College Tips

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College Tips

College Tips

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The following websites provide information on searching and applying for colleges.  It is recommended to check individual college websites you may be planning to attend.  ACT test registration Peterson’s college search by category Army ROTC  Air Force ROTC  - Virtual tours A general application form used by over 150 independent colleges that is available online. Transcript requests

The Transition to College

Whether you are beginning college directly after high school, are leaving a full-time job to pursue an education, or are working and attending college at the same time, you will face some adjustments during your first semester here. Students in two freshman level courses were asked to describe the transitional issues they faced in their first semester and to give advice to incoming students. Here's a sample of what they had to say.

Top Ten Issues Identified by Students
(in order of importance)
  1. Personal responsibility "In college you have freedom to do as you go where you do as you wish. Unfortunately, this freedom is easily abused. The student carries 98% of the responsibility and control."
  2. Class attendance "As a college student, you will decide whether you want to go to class or not. Being absent will hurt you in the long run."
  3. Teacher attitudes "Your instructors will not hound you to do your work. It's entirely up to you." "Get to know your teachers. If your teachers know you, it will be easier for them to look out for you and help you if you're having trouble."
  4. Types of assignments "In high school we were given a homework assignment every day. Now we have a large task assigned to be done at a certain time. No one tells when to start or what to do each day. Once you get an assignment, start working on it right away. It takes a daily effort to keep up."
  5. Importance of performance "Don't take your courses or studies lightly. The decisions you make in college will decide your future, in some respects. Remember that you are here for an education."
  6. Time management "The amount of free time you have in college is much more than in high school. Always have a weekly study schedule to go by. Otherwise, time slips away and you will not be able to account for it."
  7. Amount of study "In high school I was a B student with out studying. In college I was a C/D student without studying. To succeed, you have to study!"
  8. Size of institution/classes "Lecture classes are much larger than high school classes. This can be scary for a new student."
  9. Difficulty of college work "College is probably going to be tougher than high school. Don't let that stop you!"
  10. Social life "Sometimes it seems harder to make friends because of the size of the school. But there are a variety of organizations and activities. Get involved and meet the people!"
Thanks to Jane Rhoads and her College Reading & Study Skills classes for this information.

Once you have decided that college is the right choice for you, now you have to decide which college!

Here are some key questions to ask yourself when making a list of colleges:
  • Do they have my major?
  • How far away from home do I want to be?
  • What size is the student population?
  • What are the admission requirements?
  • What support services are available-counseling, tutoring, career services, etc?
  • What is the student-faculty ratio?
  • What access to technology is available (technology in the classroom, wireless access, etc)?
  • Are there any special academic programs such as honors, learning communities, studying abroad?
  • What types of financial aid and scholarships are available?
  • What preparation for graduate school is available?

Here are some key questions to ask on a college visit:
  • What do students do outside the class?
  • What support services are available-counseling, career services, etc.
  • What is the student-faculty ratio?
  • What access to technology is available (technology in the classroom, wireless access, etc)?
  • Are there any special academic programs such as honors, learning communities, studying abroad?
  • What exposure is there in diversity?
  • What are the living arrangements (all dorm or apartment living)?
  • How is the food!
  • Are there intercollegiate and intramural athletics available?
  • What safety services are available for students?
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