Beginning college search early pays off in long run

Faye Smith

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College hunting. Not something that would be on the radar in many students’ early years in high school, but should it? The idea of finding the perfect college at an early age comes easy to some people. Some people have known what they have wanted to pursue since they walked into their first Intro to Business class their freshman year. Others, their parents’ alma mater has the major, the atmosphere, or even the Greek life system they have always wanted. For others, it takes them until the last six months of senior year to finally find out what they want to do for a majority of their lives.

The question students are faced with is how to get a head start on looking for colleges early. If a major isn’t the biggest thing on the mind right now, suggests to take a small tour around campuses close to home as a freshman or sophomore to understand the ins and outs of a real college visit. That way as a junior or senior, it’s a lot less hassle and maybe it would be preferred to attend a larger university over a smaller, more personal private college or vice versa.

Looking around and finding the right atmosphere is not the only thing to keep in mind. Remember that college will take a big chunk out of the bank. The average cost of in-state tuition in the US $9,410. Not only should students be preparing to find a college that suits their academic needs, it will also need to suit their financial needs. It is never too early to start looking for scholarships.

So go ahead and go tour a campus while at a football game, or take that day trip to meet with a professor in a great major, or better yet, send an email to that Ivy League college, just to see what it takes to get in. Who knows, it may be a perfect fit.