As the first semester of senior year progresses, the pressure of what’s next starts to intensify. Everyone is looking for you to make decisions on things you’ve probably never thought about or at least aren’t ready to commit to yet.
What do you want to be?
Where do you want to go?
How much is it going to cost?
Can you handle everything that comes with those choices?
As important and time-sensitive as these questions are, they can be overwhelming. To ease that stress, here are some tips for making the right choice for YOU.
COST: Can I afford college?
Higher education is no small investment. But remember it’s just that… an investment! You are investing in your future. There are so many different types of scholarships available to students to help offset/cover the cost of college tuition: merit, need-based, athletic, and more! When looking at schools, research the awards in which they offer. Learn what unique opportunities you might qualify for that will make college a more obtainable goal.
DEGREE PROGRAMS: How do I choose a major?
Once you understand the investment, what do you want to study? The best place to start is with your interest. What are you passionate about? What are you good at? What aligns with your goals? From there start to research schools and ask the following questions:
- What are they known for?
- Do they have programs that support what you are passionate about?
- Who will your professors be? Do they have published work on the topics you’re interested in?
- Do they have programs or centers on campus that support you academically? Are there places or people you can go to ask for help?
- What unique learning opportunities or academic programs do they offer?
CAREER: Will my chosen college help me to secure a job post-graduation?
Speaking of support and opportunity, the next thing to consider is a career. The whole point is to land the job, right? How is the university you’re considering going to support and empower you to do just that? The best way to find out is to look at their Career development office. Learn about their available services to ensure your success post-graduation. Look at alumni in your field, see what companies and organizations they have worked with.
LOCATION: Do I want to stay local or go out of state? What’s near campus?
Now that you have curated a list of schools that are within budget, and support your interest and career goals, you have to decide on the location. Not just Out of state vs in-state but also the physical location within that city. Are your needs (grocery store, pharmacy, post office) easy to get to? If the nearest pharmacy is a 15-minute car ride away, but you don’t have a car, maybe the location isn’t the best for what you need.
CAMPUS CULTURE: Do you want to get involved on campus?
The last thing to think consider is campus life. You aren’t going to spend every second in the classroom so what is there to do when you aren’t studying? How will you meet people? How will you have a social life?
- Get involved! Find student organizations that represent you.
- Attend campus events. Attend community events!
- Something that plays a role in this is the size of the university. Large universities offer a vast number of groups and activities, but smaller universities offer more personal connections. You can really get to know your fellow students and staff at a smaller university.
TRANSFER TIPS: How do I transfer to a new university?
It’s never too late to join the right community. Look into universities that support your transition. How do they support nontraditional students? What can they do for me if I’m not a first-time freshman? These are all good questions to ask.
At Fontbonne, we truly believe in making higher education more accessible and rewarding students for their hard work. We offer a variety of scholarships, from the Fontbonne Promise to the Dr. Donald M. Suggs Scholarship and more! 100 areas of study in in-demand fields like healthcare, technology, education, art, history, communications, and business, a Fontbonne education is grounded in compassion and ethics. Here expert professors that truly care about supporting and empowering their students work in classrooms with a 10:1 ratio. Students enjoy thriving campus life with 30 student organizations and 21 athletic teams including Esports and Sprint Football. As a community, we are inspiring students to become global citizens who think critically and act ethically, soar higher with Fontbonne University.