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College Discovery: Researching The Best Option For You

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Students will learn what factors to consider in researching colleges and how to maximize their college search using tools like RaiseMe. (www.raise.me)

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College Discovery: Researching The Best Option For You

  1. 1. College Discovery: How to Research the Best Option for You
  2. 2. Agenda: 1. Fit vs. Match 2. How to Determine Match 3. Safety, Likely, and Reach Schools 4. Fit: Factors to Consider 5. How to Use RaiseMe for College Research 6. Specific Questions Pertaining to Fit 7. Campus Visits
  3. 3. Fit vs. Match: What’s the Difference? 3 VS Match = your academic record is close to the average student that is accepted to a college. The easiest way to gauge this is your cumulative GPA and ACT/SAT score. Fit = Your personal preferences and interests when it comes to the ideal college experience.
  4. 4. College Match
  5. 5. 5 MATCH: Mapping Likelihood of Acceptance Average ACT Score GPA Student A has the following academic status: GPA = 2.7 ACT = 30 Where would they fall on this graph? Which schools listed might be a good match?
  6. 6. 6 MATCH: Mapping Likelihood of Acceptance Average ACT Score GPA = Student A GPA = 2.7 ACT = 30 Based on Student A’s GPA and ACT, it looks like CSU Pueblo and UDC might be a good academic match.
  7. 7. 7 MATCH: Identifying “Safety”, “Likely”, and “Reach” Schools A common way to plan college applications is to find an array of options that are attractive to you and fall into 3 categories, defined by likelihood of acceptance. Colleges factor in much more than your GPA and exam scores but, as an initial gauge, you can start to categorize your college options based on those academic marks. Based on Student A’s GPA of 2.7 and ACT of 30, we can categorize the 4 colleges accordingly: Safety Likely Reach If your GPA and/or ACT/SAT score are well above the average, it is a safe bet that you can get in. If your GPA and/or ACT/SAT are around the average, you are likely to get in. If your GPA and/or ACT/SAT are well below the average, it is a reach but could still be worth applying.
  8. 8. College Fit
  9. 9. 9 FIT: What Makes an Ideal Learning Environment for You? Some factors to consider: Location - Do you want to stay close to home? Environment - City? Suburb? Countryside? Size - Large student body? Medium? Small? Major - Liberal arts education? Research/technical? Student Body - Does diversity of experience matter to you? How important is this to you? Least Most 1 3 5
  10. 10. 10 FIT: What Makes an Ideal Learning Environment for You? Visit your RaiseMe account to find colleges that meet your personal interests and aspirations Check out the drop- down menu for lots of sorting options! Click through all the filter options to find colleges that are a good fit for you.
  11. 11. FIT: What Makes an Ideal Learning Environment for You? 11 Let’s revisit Student A. Based on their GPA (2.7) and ACT (30) scores, we determined that CSU Pueblo might be a good match school. Now let’s consider fit. Student A reflected and decided that: ● The makeup of the student body is most important to them. ● The academic specialities of the college is least important. Using what you know about them, plus the fact they want to study in a city, use the RaiseMe college page to find a few colleges that would fit Student A. Location Environment Size Major Student Body Student A’s Fit Reflection: Least Most 1 3 5
  12. 12. 12 Example search for Student A, where priority 1 = student body High graduation rate indicates an inclusive environment for diverse learners.Diversity at 50% or above means that no one ethnicity will be the majority. Larger student population allows for more backgrounds and experiences represented.
  13. 13. 13 Example search for Student A, where priority 1 = student body, priority 2 = environment The student body at U of Chicago is very diverse. There is good mix of ethnicity and there doesn’t seem to be a major imbalance. Additionally, there’s close to 50/50 male to female breakdown. 99% of freshman return to college for their sophomore year. This is a good indication of strong culture on campus. A large city is likely to attract students (and faculty) from all over the country as well as internationally. Graduation rate tell us what percent of students earn their degree in 6 years or fewer after starting college. This is important for two reasons: 1) If the rate is low this can indicate that the college does not have a strong culture of advising and support. 2) College is worth the investment only if you get a degree, so you want to pick a school that graduates students from all backgrounds.
