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Consider studying in the UK for college
Many students dream of studying not only in a different state, but in a different country. If you have dreamed of going to a school like Prince William met Kate, (St. Andrews in Scotland), or an ancient school such as Oxford, consider attending college in the United Kingdom. There are several advantages to studying in the United Kingdom : Graduate with a degree in 3 years (England).  You can finish your degree in 3 years and move on to graduate school or a career sooner than in an American University.  Scottish Universities offer a 4-year degree. Start in your major.  You can start as a freshman studying medicine, engineering or law. Get started right away in the field of your interest. Skip the general education.  There are no general education courses required in the UK education system.  Take only the classes you need, for the subject you are studying. No language proficiency test needed.  Most of all, you can experience a new culture and still be speaking English. You don’t have to worry about receiving instruction in a language you are still mastering.  Undoubtedly, understanding the accents will take time! No additional cost. UK accepts the same Stafford loan colleges in the US accept. You could actually pay less to go to school in the UK than staying home and attending a high-cost school in an expensive area of the US. International Student Loan has a list of colleges in the UK eligible for Stafford loans. Explore United Kingdom schools through the Educate in UK website. Make notes in your GuidedPath Edge account. ...
What color do you want your campus to be?
As you are researching colleges, you will hear comments about how one campus is “very liberal” or another is “extremely conservative”, or another is “middle of the road”.: These are references to the political leanings of a college campus. Is it red, blue or somewhere in between?  Are all students of the same persuasion? How do you find out? Here are some tips for exploring the political atmosphere on a college campus: Check out the list of college clubs? What kinds of clubs are available? Look at the campus newspaper or online news? What are the issues? Are the issues balanced, or slanted more toward a liberal or conservative viewpoint? Review the mission statement.  Does the college have core beliefs that favor one political perspective than another? Check the school’s social media.  What is the twitter and facebook chatter covering? What kind of events are popular on campus?  Where do students like to gather?   Many colleges encourage a balanced political dialogue. After researching the school, do you feel you would fit in?  Would it meet your needs to find a “liberal”, “conservative” or “middle of the road” school? ...
What’s in a location?
  How do you describe where you live?  City? Suburb? Country?  As you explore colleges, one thing to look at is the location of the college.  Think about where you want to go to school.  The location has a significant impact on your college experience.   Here are terms used in college “locations” with definitions: Major City: Population 300,000 or more: or within a 25 mile radius of a metropolitan area. Small-Medium City:  Population 75,000-299,999 or within 15-25 mile radius of its metropolitan area. Large Town: Population 25,000-74,999) or within 10 mile radius of a large town. Small Town: Population 5,000-24,999) or within 5 mile radius of a small town. Rural: Population under 5,000, in or near a rural community.   How do you know what will be best for you?  Search for: Nearest airport. Nearest large city. Nearest outdoor experiences (beach, mountains, etc.). Popular student gathering places on campus. Popular student gathering places off campus. Activities available on weekends at the school. Activities available on weekends in the community. Nearest tourist attractions. The movie, bowling or other recreational activities nearby? Employment opportunities. Your faith community- on or off campus.   The location of your college will make an enormous impact on your college experience.  Be sure to explore all the options. Look on the college website.  View the college facebook pages. Most importantly, look it up on a map.   ...
College Sizes Matter
As you explore which colleges are the right match for you, consider the size of the campus. How many undergraduates attend the college? This can make a big difference in your experience on a college campus.  Think of college sizes in these four categories (based on undergraduate students attendance only).   Boutique Size (<2000) Over 500 colleges in the US are under 2000 students. Ideal for students with a strong Participant learner approach to college. You get to know your teachers and fellow students very well. It provides opportunities to maximize involvement in activities.  A great way to construct your own learning experience. Mostly private schools, examples of boutique size campuses are  Julliard, Amherst, Pomona, California Institute of Technology, Davidson, Haverford.   Liberal Arts Size (2000-5000) Over 3oo colleges in the US fall under the Liberal Arts size category. Some of the most well known and prestigious colleges fall into this category: Dartmouth, Rice, Middlebury, Carleton, Vassar. Learning is individualized and diversity is fostered on campus.   Just right Size (5,000-10,000) “Just Right” refers to the college that is not too big, not too small, as Goldilocks stated, it is “Just Right”. The college is bigger than most high schools.  Yet, it is small enough to still retain the personal feel students are looking for.  This is the smallest group of colleges in the US, with just over 200 campuses. Both public and private schools fall into this category. Many of the most prestigious campuses fall into this category: Princeton, Yale, Stanford, Brown, Duke.  Public schools fall into this category as well: College of William and Mary, many California State Universities, Texas A & M Corpus Christi, and many more.  This is a size many students feel most comfortable at.   City University Comparable to the size of a large town or small city, many large, particularly public universities fall into this range. Students benefit from lots of choices and options. The tradeoff is you must be willing to be your own advocate and reach out. You have to find your own personalization on a campus this size. Of the 58 colleges in this category, most are public schools. City Universities include, Arizona State, UCLA, UC Berkeley, University of Colorado Boulder, University of Michigan, Florida State, Texas A&M, College Station.  There are a few private schools in this category, notably New York University, Brigham Young University and Liberty. ...
