What is your college search like? If you’re too busy or not interested in undertaking a meticulous process, or if you don’t think there are a ton of alternatives, you are not alone.
A new survey of students prepared by Public Agenda for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation found that college selection is taken much less seriously by those who end up dropping out. The study, “With Their Whole Lives Ahead of Them,” found that turning into an unsuccessful student starts with being uninformed.
But you don’t have to face your college search like this. And finding the right school for you can be crucial in your quest to graduate.
Don’t start with where your friends are going or where your parents went to school, but instead think about your goals and what you want to do when you graduate from college.
You may not have a clue right now, but you can find out about the array of potential careers – including ones you may have never thought about – by looking at the profession overviews and job forecasts by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics or at CollegeSurfing.com. That way when you are looking at potential schools, you will be able to see if they offer degrees in a career field of interest to you.
When I was looking at colleges, I knew I was interested in journalism, and when I looked at potential colleges all over the U.S., I discovered that the University of Georgia was home to the Peabody Awards that recognized the best in electronic media.
Also look at what past students have gotten out of attending a certain college and what school may fit your character traits. Maybe you want a school where there’s not as much pressure to party. Or you might need a school that has a good handle on how to deal with students’ learning disabilities. Those and other schools are among Newsweek’s take on 25 colleges.
Taking another look at how you are looking at colleges could mean finding out what’s the best fit for you – and determine whether you’ll stay the course and graduate.