You are me, 4 years ago of course. About sophomore year I had NO CLUE what college I wanted to go to what a major was, how many credits so I need to graduate, when will I graduate? Its a mess. Councilors help, but not enough.
THE TRUTH IS it is NOT that stressful, You just need to be very organized.
2. While looking these up ( I recommend collegeboard.com) Find the prices of how much these schools will be. YOU WILL BE SURPRISED. THIS IS THE FACTOR WILL HELP YOU NARROW DOWN YOUR RESULTS. Look at how much aid on the school sites that they give a year and see if it can help you.
3. Look at theu.com and check out the life on campus as told by students. They tell you the extra stuff like greek life, party atmosphere, drug and alcohol availability. IM AM NOT INTO THOSE THINGS but if you want to know what the atmosphere is like they have hilarious charts VOTED ON by students, there's even on on how hot the girls and guys are!
4. KEEP EVERYTHING ORGANIZED my plan was to keep a file folder with all this information you found WITH A CALENDAR that has all deadlines. STAY ON TOP OF DEADLINES by stay in top I mean BE EARLY!!!!!! LET ME TELL YOU A SHORT STORY:
" I know this girl right, she waited till about December to turn in her application for college at SHSU (heh), that was way before the April deadline, BUT she needed to live in the college dorm, the deadline for that was may, so she turns it in ...in APRIL. She picked out this dope apartment dorm and made plans for everything. GUESS WHAT? It filled up, her second choice filled too.... SO SHE WAS STUCK WITH THE THIRD and let me tell you, IT SUCKED!!!! IT WASNT FABULOUS. I KNOW, I know her well. DO NOT WAIT TILL THE LAST MINUTE OR YOU WILL GET THE LEFT OVER SHIT!"
5. After selecting the right college ( you will know, it will be like bob barker him self shines on you and says "COME ON DOWWWWN" ) YOU NEED TO VISIT AND GET ADVISED FOR CLASSES.
It is usually required to get advised and during your advising appointment you will learn everything about credits, how many you need to graduate, they will guide you in picking a major and minor (if necessary)
* It is not a bad idea to go to a community college or small school for 2 years to get the core curriculum out of the way and then transfer to a better university to graduate. Plenty of people do this but if that is not your style ( it wasn't mine) try to look for as many scholarships as you can and take classes in the summer.
SOME TIPS AFTER THE BREAK
ASK ME MORE QUESTIONS BC I DON'T KNOW SPECIFCALLY WHAT QUESTIONS YOU MAY HAVE, BUT HERE ARE A FEW GOOD ONES:
Tamara, why do you always talk about graduating on time?
I'll answer that question with another question, DO YOU REALLY THINK IT TAKES 4 YEARS TO GRADUATE? NO, it doesn't. It actually takes MOST people 4 1/2- 5 years. WHY YOU ASK? The way the credit system works you need to take about 15-18 hours each semester throughout your college career to graduate "on time" HOWEVER when you get advised, the school assigns you 13 hours! This usually will result in HAVING to take summer school to play catch up, or to get ahead.
This summer i will be playing catchup (for one credit, i'm one credit away from being a junior BUT trust me, it makes a HUGE difference), BUT I RECOMMEND TAKING BASIC CLASSES IN THE SUMMER. Once you apply to a college and you visit you will learn what classes are in the core cirriculum.
WHAT THE HELL IS A CORE CURRICULUM?
hahaha, its basically like 50 hours that the particular university REQUIRES you to take and its usually math, science, English. Those are the basics and SO MUCH EASIER to take in the summer to get over with really quick and also cheaper. TAKE THEM AT THE COMMUNITY COLLEGE OVER THE SUMMER it will be cheaper than wasting most likely double the cost of the university you want to attend.
IS a dorm a good idea?
Sometimes it's required if you are a freshman, i think it is great bc you will live on campus and not have the hassle of finding parking ( i think its a requirement of colleges and university's to have horrible parking lots lol) . You also meet a lot of people BUT i do recommend doing some research on the housing and compare the costs. It also helps if you know your roommate
ALSO some housing may require a meal plan so consider that cost too when you are looking into university housing.
How do you narrow down schools?
Like i said, look at cost, demographics, pretty much anything you want to know you can find. The things that are the most important to you look for them! If you prefer a large campus look at large well known universities.
How do you get scholarships and stuff?
That is kinda tricky, i say the best ones are on the school website and have to do with your grades as a highschool student and the score on your SAT or ACT. Look at those numbers and aim for those. Some schools have an automatic $3,000 for having a high gpa+ a high SAT score. Some site like fastweb.com have scholarships BUT HONESTLY NO ONE I NOW HAS EVER GOTTEN A SCHOLARSHIP FROM THERE. Also, sports are a good way in. As far as government aid you MUST fill out the FAFSA at FAFSA.ORG it takes FOREVER to fill out but it could be worth it.
THE WAY I SEE IT, even though filling out scholarship essays is BORING and TEDIOUS it is worth it, what else can you do THAT IS LEGAL for about 2 hours that can pay you $1,000
ASK ME MORE, i don't know exactly what you want to know, I'll keep talking about college till Wednesday :)