Not everyone is a high-flyer that has been dreaming of college. “The thing I wish I had known,” described Green about her own experience, “was that there were so many options out there.” What’s the secret to a successful college experience? According to our expert guest today Amy Greene, you have to take advantage of the relationships and network building. Listen in today to hear exactly how to do that- no matter what college you go to or what GPA you have.
Questions Answered Today:
What can parents do to help pick the perfect college and major?
If your child isn’t sure yet of what college or major they want to pursue, don’t worry. “I’d tell parents that it’s ok,” says Greene. There are so many schools out there and there will be a right fit that matches the unique talents of your child.
Being undecided is NOT a bad thing!
Greene encourages families to consider the range of options such as state schools, private institutions, and community college. “The sticker price you see right off the bat isn’t what you are going to pay out of pocket,” warns Greene. You have to research and see what kind of financial aid is available.
All schools are working on enrollment goals and not every school has the same target market.
Something to look for at a university is the community service office. This usually has community-based work study jobs available which offer great experience. The personnel are also generally quite good at matching students to help their career development and help their community.
To find this “match-maker”, you should start by looking for the academic coordinator or with student activities. This person is there to help YOU!
These experiences often lead students to discovering a true passion and can begin as early as freshmen year.
What is out there to help kids decide if they should go to college and what major to select?
“If you are really unsure about your major or type of institution you want to pursue, there are tons of programs out there,” notes Greene.
She recommends to get onto the internet and look for ‘outreach’, ‘pre-college’, or ‘college experience camp’. Check local schools first.
These are usually offered by the actual college and take place on campus. It is a great way to sample the major you are considering and to find out if it is really the right path for you.
If you have your heart set on a big brand name ivy league school, they offer these as well which can look pretty good on your resume and college applications.
These generally have a tuition from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars depending on length and if you get to stay on campus.
You can also apply for free, low-cost, or targeted programs based on your income and interests.
“I do still think those are a great investment considering what you are going to save from making a four year investment that maybe isn’t a good fit,” adds Greene.
Also available are other pathways, such as certificate programs. These are short-term and a fraction of the cost of full-time tuition, but keep students engaged and working towards a goal. There are also quite a few options available online.
Some such topics include:
- Personal training
- Beneficial to all students and particularly those ‘B’ students.
- Social Science
- International Travel/Study Abroad
- Some are organized around service where you can travel and teach English, for example.
Green strongly recommends these opportunities, especially for those ‘B’ or undecided students, to help find that passion to carry through into their college experience.
LINKS AND RESOURCES:
Core Area #3 Essays
Essays are usually required as part of the application process. They can be short, just 4 or 5 sentences, or they can require much more.
You will also see these required for scholarships.
Students pursuing different schools and scholarships will possibly need to write upwards of 5 or 6 different essays.
Essays are something families will need to really focus on, potentially. You must understand how many essays are going to be required and what it will take to get those essays done, and done well.
You can seek assistance from family members or from the counselor at your high school
Episode 65: Writing Quality Essays
Episode 60: How to Stand Out When Writing Your College Essay
Episode 20: The Write Stuff- Acing The College Essay
Episode 16: Es(say) It Right! College Essay Writing Tips
Episode 19: Surviving the College Application Process
Episode 63: Understanding the Admissions Process
Optional Area- Internships
These are a great way to pay for college and get experience in your field! There are colleges out there that advertise internships that not only give you coursework credit, but provide the actual opportunities and connections for internships.
You have to understand how they work and if they are applicable to your field. If it is something you are interested in, will you pursue an internship independent of your college or will you choose a college that requires internships?
Episode 71: How to Find a College Internship to Supercharge Your Career
Episode 77: Why College Students Should Work
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