Last weekend, I gave our "How to Find the Right Colleges for You" seminar for our Collegewise junior families. Here are ten questions I recommended our juniors consider while searching for colleges.
1. Why do you want to go to college?
2. Do you think you’re ready to go to college?
3. How do you like to learn?
Do you work best when the material is interesting? When the teacher is great? Or when you can sense the competition with other students? Do you enjoy classes with a lot of discussion? Or do you prefer to do more studying on your own.
4. What would you like to learn more about?
5. How hard do want to work academically?
6. Do you have any idea what you want to do with your life?
7. What would you like to be doing on a typical Tuesday night in college? What about on typical Saturday night?
8. How do you like the place where you live now? Would you like to be someplace similar or different for college?
9. Do you want to be with students who are like you, or different from you?
Ask yourself, “Am I more comfortable being around a lot of people who are
similar to me? Or Am I excited to meet new people who are very different
so I can learn from them?” Differences can come in lots of forms, by the way, like ethnicity, sexual orientation, where they’re from, whether or not they drink, etc.
10. When you envision yourself in college, what parts of it are you most excited about?
Students who really think about these questions don't just find the right colleges–they get in, too.