Planning For Your Future
In your senior year you will be faced with a decision that will perhaps be the most important one you will have been called to make - "What do I do when I graduate?"
To broaden your possibilities and future options, you should begin right now:
- Select your academic courses thoughtfully.
- Maximize your performance in those courses.
- Engage in after school, summer, or weekend work experiences.
- Participate in your school's extracurricular programs.
- Inquire into a variety of vocations that interest you as well as the education or training they will require.
These steps will be your keys to future opportunities. If, upon graduation, your plans should require more training or education, obtaining information as soon as possible about the types of schools and colleges, their admissions requirements, as well as their costs will be invaluable to your making the best career and college choice.
Ideally, you should select your school or college only after careful consideration of your own needs and preferences and a survey of opportunities available at the individual schools. At first glance, choosing an appropriate institution may seem a difficult task - but, in fact, there will be a number of "appropriate" schools for you.
Decide Upon a Kind of College
Ask yourself questions that will help you decide upon which type of college that would best meet your personal needs and interests.
- Is the college's location important? If so, would I prefer a small town or large city environment? Would I prefer staying close to home or going away to school?
- Would I prefer a small (100-2,000) college; a medium sized (2,100 - 7,000) school; or a large university (7,100 and above)?
- Would I prefer attending a coeducational or single sex institution?
- Would I prefer living on campus? Or would I prefer living at home and commuting?
- Will participation in specific extracurricular activities be important (student government, religious, newspaper, fraternity, etc.)?
- Do I want to play intercollegiate sports?
- Will I be eligible for an academic scholarship?
- How important is cost to me? Financial aid?
- Am I more interested in the development of technical or vocational skill? Or, would acquiring additional courses in general education or liberal arts be meaningful?
- Will I need support services (study skills, counseling, remedial courses, handicap services, etc.)?
- Will I be able to exempt credit by taking Advanced Placement, Achievement or Challenge Examinations?
- Is accreditation of the academic program or of the institution I would like to attend important?
- Would attending a church related or private institution be important to me?
Look for Information
Your next step will be to obtain information about colleges - many colleges - to find those that might provide the kinds of experiences and educational foundation you are seeking. You might begin sampling the offerings by visiting your high school guidance office, library or learning resource center.
- Reference books (i.e., The College Handbook, Barron's and Peterson's Guide)
- College catalogs and view books
- Institutional representatives
- The CACRAO College and University Guide
- Campus visitations
- Current enrolled students
- Recent graduates
- The Internet (http://www.collegeboard.org)