Study in the UK
Many students dream of studying not only in a different state, but in a different country. If you have dreamed of going to a school like Prince William met Kate, (St. Andrews in Scotland), or an ancient school such as Oxford, consider attending college in the United Kingdom.     There are several advantages to studying in the United Kingdom : Graduate with a degree in 3 years (England).  You can finish your degree in 3 years and move on to graduate school or a career sooner than in an American University.  Scottish Universities offer a 4 year degree. Start in your major.  You can start as a freshman studying medicine, engineering or law. Get started right away in the field of your interest. Skip the general education.  There is no general education courses required in the UK education system.  Take only the classes you need, for the subject you are studying. No language proficiency test needed.  Most of all, you can experience a new culture and still be speaking English. You don’t have to worry about receiving instruction in a language you are still mastering.  Undoubtedly, understanding the accents will take time! No additional cost. UK accepts the same Stafford loan colleges in the US accept. You could actually pay less to go to school in the UK than staying home and attending a high cost school in an expensive area of the US. International Student Loan has a list of colleges in the UK eligible for Stafford loans. Explore United Kingdom schools through the Educate in UK website.     ...
Where will I be living next year?
One of the biggest questions you have as a student (and your parents too) is ‘Where will I be living next year?” This is a big decision. Be sure to explore all your options. Check out the housing choices on campus. Learn which choices are available to you. Housing Styles Traditional Residence Halls:  This the typical, two students to a room, long hallway dorm, with a shared bathroom between several people. This is usually the most common option for incoming freshman. Suite Style: These residence halls have more of an apartment feel. Several students share a common living and kitchen area, with bedrooms sharing bathrooms. Often more available to upperclassmen, some colleges offer these to freshmen. Apartment Style:  Built as student apartments students share.  Usually for upperclassmen or married students.   Themed Communities Living/learning communities. Many colleges offer themed living communities. It can be honors, particular majors, language or cultural based, or communities based on lifestyle commitments: green living or substance free. First Year Experience. Often in addition to housing together, classes are offered for first-year students to take together. Living in first-year experience housing gives students opportunity to learn and grow together.   Other considerations Meal Plans: How is the meal plan handled? Do you get extra dollars to use in the coffee shop or student market? What happens on the weekend for meals?  Are you required to have a meal plan for the style living you choose? Gender housing  Are there single sex dorms? Single sex floors?  Single sex rooms (with both genders in rooms next to each other? Unisex rooms? How are the bathrooms set up? What will make you comfortable? Uncomfortable? Alcohol and Drug policies. Be sure to ask about party rules, for you and guests. Is it a dry campus? All campuses follow the legal age for drinking. Security. How secure is the housing? Do you have to have an ID to get inside the building? What are other security measures in place? Can you have guests? What are the restrictions for guests?   ...
Road Trip: Preparing for Spring Break College Visits
Plan to use your spring break to visit colleges.Their spring breaks are often different than your spring break. Take advantage of seeing a college campus when students are on campus. Here is how you prepare for your spring college visits. Preparing for the visit Create a College Visit Itinerary . Searching for college locations. Who can you go visit during the time you have? Don’t worry if you can’t go see all of the colleges. Pick a few in one area to visit. Register for college visits online .  Once you have a list of colleges to visit, register for a campus tour online. Most campuses have an online registration process for scheduling college visits. Resist the urge to plan “drive through” visits.  An official campus tour takes more time, but gives you a better feel for the college/campus. Don’t try to plan too many in a day. 1-2 per day should be your goal. Review your priorities for a good college fit .  4 components; academic, social, emotional and physical. Learn the details.  Look up the school’s size, majors offered and other details of interest to you. Review college data. It will help make your visit more meaningful if you have the basics down. Create a List of Questions . Write down the top 10 Questions you need to be answered during your college visit. Focus on learning what you would study and who would you study with.   ...
