Though I’m a millennial, my college search started back when Facebook was open to college students only.
I remember watching VHS tapes to get a sense of what colleges were like. I was so overwhelmed, I ended up choosing a college based on meeting with an admissions representative who said that I could be admitted and that they had my major (which I ended up changing a year later).
Though it ended up being a good fit for me, I went to college without really knowing anything about the school. I think I would have been much more successful my first year had I known more about where I was going.
These days, there are much better ways than VHS tapes to get to know about colleges. For the past 10 years working in Admissions and Outreach at FRCC, I’ve shared the following advice to students who, like I was, are feeling lost in the process.
Visit the Campus
I often regret not having visited the campus before moving into the residence hall, so this always is my first piece of advice. Visiting the campus is a great way to see whether it will be a good fit for you.
A couple of hints:
- Visit when students are there so you can see what the student environment is like.
- Check with the school to see whether they have special visit programs that will be better tailored to you.
- Go with questions about specific things you want to know about.
Here at FRCC, we see students visiting when they are on break from high school. They don’t get a good sense of what campus is like because we also may be on break. Instead, come to an open house like the one at the Larimer Campus April 18, or when your high school schedules a group visit. We have special visit days like Pathways Days, which help students learn about majors in our Career and Academic Communities. You also can attend an Information Session.
Check Out the Website
Almost all your questions can be answered on a school’s website.
I often send students links to the FRCC website. For example, you can see a list of all the academic programs here. You can find information about how much it’s going to cost to attend here . And you can find information about how to help pay for college on our financial aid and scholarship web pages.
Connect with Someone
My team and I are happy to answer questions about FRCC. We contact students by phone and email and meet with them in person. You may see us behind a FRCC table at a college fair, or hear us when you call our main line. We may also be hanging out at your high school’s counseling office or giving a presentation in one of your classes.
Our Student Ambassadors are on campus. They may be in your classes once you enroll. Other schools have admissions teams and student ambassadors ready to answer your questions and talk you about what it’s like to be a student. Connect with them.
Think About What’s Most Important to You and Ask Questions
What is going to make you successful in college? What are you looking for in your college experience? Do you learn best in small classroom environments? Do you prefer to have comfortable spaces on campus where you can study? Do you benefit from having access to free tutoring services? Are late-night dining options important?
Know what’s most important to you and make sure each school you are looking at can provide it. Each school has various features that will appeal to a variety of students. Remember, what’s best for you might not be what’s best for your best friend or sibling. So make sure YOU know what’s right for YOU. After all, you will be most successful when you’re at a school that’s the best fit for you.
I wish you the best of luck! And remember, if you want to know more about FRCC, my team and I are here to assist you.