You Interview the College

Interview the colleges before applying.  A formal campus visit is the perfect time for that.  Develop a set of questions that cover the details of things most important to you.  Ask those questions and make certain they are answered specifically. 
 
Campus culture has changed a lot since mom and dad were in school.  Some campus policies are greatly relaxed, others are more restrictive.  For example, words that you may use commonly even absentmindedly  around your home and in your community may be taboo at some collegeshttp://(http://www.campusreform.org/?ID=6770)
 
 What are the school's Core Values? ( for example:  http://www.udel.edu/prominence/principles.html) 
Learn the details of the specifics behind broad and benign statements of 
ideals.  How are those values practically applied on campus, in the students' lives?  Remember, you're going to be living at this place for four years.  Make sure it's a good fit for who you are as a person.  The most expensive decision you can make is to transfer colleges.  It adds time toward earning a degree; and time is money. 
 
To reiterate: the college scene, since your parents graduated, has changed so drastically as to be unrecognizable to them.  There is no safe assumption about campus life, about course-work and about costs of attendance. 

Posted in College Planning, College Planning Strategies.

Choose Your College On Purpose

Will where you grew up impact your college experience? Will your grades be enhanced or will they suffer based on your hometown? If you have a choice, is it better to greet your favorite professor with "Hey" or "Mahnin" (that's Yankee for Good Morning)?

Dialect and Influences on the Academic Experience of College Students is a research paper out of North Carolina State University and published in The Journal of Higher Education. The report indicates that "students from the South or Appalachian regions face challenges of perception in university classes. " Their accent makes them "sound stupid." (Ouch! Right?)

That report underscores the importance of each student choosing thoughtfully and intentionally a college or university -- choosing on purpose.  Facts, rather than imagination, will serve you better. Campus visits are worth the time and money.

High school students from Hough, North Meck, Lake Norman Charter, Pine Lake Prep, SouthLake Christian, Hopewell, Mooresville, South Iredell, Lake Norman High, Davidson Day, East Lincoln and a handful of others in the Charlotte, NC and Lake Norman regions are where most of our students attend. When asked which colleges or universities they are thinking about, with rare exception, a short list of two or three are mentioned. Digging a little, it becomes apparent that the students' preferences are based on what they imagine the college is like, rather than on facts they know for certain, and impressions they have gained from first-hand experience.

Research online and e-correspondence plus telephone calls to the Admissions Office of a college under consideration are invaluable in making good decisions as to where to apply and, ultimately, where to matriculate. Every college that gains a spot on your "seriously interested" list is worth a scheduled campus visit. Your list of questions, prepared in advanced, will significantly help you make the final decision.

We know that growing up in the South produces a lovely articulation. We also know that Southern students daily accomplish the highest levels of academic rigor. Let's be very patient with, and understanding towards those who don't know those facts -- even if they are PhD's.

Posted in College Planning, College Planning Strategies.