This is the time of year for my junior students where I start to put preliminary lists of schools together.
- What are your interests?
- What are the characteristics you are looking for in a college?
- What geographic area appeals to you?
- What kinds of students do you want to be around?
- Are there college traditions that are important to you?
Once I have compiled an initial list, I meet with families to review and ask students to be active participants in this process. Some families make college visits part of their winter or spring travel, but I don’t think this is as important as just getting a feel for different types of schools. There are so many diverse colleges within a 2 hour drive of the peninsula, so making a weekend visit is doable and you can get a sense of different types (public/private, urban/suburban, large/small) of schools this way. I tell students to be discerning shoppers; take notes about what they see and hear and then report back to me.