It’s That Time of Year…

Written by: Cindy Haeck November 20, 2011

November…holidays, football and college application time! High school seniors and community college transfer students are looking toward the horizon for the best place to continue their education. When I listen to student’s reasons for applying to certain schools I often hear the following:

  • It’s close to home and I can commute.
  • My sister/brother is there, and they like it.
  • My boyfriend/girlfriend is applying there, and I want to attend where they will be.
  • I have visited my friends there and we have a good time.
  • I always have fun at the football games when I go.

Though I appreciate that students are thinking about their “next steps,” I wonder how much consideration they have given to a particular school meeting their personal, educational needs. After all, you don’t buy a car just because it looks good. It has to get you where you want to go!

Your investment in college – monetarily and time – is huge. Look under the hood! Here are a few questions for you to consider, and perhaps ask admission representatives:

  1. How many students graduate each year? If you know the program you’re interested in…ask about that specific program as well.
  2. How long does it take the average student to graduate?
  3. Are there opportunities for internships/co-op? This can be as important as your degree to a potential employer.
  4. Who are the employers that recruit from the graduate pool in a specific program? How many have been hired in the last 2-3 years?
  5. How competitive is the program you’re interested in? (You may gain admissions, but will you be able to pursue the program you really want?)

Go ahead and apply, but before you make your final decision…kick the tires and be sure the school you select will help you reach your destination.