What Kind of Students are Colleges Interested In?
You don’t need to be a “brain.” You do need to show a willingness to learn. You don’t have to have lots of money. You do need to be willing to work. You don’t have to be an outstanding athlete. You do need to be involved in a variety of activities. Colleges are interested in a well-rounded individual who has participated in many areas of high school life. The best advice we could give is to get involved—join—participate—learn.
What are My Choices?
Generally speaking, all colleges fall into one of two categories: State-Supported Colleges —
institutions which are supported by public funds and tax monies; or Independent Colleges and
Universities which are institutions that are not supported by tax money. The schools may be church affiliated or totally independent of both state and church support.
State-Supported colleges and universities in the state of Oregon are either 2- or 4-year schools. The 2-year schools are all community colleges. They offer a wide variety of special vocational training programs, as well as college transfer programs of study.
Usually the state-supported colleges and universities, whether 4-year institutions or community colleges, are less expensive than independent or private colleges. This is because they are tax supported. All state-supported 4-year institutions will be very similar in cost for any Oregon resident. The variations are minor and are detailed in the specific college catalog. The programs available will vary quite a bit; again, this is where the college catalog or website comes in. Conversely, many independent or private colleges will be more expensive, but able to offer a more attractive financial aid package because they are not state supported.
FACTORS TO CONSIDER..when choosing a college
•What are the costs for tuition?
•Room and board? Are there other fees?
•How much did costs increase from last year to this year?
•Is there a difference in the costs for in-state and out-of-state students?
•Are accepted students required to place deposits for tuition and housing? Are these refundable?
•By when must accepted students decide whether they will attend?
•Are deposits required each year for returning students?
•When do the bills have to be paid?
•Where is the college located (city, suburb, small town, rural setting)?
•What is the surrounding community like?
•Is the college public, private, church affiliated?
•What is the current student enrollment?
•What special or unique programs are offered?
•Does the college have general education or course distribution requirements? What are they?
•Does the college have special programs for transfer students?
•What is the academic calendar (semesters, quarters)?
•What is the average age of the student body?
•What is the male-to-female ratio?
•What percent of students reside on-campus?
•Are dorms co-ed or single sex?
•Is it a “suitcase college” where all the students leave on the weekends?
•What are the procedures for selecting a roommate?
•What are some of the rules and regulations that govern campus and dormitory life?
•What percent of students receive financial aid based on financial need?
•What percent of students receive scholarships based on academic ability?
•What would be a typical financial aid package for a freshman?
•What percent of those who apply for financial aid receive it?
•Will my financial aid be adjusted if my need increases?
•What are financial aid application procedures and deadlines?
•When are financial aid applicants notified of their awards?
•How long do they have to respond? Is there a tuition payment plan?
•Are there campus jobs available? Are there off-campus jobs as well?
•Where do the majority of students come from?
•Do most of the students commute or live on-campus?
•What types of student activities are there? Are sororities and fraternities on-campus?
•What athletic programs are available?
•Is the surrounding community supportive of the college?
•Does the college have a campus visitation program?
•Is housing available / guaranteed for freshman? Is it available for all four years?
•What high school courses are required?
•Are entrance tests required? Which ones’ What scores are acceptable?
•Is a certain grade point average or class rank required?
•Will my activities and school involvement be considered?
•Is there an essay on the application? Is it read?
•Is there an early decision or early action plan?
•On what basis are applicants accepted?
•Are personal interviews or letters of recommendation required?
•Do certain majors have special requirements?
•What percent of applicants are accepted?
•Can admission denials be appealed?
•What are the application filing dates?
•What is the average class size? Largest? Smallest?
•How many students in last year’s freshman class returned for their sophomore year?
•What was the grade point average for the freshman class last year?
•What is the college’s procedure for student orientation, class placement and scheduling? Are classes guaranteed?
•How is a faculty advisor assigned to students?
•What services does the school offer for the student who is undecided about a major?
•How many students complete a degree? What are the most popular majors?
•Are students taught by full-time faculty members, graduate assistants, or a combination of both?
What types of additional services are provided by the school at no additional cost to the student (e.g. tutoring, career and personal counseling, developmental reading and study skills workshops, job placement)?
Is there an honors program? What are the qualifications for entry?
Compiled from various sources by the National College Fairs Staff
Summary of the College or School Application Process
1. Do the groundwork. Look at websites, review catalogs, write for information, visit campuses, and seek advice from people who have experience and/or expertise in this area.
2. Take the appropriate admissions tests.
3. Decide where you wish to apply. Many schools provide on-line applications and may waive
application fees. Check the school’s website.
4. Make sure that you meet the admission requirements for the program that you want.
5. Request letters of recommendation if needed. Give your references at least 2 weeks notice. Provide references with a written list of your interests and activities.
6. Submit the admission application by the date required. Be sure to include all supporting data such
as transcripts, references and personal statements or essays.
7. Submit the FAFSA as soon as possible after October 1st, in order to start the financial aid process. Applying on-line usually results in quicker response.
8. Apply to each school for financial aid and scholarships.
9. Apply for local and other financial aid and scholarships.
10. Confirm admission by sending in any required deposits.
11. Apply for on-campus housing.
12. Make an appointment with the institution’s Financial Aid Officer.
13. Attend orientation, if offered.
14. Register for classes.