A Teen’s Self Assessment for College
“I looked on a map, and it was closest to the beach.” This quote attributed to a University of San Diego student represents the haphazard approach that many students employ when considering which colleges to visit as a first step in deciding where to apply. As high school juniors begin developing a list of prospective schools, it is important for them to know what matters to them academically, socially, and personally. These questions will help them focus their search for schools that meet criteria important to them.
- What size of school is best for you?
- Would you prefer a college in a large city, a small town, or something in-between? If you have a strong preference, be able to list reasons for it.
- How close to home do you want to be during college? Is it important to be near extended family if you choose a school many hours away?
- What hobbies/interests do you want to continue in college? Make sure that schools you are considering will allow pursuit of them.
- Do you want to live in specialized housing such as a “green” dorm, a language house, or an honors dorm?
- Are you interested in doing research as an undergraduate? Will the schools you are considering encourage your interest and help connect you with a faculty member or graduate student who will provide this experience?
- How might your values or religious beliefs factor into your college choice?
- If your family has a “legacy” at a particular school, do you want to continue the tradition, or is it preferable to forge your own path?
- Do you intend to pursue a unique area of study and/or hope to design your own major? Be sure these options exist before deciding on a particular college.
- What kind of volunteer or service opportunities might you be seeking? If a prospective college does not sponsor your interest, will it be possible for you to start a new organization?
- How will you travel between home and school, and what is the approximate cost? What transportation options exist at the college (assuming you will not have a car, at least during freshman year)?
- Do you have a preference regarding weather? Will extremes of hot or cold temperatures influence your college choice?
Developed by Cunningham College Consulting, LLC
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