The college search process can sometimes seem like a daunting task, however, there is a wealth of resources available to students and parents to make the process easier.
During their junior year, the counseling department will work with students in their classroom, to assist them with beginning the college search through the use of the Naviance program. Students are taught how to conduct a college search and then research schools they are interested in. In addition, they are able to create and edit a list of these schools. This list of schools is then saved within the student's Naviance account so they can revisit it at any time.
What is the best way to explore college options?
- Attend a college fair. WA offers one each March for students to attend and meet with college reps.
- There are national college fairs as well. Before attending, it is advised that you take a look at the list of schools that will be in attendance and then make a list of schools you would like to meet with. To find a college fair go to: NACANET
- The internet: Naviance is a great place to begin your search
- You can also use College Board
- Talk to family and friends about where they went or are going
- Meet with college representatives when they visit WA in the fall
- Talk to you school counselor, they can offer suggestions for schools you should consider based on your interests.
What to consider when exploring colleges:
- Programs and majors offered
- Selectivity (how hard is it to get in?)
- Cost and Financial Aid availability
- Retention rate (percentage of students who return after freshman year)
- Graduation rate
- Location (distance from home, climate, urban/suburban/rural, etc.)
- Extracurricular opportunities, including athletics, music, art, etc. Affiliation (public, private, religious)
- Size of student body
- Diversity of student body
- Faculty-to-student ratio, class size, professors (full-time, adjunct, or grad students as instructors)
- Admission requirements
- Housing availability
- Graduate study (percentage of students who earn advanced degrees)
- Opportunities for internships, service learning, study abroad, etc.
- Social life (fraternities and sororities, commuters, weekend activities)
- Community (character of surrounding area)
- Career or graduate school placement