The process of deciding upon education beyond high school and applying for admission to institutions of higher learning is an important one. However, it does not have to be an ordeal if done in a systematic and orderly way with attention given to details.
These are some guidelines to follow. It includes dates to be remembered, resources to be used, and material to be considered along the way. The decision making belongs to you, but the Rosalia High School Counseling/Guidance Department is ready to help you at any time. It is our hope that you will learn a great deal about yourself during the process and at its completion will be enrolled in an institution of higher learning that meets your personal requirements.
Your questions and concerns are very important to each of us in the School and Counseling/Guidance Office. No questions are trivial when they involve such important matters as education that will affect the future of students and their families. Please do not hesitate to call or visit your counselor to get the answers you need. The office is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Please call 523-3061, to schedule an appointment, ask questions, or discuss concerns.
Standards for Admission
Colleges and universities vary widely in their points of view and in their standards for admission. However, most of them have minimum high school course requirements and tests that must be taken prior to acceptance. To be certain that you meet all the requirements you must consult an up-to-date catalog for the college you are researching. While few colleges publish minimum standards with regard to class rank, SAT scores, and other such criteria, you can get a general idea of practices in effect by using the selectivity indexes found in college guides available in the Counseling/Guidance Office.
Admissions criteria can includes some, if not all of the information listed below. Individual colleges may differ in how they evaluate the information. For example, one college may place a great deal of importance on test scores; another college may not.
Grade Point Average (GPA)
Strength of subjects
Selecting the Right School for You
Higher education is an expensive commodity requiring a large investment of both time and money. Those who make that investment should do so only after giving careful consideration to their goals and the best way to reach them.The more carefully you examine yourself - your abilities, motives, priorities, and values - the better chance you will have of making a satisfying and rewarding choice.
Factors to be Considered:
(The order of importance may vary with each individual)
a. What are your immediate and long-range goals?
b. Why do you want to go to college?c. What are your academic capabilities and how well have you used them?d. To what extent are you motivated for study?
e. What extra-curricular or out-of-school activities have been important to you?
2. Size, Type, and Enrollment of College
a. What school size would you like? Over 2000 students, over 5000 students, or over 10,000 students?
b. Would you prefer a junior, community, liberal arts, university, specialized, etc. type of institution?
c. Should it be all male or female, or co-ed?
d. What should the geographic distribution of the student enrollment be? Do you want a "suitcase" college?
e. What special characteristics are you looking for in staff and facilities?
a. Is geographic location important? Consider distance from home, cost and means of transportation. Consider your preference for types of weather in different locations. Sometimes colleges prefer students from a variety of geographic locations across the country; however, this preference may also limit the number of students that will be accepted from one high school or region.
b. Would you prefer an urban, suburban or rural campus?
c. Do you want to commute or be a resident student?
4. Curriculum and Co-curricular Activities
a. What are the academic offerings of the college?
b. What is the philosophical outlook of the student body and faculty?
c. How great is the academic pressure? Would you feel more comfortable where the pressure for achievement is intense, moderately intense, or moderate?
d. What cultural activities, athletics, sororities, fraternities and other activities are available at which colleges?
5. Competitiveness of College
a. What were the test scores and the class rank average of the last freshman class?
b. Some handbooks have lists that estimate the competitiveness of institutions.
a. What are the costs for tuition, room and board?
b. What other costs should be considered: books, fees, transportation, personal expenses?
a. Do you want to attend a public (state), private nondenominational or private, religiously affiliated institution?
8. Financial Aid
a. What percentage of students currently receives financial aid?
b. How much will this school cost over four years?
c. Does the school meet 100% of demonstrated financial need for all four years?
Compiling a List of Colleges
Keeping in mind the relative importance of the characteristics you have considered, come to the Counseling/Guidance Office and use resources such as the following to find colleges that may be right for you.
- College Search Engines such as www.collegeboard.com
- Review mailings that you have received from schools
- Use College Handbooks (many can be found in the Guidance Office)
- Review paper materials from individual colleges, such as view books, and catalogs
- Attend presentations by visiting representatives. A calendar of scheduled presentations can be found in the Guidance Office and is announced over the PA system.
- Visit the college’s website. Internet resources have increased dramatically in recent years giving students and their parents an unprecedented variety of tools and information to support them in their decision-making.
- Talk with family and friends to hear the perspective of people who have already completed the college search process.
Begin to develop a list of colleges that you would like to study more closely. After establishing your initial list, do additional research on the schools you have included. If you remove those institutions which do not meet the criteria you established or which are too selective in terms of your class rank and SAT scores, you will reduce the list to a size that is realistic in terms of your ability to write for further information, to visit campuses, to arrange interviews, and to make application.
NOTE: Because of the many inaccuracies that exist in any general reference, it is recommended that you use more than one reference book to verify information. The most accurate source is an up-to-date catalog from the school you are considering.
Having given careful consideration to all of the facts you have acquired and having discussed your tentative choices with your parents, counselor, and others, you must now decide to which schools you will apply. Although you may apply to as many schools as you wish, it is important to consider the fact that most will require an application fee of $25 or more. Most students apply to three or four colleges. You are urged to give careful consideration to providing for diversity of admissions standards when you formulate your final choice. In other words, if you are applying to several schools that have a reputation for being highly selective, you should also apply to a school where you are reasonably confident that you will be accepted.
As students narrow the focus of their search to a manageable number of colleges that could meet their needs, it is recommend that students and their parents follow the procedures presented here and utilize the references and resources noted.