Try breaking your research selections down into three (3) areas:
I can easily do this.
I could swing this with a bit of work.
I will need to work hard to attain this.
General Research Ideas
- Programs, Majors/ Minors, Core Courses
- Number of Students on Campus, Class Sizes
- Required Credits, Min/Max Course Load, Prerequisites
- Campus Size, Location (rural/urban), Recommended: Make a Campus Visit, Collect maps and pictures.
- Campus Life, clubs, organization, activities, sports
- Transfer/Waived Requirements (AP Classes, Running Start, Substitutions)
- Accessibility/Disability Access - accommodations, tutoring, other student servicing
- Other - School Logo, Mascot, Colors
Application Process: What do I need to know to apply?
- Application Form (Mail-in vs. Electronic, Own vs. Common Application)
- Application Fee
- Personal Information - Full Name, Address, Phone, Identity Card ( Social Security Number/Driver's License/Passport/Birth Certificate)
- Essays (Personal Statement, Question/Answer, Word Max/Min Limits)
- Recommendation Letters
- Test Scores: SAT, ACT (Minimum acceptable scores), AP Classes
- School Transcripts, GPA (official vs. unofficial) Prerequisites: High School classes required
- Awards, Achievements, Extracurricular (What is a “Well rounded student”)
- Other - Work Samples, Portfolio (artwork, photos, etc.)
Budget - What will it cost me? How do I pay for it?
Types of Education: How much does it cost?
- Public (State) College
- Private College
- Community College
- Other (Arts, Certificate, Training Schools )
Financial Aid: What is available to me?
- FAFSA/WAFSA - Federal Loans, Grants, and Work-Study
- Private, Public Loans (interest rate, payments, qualifying)
- Scholarships (local, state, national)
- Family Contributions (do your parents have a fund set aside like a 529)
Costs to Budget For:
- Application Fee
- Room and Board (Dorm/Apartment - don’t forget electricity, water, and garbage if it is off campus)
- Textbooks and Supplies (some courses require extra fees such as lab coats, eye protection, etc.)
- Technology (internet, computer, cell phone)
- Transportation (Vehicle, gas, bus, campus parking fees)
- Food (Dining Hall, Groceries, Eating Out)
- Hidden Costs (Other student fees, gym memberships, clothing, late charges)