Top Tips for Visiting Colleges as an Admitted Student
Receiving the letter or email of acceptance to colleges is a time for celebration! What's your next step? Many colleges will be inviting you to visit the campus as an “admitted student”. These visits can be: A designated day event on campus A designated weekend or overnight event on campus A designated window of time to come visit (between two dates) A scholarship competition An orientation   We have tips for making the most of these visits. Preparing for the visit Review your priorities for a good college fit. Fit includes 4 components; academic, social, emotional and physical.  Brush up on details.  Refresh your knowledge about the school’s size, mascot and other details of interest to you. Review college data. It will help make your visit more meaningful if you have the basics down. Explore advising options for your major.  When do you start advising? Review housing options. Where would you live? Explore activities offered? What appeals to you? On Campus Prepare a list of questions to ask during your admitted student visit. Plan a visit when the college is in session.  You need to see the college from the perspective of a student. As a part of the visit, see if you can make the following appointments; Meet with an advisor for your major or in the college you were admitted to. Learn more about the courses and professors in your selected field of study. Visit Housing and tour dorm options.  Where will you live as a freshman? Meet with a financial aid counselor.  How does your financial aid look? Do parents have any questions that need answering? As you visit the campus, ask yourself these questions. Do I feel I would fit in academically here? Would I fit in socially here? Do I feel comfortable with the physical location?   After Your Visit Send a thank you for the visit. Record your thoughts on your visit.   Add visits as application milestones or tasks.  Use college profiles to learn about a school. Enjoy your visits.  Find which school fits you best!   Take Action Make plans now to visit colleges.  Use 3 day weekends, breaks, anytime you have available to visit college campuses.   ...
How to Make the Most of Your College Visits
Depending on your time and interest, plan one of the following types of college visits: Basic Visit Attend an information session. Ask questions about admissions, financial aid, choice of majors.  IMPORTANT: Get a business card from an admissions person. Do a college and dorm tour. What does the campus look like? Where does freshman live? What are the housing options? Eat a meal on campus.  Go to the dining hall or coffee shop and eat. Introduce yourself to some students and ask questions. You will be surprised at how much they want to share about their college. Extended Visit Attend an information session. Ask questions about admissions, financial aid, choice of majors. Meet with an admissions counselor. Learn more about special programs, what the college has to offer, admissions expectations.  IMPORTANT: Get a business card from an admissions person. Meet with a financial aid counselor.  What types of financial aid or merit awards do they offer? Do your parents have any questions that need to be answered? Do a college and dorm tour. What does the campus look like? Where does freshman live? What are the housing options? Eat a meal on campus.  Go to the dining hall or coffee shop and eat. Introduce yourself to some students and ask questions. You will be surprised at how much they want to share about their college. Meet with an advisor for the major you are interested in. Learn more about the courses and professors in your selected field of study. Visit a class.  Seek permission to sit in on a class on campus.  This gives you a feel for what college will be like, and what it would feel like to be a student there.   Overnight Visit Many colleges offer overnight or prospective students the chance to spend the night on campus to learn more about the school. This is a great way to learn more in-depth about academics and student life on campus. These visits are usually organized by the college, and include college tours, classes on campus, and the chance to stay in a college dorm with a college student host. Check with your counselor for a list of colleges that offer overnight stays. Overnight visits should be saved for colleges you are seriously interested in. On Your Visit As you do the college tour of the campus, ask yourself these questions. Do I feel I would fit in academically here? Would I fit in socially here? Do I feel comfortable with the physical location?   Follow up your visit Send an email to admissions or college representative (on the business card you picked up) as a thank you for the visit Add visits as milestones or tasks. Use college profiles to learn about a school. Enjoy your visits.  Find which school fits you best!   Take Action Schedule admitted student visits as soon as possible, definitely before May 1.   ...
What is your “Perfect College”?
