Big thanks to Jimmy Montchal of Partchment.com for contributing to the College Essay Guy blog
“College is a match to be made, not a prize to be won.”
- Martha O'Connell, Executive Director of Colleges That Change Lives
If they had to do it over again, says Gallup research, the majority of Americans (51%) who pursued a postsecondary education would change their degree type, institution or major. According to Gallup, responsibility for having these second thoughts lies in part with students who lack information about the college selection process.
So, what can you do to make the right decisions about what college to attend? First, be proactive, be informed, and know that Parchment is with you every step of the way.
Some Lessons Learned
It’s a little like online dating. There’s a plethora of searchable sources of advice and help for finding your perfect match – for college, that is. We’ve summarized some common lessons learned:
Keep an open mind. Stay receptive to all possibilities. You may want to spread your net a bit wider than anticipated. You may be surprised—and delighted—with what you find.
Decide what’s important to you. What are your career and personal goals? Are you interested in a specific line of work (law, engineering, medicine) or a more general liberal arts education?
Determine what you want in a college. 2 or 4-year, size, cost, location, distance from home, available majors and classes, campus atmosphere, housing options, and more.
Talk to students and alumni at your target colleges about their experiences. Don’t forget to ask friends, family and others whose opinion you respect for personal recommendations.
Do your homework. Finding the right fit requires time, hard work and thoughtfulness. This activity requires lots of research and due diligence. No one ever said choosing a college would be a walk in the park. But in the end your effort will be well worth it.
Keep things in perspective. It’s not the end of the world if, like the 51% of survey respondents above, you have second thoughts about institution, field of study, type of degree or anything else. Live and learn. You’ve got plenty of time to get back on track.
Wait, there’s more … Here are some specific resources we liked for your perusal:
“How to Choose a College That’s Right for You” (The most important factor is fit.)
“Top 15 Mistakes to Avoid in Choosing a College” (The most important factor is you.)
“How to Find a College That Fits You” (There’s no such thing as a perfect college.)
And be sure to make use of Parchment’s free tools powered by real college admissions data that thousands of students like you share with us each year. This information allows us to create predictions, rankings and recommendations, with a list of colleges where you have a good chance of admission.
Good luck in finding your perfect match!
Are you a high school counselor here looking for ways to help your students? One of the greatest ways is taking your record management process digital. Learn more about Parchment’s solutions here.
Written by Jimmy Montchal of Partchment.com
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