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What do you have yet to learn…about yourself and the college search? February 17th, 2010 | 2 Comments

We had an awesome call about all there is to learn about finding the college that’s right for you… While I was chatting away with the girls on the call, Grace, (leadership coach for talented teen girl athletes, http://TigressTeens.ning.com) was taking notes of our conversation-here are the highlights (plus a wee bit more information)!

Did you know?

There are over FOUR THOUSAND colleges and universities in the US-so you are bound to find some that fit YOUR needs.  (And, you might look outside the US too!  Take a peek at Maya Frost’s book, The New Global Student. )

It’s real important to college admissions for you to be resilient (and show it!). Everyone has bumps in the road, what they (admissions office personnel) want to see is how you respond to and manage adversity.

Remember you are a whole person.  The package of you is what matters-be honest about yourself-know what you want (size, location, etc.)-even if that means you don’t have a major yet.

Not knowing your major is fine-50% of students haven’t decided on a major by the time they enter college. If you want to go to school to find what you want to do then you look more towards liberal arts colleges, on the other hand, if you know what you want and are focused, look to schools with your focus.What is important is to know your interests.  Find schools that have what you want-look for the differences in how each school presents your focal interest.

SAT Scores are NOT required at all schools. So, if you are intimidated or have strong feelings against SAT’s then find a school that does not ask for these or other standardized test scores. There are plenty of excellent colleges that do not require these scores. And the number is steadily growing.

Always go to the interview and college tour if possible AND do the interview-this gives you an opportunity to be a face with the paper-you really are a human being. Go with a portfolio-this can include your awards, your community service, your interests.

Be prepared for the interview, develop questions about the schools. Be specific as well as general-have at least one question that is very school specific.

Understand that the school is a community. They are trying to see how you will fit into their existing structure-what can you add? What do they have that you need? Why you are different and unique?

Know yourself both strengths and weaknessesknow your needs–these can be anything from the school having the club you most desire,to having the reading help you must have, to having the buildings that you feel most comfortable in.

Size of school is important-how can you tell what is the right fit for you? When you visit the school see if you can sleep over, spend a day in classes. Talk with the kids who are there. Eat in the dining hall.

Ask the students why they are there. What is the best part of the school? What is the worst part? VERY important question-what do you do, you know, when you are not in class?  And, the fact is, as the visitor you are way more nervous than kids in the school. They have had to go through this process-so they understand-and most of them want to help you make the best decision for you.

Keep to a few things really passionate about—don’t try to do a ton of stuff just to put it on a resume. Remember you are the person-it’s you who will be going to school, not your resume.

If you have extra things you want to share (letters of recommendation, awards, written work, videos), call (the admission office) to find out what to do, (not all schools want and/or accept extra materials).  Use them as a “door opener” to get your folder opened and to show you are interested in the school.


Wow!  These were only some of the topics we discussed in the 20 minute call!  If you have questions, email me!

Next post:  Questions teens have… that we didn’t get a chance to talk about on the call!

2 Responses to “What do you have yet to learn…about yourself and the college search?”

  1. I think this could be interesting and do not see posted much. This is great information.

  2. Isabel says:

    I like this. Super cool. Whoooo

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