Wednesday, March 27, 2013

No Instruction Manual

When are you supposed to visit colleges?  When do you apply?  How do you help them choose?

We had a book to help at the beginning, why no book now?!?!?!

We're planning on visiting a couple schools in May, before her summer job starts. She's planning on applying to Lake Superior State, Grand Valley and MSU.  Gah! MSU!?!?!  Will she be ok at that big of a school!?!?!

I'm telling you this end is almost as scary as the beginning was.  What if I mess up?  What if I give her bad advice?  Should I just shove her out the door and say figure it out yourself?


kim (weltek) said...

My dad was zero help. He didn't know how to help.

We've been helping niece and nephews, as neither of their parents went to college. Visit, visit, visit. She'll likely narrow it down to one or two based on that. Ask to sit in on classes if she's unsure what it will be like. Does she know anyone at those colleges where she could spend an afternoon or evening with them (without mom around)? Do a budget (you should be good at that!) for each school's tuition, room, board, books, etc., then you can start factoring in any school-specific scholarship offers, etc. When she sees her projected costs and final debt, that can make a difference in her choice. Make her think about things like how easy it is to get involved in clubs, ease of getting to places like Target, ease of getting to classes when it's 0 degrees, windy and snowy, etc. That last one was important to me anyway!

I'm all about the right size and vibe fit for the student. There's no "good" or "bad" size, but there are "right fits" and "right budgets." I'm convinced with any accredited schools, a student can get a high quality education if they choose classes and extracurriculars wisely. But, if Ayla wants to get a PhD, then she may want to consider a research intensive university to maximize opportunities.

Good luck!!! Have fun with it!

kim (weltek) said...

Niece Paige finally found a roomie for the fall. It's way more pressure these days. When I was in college, you filled out a questionnaire and someone else matched you. Now, it's like online dating and you have to wait for someone to ask you for a date. But, it's perfect. They were a 94% match and she's super excited.