  14. 14. Is University of Chicago a good fit? How about a good match? 14 Environment Student Body Least Most 1 3 5 When it comes to fit, Student A cares most about the diversity of the student body, the culture of the campus, and a setting that attracts lots of different people. For that criteria, University of Chicago is a great fit. As the admission criteria describes above, the University of Chicago is very selective. Based on the ACT of 30, this is probably a reach school for Student A.
  15. 15. RaiseMe College Search: Finding Fit and Match 15 Fit: Filter based on your preferences in the following categories Match Size: Location: Cost: Environment/Academics: You can get a sense for match by looking at the admission criteria for colleges. Average Net Price = the average cost of tuition minus the average financial aid award. If cost is a concern, you want this to be low. % Need Met = the higher the % the more generous the financial aid they can offer. On average, public school tuition is cheaper than private, especially if you stay in your state. Liberal arts = you’ll be asked to take classes outside your major. Research = schools that specialize in STEM and technical degrees. Colleges that are single-sex in enrollment and have unique academic opportunities therein. Colleges with great community and support for minority students.
  16. 16. Fit: Specific Examples
  17. 17. FIT: Specific Questions to Consider 17 One of the primary reasons to go to college is that it’s fun! Here are some factors you should consider concerning the location: Weather Culture Attitude Politics Recreation Diversity What are the patterns in this region? The weather will influence how you spend your time. What are the pastimes, traditions, and history? What makes the people/region unique? What’s the pace of life in the region? Is it laidback or fast-paced? How do people in the region tend to vote? Is it liberal, moderate, conservative? What do people do for fun in this region? Can you learn a new activity? Is the region multiethnic or relatively homogenous? Consider how you want to spend your time and which of these factors is most important to you.
  18. 18. FIT: Campus Setting 1 - Rural 18 Benefits: 1. Student Community: most students will live on campus. The culture is likely to be strong. 2. Outdoor activities: there will likely be unique recreation opportunities. 3. Academic experience: professors are likely to be accessible and there will be opportunity to get to know you personally.
  19. 19. FIT: Campus Setting 2 - Suburban 19 Benefits: 1. Convenient campus: often easy to access from a nearby city, and not as isolated as rural campuses. 2. Community: usually a bigger campus and clearly defined. Students are likely to stay on campus and get to know each other. 3. Entertainment: there will be lots of on and off-campus nightlife options.
  20. 20. FIT: Campus Setting 2 - Urban 20 Benefits: 1. Entertainment: there will likely be lots of nightlife, dining, and excursions possible off-campus. 2. Diversity: urban campuses tend to have more culturally and racially diverse students. 3. Job and internship opportunities: with lots of businesses and industry based in the city, you’ll have access to lots of summer work in your field of interest.
  21. 21. FIT: Campus Visits 21 Arguably the best way to determine the fit of a college is to visit the campus! When you visit a campus you’ll be able to see: 1. How the school is laid out 2. How students interact with each other 3. Where students go for studying, socializing, food, and entertainment And most importantly, if you can see yourself there! School breaks can be a great time to take a campus tour. - Talk to your counselors about field trip opportunities. - Talk to your parents about making a trip. Login to your RaiseMe account to see which colleges offer a micro-scholarship for a campus visit!
  22. 22. Recap 22 Turn and talk with a partner: 1. What is the difference between fit and match? Explain the distinction. 2. What’s one way to group colleges so you have a balanced portfolio of options? How might you go about grouping schools? How many schools might you consider in each category? 3. What are some aspects of a school that would make it a good fit for you? Why? Write down three actions you plan to take this semester to research college fit. With any time remaining, use your RaiseMe account to complete the accompanying worksheet.

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