Saturday, July 16, 2016

i'm trying to figure out how to choose a college (and it's going pretty well)

Howdy y'all! Even though I'm only about to enter my junior year of high school, college has been on my mind a lot lately. Particularly, choosing one. For most of my early years, I wanted to go to Texas A&M, my parents' alma mater. Later, I was pretty set on Oklahoma Christian University. As of late, I'm just not sure. Here's how I'm figuring out where I want to start my future.

I've created a process that's helping me research colleges and so far, it's been really helpful!

The first step is to just make a big list of stuff that you would want in a potential college. I'm a total history nerd, and based off of that passion, I'm planning to major in history so obviously the most important thing I would want in a college is a good history program. I want to minor in Spanish so again, a good Spanish program. I would love to be able to continue my journalism career so a school yearbook is a huge plus. I'm also ideally looking for a small, Christian school but that part is negotiable as a lot of schools with great history programs are a little larger.

The next step is to just look up a ton of colleges and see how many of your requirements they check off and if there are any other pros or cons (do they have study abroad programs? what kind of other school activities? how far will you be from home? do they accept AP/IB credit?) to the school. As I've been doing this, I created a google doc where I'm listing all of this info as well as location and tuition costs.

From your list, decide what colleges you'd really like to visit. I'm still in the research process, but once I'm finished with that I'm going to list what colleges I'd like to see for myself and talk with my parents about visiting them. When you're visiting them, don't just walk around and buy a t-shirt! Go on a guided tour and ask lots of questions. Heck, schedule a meeting with someone from admissions to talk about whether the school is a good fit for you.

From your list, figure out which schools are your in your top three and which ones you can knock out of the running. This can definitely change throughout the process so be open to schools being bumped up or down on the list based on your research.

Finally, decide where you want to apply. It's always a good idea to do early bird application if the school offers it so it's helpful to decide where you're applying even earlier. After this step, all that's left to do is rock the applications and see where you're accepted!

Have a great day!

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