Here are a few websites that you might want to check out while investigating different colleges.
This list comes from: "Letting Go: A Parents' Guide to Understanding the College Years"
An excellent website from the same people who bring you the SATs. Tips on how to use the Internet for admission and financial aid information, advice for parents and students, and links to many other related websites.
A website of the U.S. Department of Education. Contains a comprehensive interactive index of colleges and provides detailed information about each individual institution.
A guide to navigating college admissions, including general information and resources for people worried about the costs of higher education.
National Association for College Admissions Counseling
Includes good information on college preparation, the search process, applying, paying for, and helping your student succeed in college. Also includes sections for undocumented students and students looking to study outside the United States.
Offers information on the college search process: how to choose a school that’s right for you, how to apply, and how to pay for college. From the company that publishes Peterson’s Guides.
Public University Honors
Provides evaluation and discussion of public university honors programs and colleges and how they fit into the higher education landscape. Includes twenty questions to ask when choosing an honors college.
The Freshman Survival Guide suggests that there are 6 good habit that you should start cultivating while in High School.
1. Do your homework.
- Many high schoolers have learned to rely on their luck and charm to get them by without need for real effort. However, in college you will be required to learn much more than can be absorbed just in class room discussions. Failing to do homework and get it in on time could cause you to fall so far behind that you can't keep up.
2. Get enough sleep.
- Staying up late in High School is not usually a big deal, but in college it could lead to some unwanted side effects such as sickness and even weight gain - not to mention begin moody and having a shorter attention span. It is important that you develop a regular bedtime - and stick to it even on the weekends. You should also have a buffer time in which you turn off your screens (computer, phone, tv, gaming system, etc...) to let your eyes and brain so that you can sleep.
3. Do not procrastinate.
- We all underestimate the time it takes to accomplish what we need to do - which means that you do not have much time as you think you have. Pushing things until later could cause you to lose sleep (see above) and even risk your entire grade for a semester when you do not have all your projects done on time. Stay ahead of the game so that you can relax without stress.
4. Limit extra curricular activities
- In High School you are encouraged to try everything. In college, your time is precious, so you need to be very wise about how you spend it. Colleges offer a long list of activities you can check out - and you should - but do not try to do everything at once. It is easy to become overcommitted and overwhelmed. Activities need to "justify" their place in your schedule. If you do not know why you are doing it you may need to say no.
5. Watch your diet
- Through your HS years, you are still growing and your metabolism may be high. But as you get into college, this process begins to slow and that means that your body will stop using so much of what you eat - and start storing it. Develop healthy eating habits now, so that when you are away from home and in a high stress environment you will know how to find cheap, easy, and HEALTHY alternatives that keeps you moving - not slows you down.
6. Manage stress
- Realize that you will be overwhelmed and stressed. Knowing how to blow off steam in healthy ways could mean the difference between just surviving college and thriving at college. Exercise, counseling, mindfulness practices (such as prayer) and hobbies are all ways that you can control the stress you are feeling.
Take the time now - while you are still in home and not overwhelmed by stress - to think through those things that could slow you down at college. Analyze your strengths and develop good habits. It will pay off in the end.
The Freshman Survival Guide suggests that as you begin looking at colleges, you should ask yourself some key questions:
1. What do you hope happens to you/ for you in college?
- Go beyond the obvious (new friends, good education) and consider how you want to become through this experience (greater self understanding, beliefs, and experiences, etc...)
2. What are you most afraid of?
- This is a good reality check. It helps you think through real world concerns. This is a good discussion to have with your parents, because they have many fears about your future also.
3. What are your biggest weaknesses and strengths?
- Discuss those areas that you have had trouble with in the past - and what you have done to overcome these problems. Also, where do you shine and how can this be part of your future experiences.
4. Who will you call with problems or big life questions?
- College is hard and you should never try to go it alone. Have a support network of people that you can trust and that will be frank with you about life. This list should include people from your current life (friends, relatives, counselors, etc...) and possible people from your future life (campus pastors, counselors, Resident advisors, etc...).
These may be difficult conversations, but it is better to have walked through the possibilities before you are faced with real world situations not knowing what to do.