Numerous possibilities will help you determine where you want to begin the college search process. As most people know, it is essential to visit the university before you select the school your child will attend. The reasons for that could be endless, such as the cost of tuition, the programs of study, or the student community. Finally, the most important reason is that it is the best way to determine where you are sending your loved ones.
The some of the best advice recently is not our own, but that of a mother of two that trekked all across the country to find the right institution for each of her children. She is widely popular ESOL private tutor and English writer and editorial consultant who went to public school, so she knows a thing or two about education already.
The College Search Process for Finding the Right School
Even though she has twins, the only thing that surely knew is that they want to go to different universities. They were not tight-knit like some twins are at a young age, and they decided to seemingly go as far away from each other as possible. Therefore, she decided to organize herself and to spend spring break and summer to find the right college planner. She compiled these ten essential tips of college search advice to provide help to other parents trying to scout colleges in person:
- It is crucial to start saving so that you can get perfect help paying for college. So, if you have children, especially twins, you should make college saving account as soon as they get born. When they reach 18 years old, they had almost enough funds to cover one year of college education.
- Financial-aid applications such as FAFSA or College Scholarship Service are only for people and families who apply for financial aid from private schools. If you want to liquidate some of the retirement savings for college, then it is a possibility, but you can also take a loan. Therefore, we recommend you to fill all financial forms and get help from a financial advisor. It is much more convenient to use the professional service because that way your planner and advisor will do everything in few hours. Something that you would need days to complete but it will help pay for college.
- Most people don’t want to create spreadsheets, but it is still important to plan your college visits in front. That is especially important for areas where you will be for the limited amount of time. The best periods for visiting colleges are during spring breaks when classes are in session. Have a substantial research before you start booking hotels and flights.
- If you have a limited budget, then you should visit only colleges that your children want to choose. Your college search should be pragmatic. However, keep in mind that visiting does require much more time than regular visits. You will spend the whole business day at university. In case that you have a shorter window for travel, you should know that deadline is first May.
- Parking next to some schools is difficult. In some examples, they have parking lots for visitors. But some of them will need a permit that you can acquire as soon as you arrive. If there is someplace where you can place your vehicle in a safe spot, you should choose it. That is because parking next to a college could be time-consuming and you want to use that time to learn more about school.
- Don’t go to two schools in one day. It is mandatory tip because you won’t be able to reach both of them at the same time. The main problem is if you want to sit in some classes, visit the academic department, a meal in the dining room and do everything students do on campus. That is the main reason why you should take time to college planner before you decide to leave for another one.
- The main problem is that colleges resemble the first appearance and you will get sick of them at the very end. But still, we recommend you to take campus tours even though you’ve seen a lot. Therefore, you will be able to notice everything and to plan each step. You should know that tour guides are mostly students. When you choose to take your children to college that is a significant investment. That is why you should stick around and get as much information as you can while you are out there.
- The best thing that you can do is to call someone that you know at the school you’re visiting. That way you will stay ahead of time. You can set up lunch, coffee or a quick meeting. That way you will find about college without makeup and everything. You have to know that admission and tour guides are here to sell the product, in this case, school service. So, when you find someone who works there, you will get actual answers to your questions.
- We recommend you to sit on some lectures, and check for extra-curriculum events such as athletic events and dance production. That way, you will be able to be sure about everything your children will do during their college time. You can check for art studios and gyms, which are also essential for making a thorough decision.
- Even though you have heard this dozen times, but there is no perfect college for your children. Some students will love more liberal-arts colleges and student-teacher ratio. The other will enjoy in anonymity at the huge lecture hall. Some children experience the school spirit, and other will provide you vegan and vegetarian meals in the dining room. Finally, your children have to determine where they want to go and you are here just to help them.
We have presented you ten tips on what you should know before you take on the college search process and send your children to college. Sometimes people are too afraid of the financial and life factors that a college education can bring on the family. The best solution to fight those nerves is to check everything there is publicly available from the prospective schools, including school tours, scholarships and grants, as well as the all-important it factor (though, that’s really only something you and your child will feel).