It can be hard to put together a list of schools when you’re trying to decide where to go to college. Here are some tips from a college admissions expert to broaden your search, save you money, and lower your college debt. All important things to keep in mind when you choose a college that’s right for you.
I first found Michelle’s website, DIY College Lists, when I was trying to figure out what was really required in high school to get into a “good” college. Eventually we realized that we were located in the same area and met in person. That was three years ago!
Michelle is incredibly generous with what she’s learned. She helped me understand how standardized test scores can lead to more sure scholarship money than the standard scholarship applications. That the best source of scholarship money is the college you attend. And so much more!
In fact, my second child applying to colleges this fall. I got so distracted by finding good advice on her website, that it took me forever to write this post!
But perhaps the most important thing Michelle did for me was to open my eyes to how meaningless the publicized college rankings really are. Once you understand and have accepted that, you open up more college possibilities for. Getting rid of the false information will not only keep you from making a mistake when you choose your college, but It can also save you money!
True to form, when I asked Michelle her top advice for seniors applying to college, she responded with more than just a sound bite. She provided these really thoughtful questions for your college search. Use them as a guide to help you find more options when you choose a college.
How to choose a college that’s right for you
Your success does not hinge on picking the perfect college or getting into one particular college
Picking the right college isn’t going to solve your problems or guarantee your future. There are absolutely no colleges in the country that promise you success if you manage to graduate from them. Rather, the college you pick shows how you solve your problems. In fact, it is probably the first opportunity you have to demonstrate your ability to deal with adult, real world issues.
And there are a lot of issues about to come your way.
Consider scholarships vs debt when you choose a college
Do you gamble on borrowing money to go to your dream school or find an lesser known alternative that will actually offer you generous scholarships to attend?
Re-examine the criteria you are using to choose a college
Do you refuse to consider colleges more than a 4 hours away because of fear of the unknown or use college as an opportunity to push your comfort zone?
Do you ignore all colleges smaller than your high school or take the time to see what they offer since smaller colleges are much more likely to provide better financial aid?
Mindset is important to how you approach choosing a college
Ultimately, will you take the time to research the colleges as the serious, costly, investment it is or treat as a prize to be won?
My advice to seniors-give every college you hear about a chance. If you hear about a college, good or bad, take the time to visit its website and find out for yourself what it has to offer.
Find more advice from Michelle about how to choose a college
You can read more of Michelle’s advice at her website DIY College Rankings. A good place to start is 7 Things to Look for to Find a Good College.
Michelle also collaborates at College Money Search to provide courses and free information to help you understand the cost of college and how to navigate financial aid.
Further reading to help you in your college search to choose a college