COLLEGE COMPASS -- College Selection
SELF - EVALUATION Check List
COLLEGE SELECTION Check List
SELECTING A COLLEGE?
Start with yourself. You should begin or should have begun seriously looking at
colleges in your junior year. Your main objective is to select a college
that fits your personality and will provide you with the opportunity to reach
your educational goals. Other important factors are: Your Grades and Cost of Attendance.
These factors play a vital role in college selection. Listed below, in detail, are explanations
and checklist that will aid you in selecting a college.
WHAT KIND OF PERSON ARE YOU?
Are you an introvert or an extrovert? Meaning, are you
outgoing or shy. Are you looking for excitement or a consistently
quiet study environment? Do you prefer large classes or small classes?
These are factors to consider. Hopefully, by your Junior year you will
have an idea about your personality and social preferences.
The better you know yourself and the more comfortable
you feel with who you are before you start this process, the
better you will be able to handle all the confusion and
make a good decision.
BE PREPARED FOR SOME SURPRISES
In the process of learning about colleges, you will also be
learning about yourself. Throughly research all the colleges
that are of interest to you. A good place to start is by looking at
the colleges in your area and expanding from there. Also, consider talking
with parents, friends and counselors. In the process of narrowing your list
of colleges use COLLEGE COMPASS and other resources such as the library to
aid in your decision. Take your first
impressions in stride and don't overreact to the reality of a
place. In the end you have to trust your instincts and be
flexible enough to change your mind about what you
THINK ABOUT YOUR GOALS AND VALUES
Although you may think that you have a pretty good idea of who
you are; you may soon discover differently. Most of you, as teenagers, will go through
a phase where you "Try on different personalities" to see if a particular personality
provides a good fit. As time and experience grows, you will soon find a personality or
combination of personalities that feel comfortable to you. In any regard, you now have
the ability to draft a preliminary life and career road map. It is suggested that
you really think about how you want your life to be 4 years, 6 years, even 10 years from
now. Long-term planning helps to provide a visual roadmap for you. Of course as time passes
you will alter you roadmap, but the important thing is to have a map. Think about it, before
you go on a trip you map out the best route, every step, to take; same principle.
Be sure to map out your Educational, Career, Financial,etc goals and record them in
your Life/Success Journal. Also, be sure to review them periodically. Planning, Committment, & Execution is the Key.
EVALUATING YOURSELF NOW WILL GIVE YOU A
Doing some serious thinking about your academic
strengths and weaknesses, your personality, your goals,
and your values will help you know what to look for when
you read about colleges and when you visit them. It will
also prepare you to present yourself in the best possible
light to the colleges you do apply to. The more seriously
and honestly you think about yourself now, the easier it
will be to make a good impression in your college inter
views and in the essays you submit with your applications.
SELF EVALUATION CHECKLIST
To print out the checklist below Print Self-Evaluation Checklist then select PRINT from Tool Bar Above.
How competitive are your grades and SAT, ACT scores?
Have you taken the most challenging courses available to you? Why or why not? What
kinds of courses have interested you the most?
What kinds of courses
have you had the most trouble with'
What kinds of learning have you pursued on your
own? For example, do you like reading about under
water exploration, current events, what makes people tick?
Do you enjoy traveling and making
discoveries about different ways of life?
Is it hard to
tear you away from your computer or from tinkering with mechanical things?
Do you enjoy solving
problems or expressing yourself artistically' Are
you happiest when you're working alone or working
What kind of learning style do you have?
Do you learn better when you are closely
when working on your own?
Do you function better
in large classes or small ones?
Are you at your best
in practical lab courses, small discussion groups,
What is your high school like? Has it been challenging enough for you? Too challenging?
Are your interests academic, artistic, athletic respected there?
How would you change it if you could?
Do you feel prepared for college level work! Why or why not?
Do your grades and test
reflect your ability:, Why or why not?
held you back in your high school career?
Do you really enjoy intellectual work reading about ideas, discussing them, contributing
ACTIVITIES AND INVOLVEMENT
What social and recreational activities do you most enjoy? How do you like to unwind
after a hard day?
Are sports important to you? Movies? Theater? Musical events?
Are you basically a loner or is it important to you to get involved in the community
Are you experienced in dealing with people whose interests and backgrounds are
different from your
How have you responded to such people in the
Do you look forward to such experiences in the
Are you eager to get far away from home or
would you rather stay near your family and the
things you know?
GOALS AND VALUES
What is your idea of success:, What do you hope to accomplish in your life?
What accomplishments are you most proud of in
your life so far?
Do you feel you have missed out on anything in your high school years' What would you
do differently if
you had it all to do over again?
What experiences in your life have influenced you the most?
What kind of person would you like to become?
Which of your talents would you most like to develop?
What would you like to change about your
How would the people who know you best describe the role you play in your school, your
How has your home, school, and community environment influenced you?
What expectations have
other people set for you?
How do they differ from
the expectations you have set for yourself?
DECIDE ON THE TYPES OF COLLEGES YOU ARE
Now that you know a little more about yourself, you are
ready to learn which colleges would best match with you.
