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Saturday, March 31, 2012

I wish we had known this before visiting

Ok, so over Spring Break I took my daughter to see a couple of colleges. We had researched the college online and they seemed to meet the criteria she is looking for. The campus was great and the Admissions Counselor was really helpful. The program seemed really strong, as well. Since my daughter is looking at Music Education, we wanted to meet with faculty in the music department. We met the head of the department and imagine our surprise when we found out the school does not have their own orchestra! Since strings will be her primary field, that kind of made everything else a moot point. There just would not be enough opportunity for her at this particular school. This is what I meant when I said there is always something new to learn about this process. In the future, I will call the school and make sure they actually have an Orchestra before taking my time to visit. Oh well, now we know!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

College Fairs

College Fairs are really a great way to get information about many colleges all in one place. We have one in the Fall, and I think over 200 colleges show up. You can collect information, ask questions, and usually meet admissions representatives. We went with my son the Fall of his Senior year in High School. He did have a list of colleges he wanted to get info. from. One school he was looking at for a writing program had only published authors as professors. The interesting thing was that while we were waiting in in to talk with someone from the school, we overheard the admissions rep tell another student that after 2 years at the college, then each student could 'apply' to the writing program. We just could not see going to college for 2 years, then having the possibility of never getting into the major program you wanted. Needless to say my son crossed this school off his list, and we did not have to take time to even visit that particular school. If there is a college fair in your area, definitely go when your teen is a junior or senior and take advantage of the day!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Make sure your High Schooler is on track!

If you have a High School Sophomore or Junior, make sure they are taking the classes they need if they are going to college. I know someone who is a senior and they may have some problems with admissions because they did not take enough of a foreign language. Most colleges require a minimum of 2 years. My daughter is not taking Math as a senior because she is going into Music Ed. Most colleges want at least 3 yrs or Math, including Algebra 2, but some want 4 years, so just be aware of requirements in your state, and be careful!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Tips from Scholarship points

Some good tips on applying for scholarships:

Sunday, March 4, 2012

One Visit Down

Usually February in Ohio means really terrible weather, so I had never done the President's Day college visit.
This year we had spring-like weather, so I decided to go to a college within 1 hour of home with  my daughter. Tip # 1 for visits: Layer clothes and wear COMFY shoes! I usually wear tennis shoes, but I thought since it was still cooler outside, I would wear boots. Mistake! Wow, my feet hurt. Most group visit days include a campus tour, and even on a smaller campus, it is stll about an hour of walking. This campus had lots of steps and stairs, and hills. They don't tell you this in the literature or on the website.
Tip#2: seeing the main lunchroom during the lunch hour gives you a realistic view of what the rush is like. This one was poorly laid out, hard to get in and out of, and we barely found a place a to sit and eat. At least the college gave free lunch!
If your student knows what they want to study, definitely try to have them sit in on a class. My daughter got to sit in on an interesting class. The funny thing was they took here in a van to the class, but when we walked later to check out the music building, it was kind of off-campus and hard to get to. One thing my daughter said was that the location might not help her motivation to go and practice her violin! A good point to consider.
Anyway, more visit information and planning to come soon!