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What is the best Colleg Advice?

What are some key factors students should consider when choosing a college, and how can they ensure they make an informed decision that aligns with their academic, personal, and career goals?

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Subject: Career question for you

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Ivan’s Answer

Think about trying out a formal aptitude test. It's a helpful tool that can suggest careers that fit well with your natural talents. Once you've done that, you can tailor your college application to match your passions and inspirations. Don't worry if you're not quite sure about your direction yet. Sometimes, figuring out what you don't enjoy can be a great first step. For instance, if Math and Physics aren't your cup of tea, then Engineering might not be your ideal path.
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Martha’s Answer

Hi Pranav - this is an excellent question and I love how you include academic, personal, and career goals. I would like to build upon Rebecca's answer as follows:
- I agree that your major(s) or minor should align with your career aspirations. Many high school students aren't sure so it is fine if you are among them. Then, look for a college strong in all the areas that interest you and support your academic strengths, as well as has a robust career counseling center.
- I also agree about attending information sessions, which often require pre-registration. Even if these are conducted by admission office staffers, you will learn what they think is important and differentiating about their college. This will help you determine if it is a fit for you and, if so, complete your application.
- Take campus tours, which also requires pre-registration. Just being on campus will give you a sense of whether you would be comfortable there. In addition, you could ask the student guides about anything, including the culture and student life there. Actively demonstrating interest in a college may make the difference between waitlist and an offer of admission. If you cannot travel there, at least take the virtual tours.
- In reference to personal goals, there may be a sport you want to continue or try on a non-varsity level. Check if the college offers that. Similarly, there may be a hobby you want to continue or try. If they don't offer it now, is there support for starting a new club? Perhaps, you want to broaden your global view. Then look for a college with campuses in other countries and/or diversity in its student body. Think about whether you want to get to know a different part of the country. If so, that will influence which colleges to explore.

Other thoughts:
- Include in your list colleges that are a reach, a likely acceptance, and so-called "safety". Don't apply to a college unless you actually would like to go there, though. It is a waste of your time and of the admission officers' time and could deprive someone who truly does want to attend.
- As you go through the application process, your priorities will crystalize and may change; that is fine.
- The vast majority of the time, students have a positive college experience, even if the institution did not start out as their first choice.

Good luck!
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Rebecca’s Answer

Thank you for your question. Many students may have similar question. Firstly, you may identify what subject you would like to take as your major and minor.
Below are my suggestions :
1. Think about what career(s) you would like to do in the future and identify the relevant major and minor you would take in the college
2. Review the ranking and comments of the college which are good at these subjects
3. Explore the entry criteria of these college
4. Attend the information sessions host by the faulty. Speak to the professors if possible
5. Do some campus visit
Hope this helps! Good Luck!
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Elizabeth (Betsy)’s Answer

Dear Pranav,

Navigating the college selection process can be daunting, but the right approach can help you make an informed choice. In addition to Rebecca's valuable suggestions, consider these practical steps:

1. Try to participate in a local college fair if possible. This is an excellent platform to interact with representatives from various institutions. Engaging in these dialogues can help you gauge whether their environment matches your preferences.

2. Look out for career days or similar events organized by schools. These occasions offer a chance to converse with professionals about their work and lifestyle. It will provide a glimpse into what you can anticipate once you graduate and join the workforce.

3. Take some time to delve into the life stories of individuals you look up to. Discover where they studied and the decisions they made for their own lives. This will give you a broader view on how to refine your choices to better match your personal aspirations.
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