Do not worry. You can start slowly. Look over the following checklist.
Check off any item that describes a strong
preference. if a factor like size or location does not matter
much to you, check unimportant. If you're not sure what
you want in 9 given category, check unsure.
Remember, your ideas may change about some
things but it is good to start with some idea of what you
are looking for. At the same time, keep in mind the types of
schools that are likely to be most interested in you). Also bear in mind that all
decisions involve tradeoffs giving up one thing in order to
gain another. No situation is perfect. That small college in
the country may be cozy but may also have limited re
search facilities and course offerings. That large urban
school may have an incredible library and wonderful
cultural activities but lack a sense of community. Over the
next few months you will be discovering which of the
following factors are truly most important to you.
COLLEGE SELECTION? - CHECKLIST
To print out the checklist below Print College Selection Checklist then select PRINT from Tool Bar Above.
Type of College
Type of Education
Not Very Competitive
Major fields of study that are important to you
How far away do you want to be from home?
In what climate might you want to spend the next four years.
Do you have a better chance of getting into a competitive school in
a different part of the country from where you Live?
Can you afford travel expenses, etc. ?
Type of student body
(If so, is the ratio of women to men important?)
Men or Women only
No Fraternities or Sororities
Majority of students belong to a Fraternity or Sorority
Equal balance of "Greeks" and Independents
Type of living accommodations
Commute from home
Single sex Dorms
Off Campus Apartments
Activities or Sports
Talk to your parents and determine under what
circumstances you would require financial aid. For now, though, don't
automatically eliminate any school because of cost until you've
investigated the financial aid possibilities at that school.
I would need financial aid if a college costs:
Over $10,000 a year
Over $5000 a year
Under $5000 a year
VISIT YOUR COLLEGE COUNSELOR
Once you have done some serious thinking about yourself
and the colleges you are interested in, you are ready to
talk to your college counselor. Your goal over the next few
months is to collect as much information as you can. Your
counselor should be able to help you locate this information and to give you some idea of the types of schools you
should be aiming for. Remember to take advantage of COLLEGE COMPASS. It can help you locate information on many topics
Your school may schedule regular guidance appointments for juniors and seniors. If not, set one up yourself.
the first visit for the middle of your junior year.
you visit the counselor, take a record of your grades
PSAT scores (or SAT scores if you've already taken them).
Also take the What Are You Looking For? checklist in
this section. Discuss your college preferences and ask the
counselor's advice on schools that may be of interest
See your guidance counselor as often as possible. He
or she will have information about scheduled college fairs
which you can meet representatives from various college
or give you tips on scheduling tests, filling out applications, selecting teachers to write recommendations, or
lying for financial aid.
Find out what information is available in your guidance
office and public library. Using these free resources
save you time, money, and effort. Some schools have
programs or card files on colleges, with information
organized according to factors like size, geographical
area and competitiveness.
Start compiling a list
of schools that interest you for one reason or another.
SIGN UP OR THE STUDENT SEARCH SERVICE
Another way to learn about colleges is through the Student Search Service (SSS). which you can sign up with
when you take the PSAT or the SAT. If you register for this
service, your name and address will be sent to colleges
that are looking for students whose credentials and preferences match yours. But beware: you may be bombarded
with material if you sign up for this service. and just be
cause colleges send you a new piece of mail every week
does not necessarily mean they will accept you if you apply. But if you really want to collect as much information
as possible, then you may want to register for SSS.
MAKE UP A LIST OF COLLEGES TO EXPLORE
In a few weeks you should have collected enough information to make up a list of colleges you would like to know
more about. Your list should include three times the number
of colleges you actually plan to apply to.
How many should you plan to apply to? That's up to
you. Many counselors recommend six two "reaches,"
two "reasonables. " and two "safeties. " Your "reaches" are
your "dream" schools, those at which you have only a
slight chance of getting in, but which you would love to
attend. "Reasonables" are schools that you have a pretty
good chance of getting into and at which you would be
happy academically, socially, and geographically. "Safe
ties" are schools that you're almost sure to get into and
that you truly would like to attend. Make sure your safeties
are schools you really could live with!
If you plan to apply to six colleges, you should start
with a list of eighteen to investigate thoroughly six
reaches, six reasonables, and six safeties. These are the
colleges to which you should now write for course catalogs, applications, and information on financial aid, if you
will need it. Use the sample letter that follows as a guide.
Notice that you should include your Social Security
number. Colleges need this information to set up an ad
missions file for you, and it is especially important if you
plan to apply for financial aid. If you do not yet have a
Social Security number, get one now. Just call your local
Social Security Administration Office and ask for an application.
SET UP A FILING SYSTEM
You'll probably want to make up a file folder for each
school you have written to and set up a shelf in your room
just for catalogs. You are about to be bombarded with
pounds of paper, and some of it will be very important.
Your ability to organize all that information will be crucial to making a good decision. If you lose important
to the place? Do you have any major unanswered questions about the college at this point? Try to collect your
thoughts and impressions before your interview.
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