization and check for reputable brand names that you’re familiar with.

However you choose your school, remember that Oxford Learning’s SAT Plus program prepares you to get your highest SAT score, plus teaches you the advanced learning and study skills that every student needs to succeed in college or university. Click here for more information.

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