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The Perfect College For You

Mar 5, 2008
Is your teenager having trouble narrowing down their list of potential colleges? Are they having trouble finding the perfect school? Consider the advantages and disadvantages of each college. Sit down with them, and make a list about the positive and negative features of each school.

For example, are you looking for a school near home or somewhere distant? Unless you live far from any major cities, there is probably a college within thirty miles. Some of the highest ranked schools are in smaller cities.

What is your student's major, and is it offered at the college? This is of primary concern, as some schools will not offer a major in your son or daughter's field. Also, check to see that the school is accredited. Accreditation will ensure the credibility of your son or daughter's degree.

When researching the academic credentials of a college, find out what the faculty-student ratio is. The more time a teacher is able to dedicate to your student, the better. Find out the average class size. Is a large school what your teenager wants? They offer more social opportunities, but small schools usually have better job placement programs.

Campus size and housing accommodations are key points in choosing a college. A large campus with gorgeous scenery may be a plus for some, but for others it means long walks and tardiness. Check out the housing opportunities. Does the prospective college offer dorm living, or are students expected to live off campus? Dorm life has its charm, but less distractions are a good thing for certain children. Then again, a cramped dorm room might be the key to your teenager's social development.

Both dorms and off campus housing have separate expenses. These costs, combined with tuition fees, books, and application costs make up the budgetary considerations. Don't forget the added cost of meals. Financial aid is available if you know the deadlines and have the proper forms. Many colleges offer part-time employment to help offset the costs.

Also consider the availability of extracurricular activities. What kind of clubs will interest your teenager? If he's a star athlete, this will factor into the decision. Especially if scholarships are involved, a college athletic career is a highly rewarding experience. Maybe your child is interested in joining a fraternity or sorority and bonding in this special way. College clubs are the best way to meet like-minded individuals who can be lifelong friends.

There are also religious affiliations to think about. If your son or daughter is dedicated to a certain religion, they probably want to attend a college with similar standards. On the other hand, if your daughter is not interested in religion at all, she probably won't want to attend a strict Baptist school. Of course, you don't have to be involved with a specific religion to enjoy the benefits of a religious school. For example, many non-Catholics attend Notre Dame.

A long list of colleges can be whittled down with a good question and answer session. Keep in mind all the factors that are important to your child and, when in doubt, take a tour of the college and see for yourself.
About the Author
Michael Fleischner is the Managing Director of EssayEdge.com and expert marketing author. For help with your college application essay, personal statement, or mba essay visit http://www.essayedge.com
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