College Decisions ...help

Discussion in 'Random' started by lexikae, Mar 7, 2018.

  1. lexikae

    lexikae Last Pass... on International Open 1

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    So it is nearing the time for me to start looking into colleges(legit kinda scared).

    To the ones who have been here or doing this now, how difficult is it to find a school that will be the right fit?

    I really want to go to a state school, but on another message board i posts this and they all kept telling me that state schools are for “stupid people” ( I’ll be a stupid person if it’s means I get accepted into college).


    I at least have a few schools i am interested in. But how many schools are too many or not enough to apply for? Also should i consider community/ 2 year colleges just in case i end up getting rejected from all the other schools?
     
  2. oncecoolcoachnowmom

    oncecoolcoachnowmom Bestest Newbie '14

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    My job is basically college admissions counseling/apps with high school students. I work in school counseling but when your caseload is 12th/10th, it does end up being a significant part of your job to discuss these things.

    First thing, community college/state school/etc. is still college. So rid yourself of the notion that either option is "for dummies."

    Next, make a list of some things that are priorities to you. Ex: What matters to you in an institution of higher ed?

    Ex: location? a certain major? sport you are interested in? etc. I just talked to a young man who wants a school with a strong pre-med program, that is close to home in our state, but has a decent baseball program. These are the lenses through which he researches schools.

    Of course consider your grades, test scores, etc. Ex: If you are barely scratching the surface of a 3.2, Ivies should probably not be in your lens.

    Once you know that, do your research. VISIT schools that are on your radar. Go to their presentations. You name it.

    Then apply. Ideally you want to apply to 3-4 schools in the following categories:

    REACHES:

    These are schools who meet all your criteria but may be a stretch for you to get into. ex: They have the major, the location, and most of what you need, but you may not quite have the grades/test scores/etc. or it is going to take some work for you to get into the tier of score/applicant they're seeking.

    MATCHES:

    Schools that meet your criteria and match your qualifications. They're not longshots. You have a decent chance of getting in because you fit the academic profile of the typical student who is admitted there.

    SAFETIES:

    Schools that meet your criteria that you are a "lock" to get into. You are overqualified for these schools. They are in your back pocket depending on admissions results from your reaches/matches.
     
  3. NJ Coach

    NJ Coach 10's Across the Board....literally. Staff Member National Champion

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    What @oncecoolcoachnowmom said. With very few exceptions, where you go to school matters little once you're out and get a job. First and foremost, go where you can afford. If that means going to community college and then transferring to a 4 year, so be it. Student loans are NO JOKE. If you don't know what you want to study, then start thinking about location. There is nothing wrong with state schools. I went to a state school about 2 hrs away from home. Far enough that I felt like I was away, close enough that coming home for a weekend when I got homesick was doable. I last at school a month before I was calling home asking for someone to come get me for the weekend. Homesickness is real. Home cooked food is more real. Not spending $25 in quarters to do laundry is heaven. If I could do it all over, I would go to community college for 2 years and then transferred. I had a blast in school, I really did. But I could've gotten the same education for a lot cheaper.

    Looking at colleges is stressful. But start making a list of what's important to you, what's required for admission, and go on college tours etc.
     
  4. Mndl

    Mndl Best Flyer.. on a parent team

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    First, anyone saying state schools are for "stupid people" is just obnoxious and should be ignored. Second, I completely agree with NJ Coach about student loans and homesickness. You don't want to be saddled with anymore debt than you absolutely have to take on and I'm of the opinion that most people are really better off being within a reasonable driving distance to get home. You might think you might not want to come home but when you do,if you're a plane flight away, you're going to be miserable. Also I'm now of the opinion that community college is an excellent option. My oldest is a freshman at CC and is very happy , he likes his classes and professors and his two years there will cost us all of 12k at most. He wants to transfer to a state school and in NJ(may be different in other states) all the credits will count at whatever state school he ends up going to. Good luck with your search!
     
  5. UCFKnights07

    UCFKnights07 Slow your roll, Sparkle.

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    i had a whirlwind of a college experience, worked my a** off to get into my dream school, University of Michigan, but had no financial scholarship or help outside of the small amount of financial aid. I spent my freshman year there and realized i was going to make my family and myself go broke in the long run, so i came home to florida and went to UCF, saved a sh*t ton of money, still got the same college experience.
    In my opinion, Its not about where you go, its about majoring in something realistic, and getting it done as quick as you can and getting out. Some truly realistic college advice, sure have some fun and party your freshman year, live a little. But trust me by your junior year you'll be over it.
     
  6. lexikae

    lexikae Last Pass... on International Open 1

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    Thanks everyone for all of the advice so far! It is beyond helpful and will hopefully make this college decision thing some what easier. Oh trust me i am ignoring the people who are saying “state schools are for stupid people”, i guess they don’t realize Ivy League schools are not for everyone...or either they are just being very childish and immature one.

    The whole what i want to go to college thing for is still being figured out...I’m torn between pediatric nursing and teaching.

    Luckily for me though, i have some how managed to do very good in school and some how got put in honors/so classes( still trying to figure that out). So maybe getting into college won’t be that hard, but finding the right one will be...so maybe I’m just stressing over nothing.
     
  7. JerseyGirl112

    JerseyGirl112 I nugget in the back

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    From a rising college senior to you, my biggest piece of advice for finding a school thats the right fit is find kids already going to the schools you're looking at and ask them the really hard questions.

    How affordable is it to live and function at this school? I.e. after freshman year what does rent look like in the area, how expensive is food, does the school offer a comprehensive dining plan?

