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Getting Ready for College Choosing Classes SOLS PSATS High School Graduation Requirenments Extracurricular Activities Choosing A College Ready For College

Choosing a College

Before you decide to spend hours of your time and thousands of dollars on a college education, do your homework. Make sure the school you choose is the right fit for your career goals, personality, academic preparation, and ability to pay.

There are many different types of colleges and universities, each with their own distinct advantages and drawbacks for individual students. A good fit for one student might not work well for another. You should explore each school of interest and make a list of the pros and cons for each institution before deciding where you will attend.

Visiting the Campus

One of the best ways to quickly determine whether a school is the right fit for you is to visit the campus. Attend an open house or contact the Admissions Office to schedule a visit.

While on campus, try the following:

During your campus visit, continually ask yourself, Can I see myself here? Is this school a good match for me? Do I feel at home here?. You might also want to jot down a few notes about the campus or take some photos because schools may begin to run together if you visit more than one.

Finding Out More About a School

Dont worry if you arent able to visit every campus that interests you. You can learn a lot about a school by exploring its website (for a list of Virginia schools websites, click here), or by taking a virtual tour of the campus over the internet. To access a list of some of the Virginia colleges and universities that offer virtual tours, click here. You can even follow a schools tweets on Twitter and fan them on Facebook for campus updates.

Dont have reliable access to the web? Check out the schools catalogs or brochures, which you can pick up in person or have mailed to your home.

In addition to gathering information provided by the school, students can find out more about a school from outside sources. Consider the following resources to learn more about schools that interest you:

Additional Resources

You dont have to look far to find the help you need to plan for college. For more resources, check out the following websites:

I am the One
http://www.i-am-the-one.com/

Virginia Education Wizard
http://www.vawizard.org

Know How 2 Go
http://www.knowhow2go.org/

Virginia Department of Education
www.doe.virginia.gov

Federal Student Aid
http://studentaid.ed.gov/PORTALSWebApp/students/english/index.jsp

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
www.fafsa.ed.gov

Financial Aid
www.finaid.org

There are a lot of resources out there to help you make good decisions about college, but remember that it is ultimately your responsibility to make sure the school you choose meets your expectations and provides a solid education in your field of interest.