College Preparation

Scouting Colleges: Helping Your Teen Choose The Right One.

We know, we know. How did your baby grow up so fast!? They are now a senior in high school and ready to venture off to college in the fall. Where on Earth did the time go?

Instead of looking at college as a sad time, look at it as the start of new beginnings for your teen! They worked very hard to get where they are and now is the time to set them up for their future careers and wonderful lives.

Now is the perfect time to tour some of the colleges and get your teen enrolled for the upcoming school year. Before you jet off to tour colleges and universities, there are some things you must keep in mind when scouting them out. Keep this checklist handy so your nerves don’t get the best of you when it’s time to see what the college is really all about!

Does the college or university really offer what you need?

Make sure the school offers things that meet your child’s individual needs, such as:

  • Do they offer a strong, reputable program that is geared towards your student’s area of focus?
  • Will your student learn well with their instruction method?
  • Does your student feel comfortable amongst their peers at the school?
  • Does the school provide coursework that will challenge your student?
  • How does the school value its students and reward their strengths?

Do they offer services to maintain a healthy physical lifestyle?

Everyone hears about the dreaded “Freshman 15,” but does the college provide healthy meal options and places to keep physically fit? When a student is both mentally and physically fit, they tend to be the happiest and working at their maximum potential, so look for a college that allows outlets for physical activity.

Do they offer suitable housing?

We all know dorm rooms can be tiny spaces, but do they offer single living spaces, shared rooms, shared bathrooms, or suite-mates? Just like looking at houses, you can’t really get a feel of the place until you’ve been inside. Sometimes a dorm might appear one way in a photo on the school’s website but you’ll get a whole different vibe once you actually step inside. Make sure to tour the dorms and ask questions such as what is their policy on substance abuse? Are there gender-specific bathrooms? Are there certain quiet hours for studying? All of these factors come into play. After all, it is where your teen will be spending their days.

Is the school known for its lively nightlife?

There will most likely be some type of partying going on at all colleges, however, is the college your teen is looking at well-known for its vivacious nightlife? It’s great for a college to offer fraternities, sororities, clubs, etc., because it allows the students to interact and form friendships. With that said, if it’s known for partying, you might want to consider another option for your teen.

Does the school have places of worship nearby?

Is the college or university very open and accepting of different religions? Is your religion one that is welcomed with open arms? Do they have places to worship nearby the campus? Faith is an important role in many lives and you want to make sure that you have a place to practice your worship, should you so choose. If you are someone who is nonreligious, consider if the school is faith based. If it is, is that ok with you or will you be uncomfortable?

Location, location, location!

How was the drive to the campus from your house? Is it in close enough proximity that they can commute from home or would they need to live on or near campus? Is the school close enough to home that should they be homesick or want to come home for a weekend that they can hop in the car and do so, or would they need to fly home? These are all great questions because the expense varies greatly and could make life difficult if you are shelling out for airline tickets every holiday or break.

Take it all in.

Take in the sights and sounds that are around you. You know your child better than anyone…will they not just like it but thrive at the college/university? Will all of their needs be met there? How do the other students seem? Are they welcoming? How are the professors and buildings? Are they well maintained and are the professors adored by their students? These are all things that tell a lot about a school. You’ll learn much more by simply observing than you ever would by looking things up on their website. Lastly, don’t forget to enjoy this time with your teen! They are getting ready to spread their wings and are looking for your guidance. Treasure this time with them.

We are so happy that you let us become part of the fabric of their lives. It’s truly been a pleasure and we can’t wait to see what the second half of the year brings and onto graduation! Have you “liked” our Facebook page? We will be showcasing other things you’ll need to know as you prep your teen for college or life beyond high school and we’d love for you to check it out! Head over here and “like” our page today!

Call us today at 855-682-2333 or visit our website to learn more about our program.

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