    What is the campus environment really like? Is it ultra competitive and focused on internships/career stuff? Is it a campus where Greek Life is or Athletics are incredibly important? If greek life is important what is the culture of greek life on campus and is that something you want to be involved in?

    Is the administration supportive and does the school offer lots of resources or is it a school where you're navigating things basically on your own?? What career advising is offered? Does the school have a pre law, pre-med/nursing, or other career specific counseling services available?

    What are the specific classes offered in your program of interest and how is that program structured? For example I'm a double major, one of which is psych. My schools psych department specifically places ALOT of emphasis on empiricism and psychological research. Even though Im going to school for clinical work the majority of my classes have been research focused and I wish I would have known that as I may have chosen a school with a differently structured psych program.

    Basically every school is going to feed you what you want to hear on the website. And tour guides are tour guides because they either really like the school or need the money. As such a tour is a wonderful source for basic info but not the best source for completely truthful info if that makes sense, or the best source for the full picture. So really think about the aspects that will play into your happiness at school like whether or not you can live and eat comfortably, (because I can say from experience living in Washington DC, that it stinks having to say no to going out to eat or going to parties often because you comparably cant afford it, whereas had I chosen a state school like Rutgers or Farleigh I would have been able too), and what the campus environment is really like. These small and seemingly unimportant details aren't things I thought about before I went to college but I wish often I had known to ask when I was choosing because these things affect my experience daily.

    OH and just to touch on that state school comment. Like everyone else said that's absolutely ridiculous. For very specific people yes school will matter, meaning if you want to go into politics like me choosing a school in the nations capitol vs a state school makes sense. However in most situations there would have been no reason to make that choice. For teaching or nursing there are so many INCREDIBLE state options. So don't listen to that stuff. And if you don't know for sure yet what you want to do, CC's are great ways to save you money and stress. You can take calculus anywhere and I promise the content will be the same haha!

    Hope this diatribe helped and good luck on your search!! Feel free to PM me with any other questions :)
     
  8. retiredl5cheer

    retiredl5cheer Slow your roll, Sparkle.

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    Do they still have the scholarship program for CC transfers in NJ?
     
  9. njallday

    njallday Slow your roll, Sparkle.

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    NJ STARS and STARS II still exist if you meet the percentage/GPA requirements.
     
  10. Helen uk uni cheer

    Helen uk uni cheer When all else fails.... I shimmy

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    While im from the UK I can help with the nursing or teaching bit. I went to university with the sole intention to become a teacher wanted to teach from the age of 7. A big thing I found out was I could not control a classroom and was better in the one to one setting as a teaching assistant. I dropped out due to other reasons and looked at other careers.

    I discovered I loved caring but preferred working with children so applied for pediatric nursing and now in my second year.
    If you can get some exposure to the teaching environment and a hospital see which ou prefer and make a decision then
     
  11. cheerbear

    cheerbear When all else fails.... I shimmy

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    I graduated college in December as a nursing major, and have now been working two months in an emergency department as a new nurse, so I'm more than happy to help with anything nursing related!

    As far as picking a school, it's important to know yourself--do you want to be in a lecture with 300 people and be taught by TAs or do you want classes of 100 or less being taught by professors that actually get to know you? do you want to be involved in sports whether it be an intramural or being a student athlete? do you want to be involved in greek life? do you want a school that has lots of school spirit and is known for their sports? do you want to be able to drive home any given weekend just because?

    I was born and raised in California but went to school in texas, completely on a whim...the first time I set foot on campus was orientation two months before school started. I'll never forget the first few months being in college realizing this is hard, and how homesick I got...but here I am nearly five years later, still in texas...
     
  12. CheerBank

    CheerBank Slow your roll, Sparkle.

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    If you want a guaranteed job that is in very high demand right now with great starting pay, I would suggest you lean towards nursing over teaching. Some schools have programs that are direct admits into their nursing programs and other have you apply as part of their regular undergraduate program and then accept you to nursing after the first 2 years provided you have done well in the core prerequisites.

    If you are thinking about teaching, consider something in the sciences or maths as that is where the highest demands are. And remember you will need to go on for a Master's, so your undergraduate may actually not be as important as your graduate program.

    Definitely go somewhere where not only you feel you will learn and grow but to a school that will not put you in debt for the rest of your life. Your dream school should be one where you can graduate with the best degree in your future career with minimal to no debt. Good luck!
     
  13. quitthedrama

    quitthedrama I buy my Insta followers

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    In my area it is a lot easier to get into many non-state schools than state schools because of the cost between the two means so many more people apply to state schools, so I laugh at the comment that state schools are for "stupid people". Academically, college is what you make of it. I graduated from a small state school more known for teaching than for business, and I did have a harder time getting a job right out of college than some people who graduated from private business colleges, but that gap was erased within 6 months. I have a friend who went to community college because it was what he could afford and he now has his doctorate and is President of a major hospital.
     
  14. catlady

    catlady Slow your roll, Sparkle.

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    I noticed you're from GA, if you have met the requirements for HOPE or Zell Miller that's currently $7200-$10000 per year in your pocket towards your GA state school tuition. Depending on what area you live in GA states schools can have some pretty high requirements, but your counselors should be able to assist you on what current requirements are for most of the GA state schools. I suggest a minimum of 3 applications, and Community College is a great way to save money! I know of two students that went to CC, lived at home, worked those two years and paid cash for their last 2 years at UGA, came out of school debt free and with money to spare. They were "smart people". Lastly, don't stress. "It is what it is" at this moment in time only. If your current grades, ACT and/or SAT aren't meeting the criteria at the school(s) you want, you can go elsewhere, work hard, transfer, and graduate from the school you ultimately wanted. Best of luck!