Do you dream about finding the perfect prom dress? Or the perfect hamburgers (In and Out comes to mind)?  How about the perfect college?  How do you know which college is perfect? You need to know what is important to YOU. Here are the Top 10 factors to consider for your “Perfect” college: Academics: How important is this factor to you? If you know your major, that should be a requirement. What about special programs such as honors, study abroad, senior projects? Also consider the learning environment. Is the campus on semesters, quarters, or offer a May or January term? How do you learn best? Climate: Think about what climate you will want to live in for at least three seasons of the year while at college. If you have never lived through winter in New England, think about how you will feel about months of snow, rain and later a very muddy spring. Or visa versa, how will a lot of heat and humidity feel for days on end. Will you melt? Climate can make or break a school. Size: Think about what size college you would like to attend. Attending a school with 20,000 undergrads is not for everyone! What is your comfort zone? Location: Think carefully about what type of area are looking for. Can you live without a movie theater in town? How about a variety of restaurants? Financial Aid: Finances can make or break a decision. Be sure to discuss this with your parents before you fall in love with a specific college. (Take the College Affordability Survey in GuidedPath to see what your family contribution would be.) Campus Activities:  Does it need a sports team? Or orchestra? Clubs, music, outdoor activities. Think about how you want to spend your time when not in class. School Spirit: Do you want to attend a school with lots of school spirit? Or does your style lean more toward favoring a school with a school spirit focused on weekend music or club activities. Social Scene:  What is fun to do with your friends? Go to a big concert in the city, or hang out with friends informally in cafes, sipping lattes? How important is having a greek life (sororities or fraternities) to you? What social life will be most comfortable for you? Student Body:  When you walk on campus, do you feel you fit in?  Are you seeking diversity in the student body?  Do you want a student body that is conservative, liberal or a mix of everything? Housing:  Where will you live? What are the dorms like? How are the bathrooms set up? Co-ed or single sex dorms?   ...
Why should you care about college fairs or college visits?
Who better to learn about a college than from a college representative?  There are two ways to meet representatives from colleges: College visits to your school College fairs in your area   College Visits Check your school calendar for dates/times of college visits.  Mark these on your calendar.  Research the college before you go into meet. Have 5 questions to ask the college representative.   College Fairs Check for college fairs in your area.  There are several different types of fairs.  These fairs often have representatives from hundreds of colleges attending.  You have the opportunity to explore lots of colleges in one place.Some of the most popular fairs are: NACAC college fairs .  These occur both in the spring and the fall.  Register here to attend. Colleges That Change Lives . Great way to learn about small liberal arts colleges (based on the book Colleges That Change Lives.) Be sure to ask your counselor about other college fairs in your area. Plan to attend and invite your parents. They have questions too!  Have the same 5 questions from college visits ready to ask the college fair college admissions representatives.   Specialties too! You may be interested in some special programs. They have fairs too! Performing & Visual Arts college fairs .  For the budding artist, dancer, musician or others with an artistic flair. Gap year programs fair . Ever thought about taking time to do something else between high school and college? That is what gap years are all about.  Find out what is available at a gap year fair. Stay on track with your college fairs and visits. Check dates of fairs and set up tasks to remind you of upcoming fairs. Use the discussions feature to record your notes on each college you talk to. It’s always nice to have colleges coming to your neighborhood. Take advantage of the opportunity.     ...
What's your Learning Style?
How do you like to learn? Do you like to talk to the teachers, raise your hand and stay after class? Or do you prefer to learn by being quiet, checking in with your friends, and blending in with your classmates? This reflects your learning style. Your learning style is an important thing to know about yourself as you do your college search. Which of the following Learning Style fits you?   Learning Style 1 Do you: -Raise your hand in class to answer questions? -Talk to the teacher after class or before class? -Sit in groups and discuss material you are learning? -Prefer working on assignments or projects with a large group of friends? -Like to lead discussions in class?   Learning Style 2 Do you: -Sit in the back of the class and listen to the instructor? -Feel more comfortable working on your own on class assignments? -Not like to be called upon in class to answer questions? -Like sharing thoughts one-one with a friend or the teacher, but not is a large group? -Prefer to turn in written assignments or take tests over doing oral presentations?   If you are more comfortable with Learning Style 1, you are a Participant Learner.  If your style is more Learning Style 2, you are an Observant Learner.   ...
What are you looking for in a college?
 Wondering what to look for and how to find colleges? What are some of the factors to consider when comparing colleges? General Information- Where is it located? Is public or private? How many students go to school here? Academic- Check out the acceptance rate. How hard is it to get into? What are the FISKE academic ratings? What are the average  ACT or SAT scores of admitted students? What about the average GPA of admitted students? Is it a weighted or unweighted GPA? Financial Aid- What is the average merit award? What is the percent of need met? Average financial aid size? Cost of attendance? Social Experience- Explore the college style.  How many freshman live on campus? What is the social life like? What are some of the main events on campus? ...
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