It is highly recommended that early in the college selection process, parents and student(s) visit some schools to determine if they'll be suitable. The criteria that must be considered before any college is applied to include:
? Average GPA, SAT I, class rank for acceptance
? The school should offer enough choices in the event the student changes their major
? Size, location, Greeks, religious affiliation
? Percentage of freshmen that return for year two
? Percentage of freshmen that graduate in four years
? Percentage of financial need met
? Percentage of gift aid/self-help awarded
? On or off campus job opportunities
? Meal plans and dietary situations met
? Name recognition
? Student/teacher ratio
? Average class size, semester or trimester
? Percentage of professors who teach and percentage of teaching assistants
? 2 or 4-year college or university
? Co-ed dorms
? Freshman cars permitted
? Handicap accessibility
? Cost of the sheepskin
It is also recommended that you determine if the school uses a need-blind or need-sensitive admissions policy. Need-blind is a practice where the student is evaluated without any regard to family income or assets. Need-sensitive is a shameful policy used by a host of elite schools such as Duke, Emory and Stanford. These schools will admit a less than qualified rich kid in anticipation of a large contribution to their own endowment funds. In essence, the wealthy family has bought an admission ticket to a school where their student might never have otherwise been accepted!
It's anyone's guess how many other schools enrich their coffers in this deceitful, unprincipled manner. Duke has even been brazenly open about this policy, and I find it curious that shortly after reaching their $2 billion fund raising goal in 2003, they reduced their freshman acceptance percentage from 7.5% to 4%. The words of Former U.S. Representative Shirley Chisholm (D-NY) come to mind here, "When morality comes up against profit, it is seldom that profit loses."
Parents and student(s) should make the official unofficial visit to potential schools no later than the 10th grade. Colleges are always impressed when a 9th or 10th grader pays a visit. By keeping in touch with officials you've met, in essence, you will have added points to both your GPA and SAT I scores by establishing a rapport. When the time comes, administrators will be able to associate a face with your application. This helps a merely qualified student become a far more acceptable one.
However, before packing your bags and filling up the SUV with gas, make a checklist that includes the following:
Confirm that everything you plan to visit will be open and, ideally, that school is in session. Ask plenty of questions and be an attentive listener. Consider bringing a video camera or tape recorder for your notes no matter how good your memory is. Find out who reads applications from your area and, if possible, try to meet with a reader and be sure to keep in touch with them.
Student athletes should meet with a coach or two. Listen to the school radio station and get a copy of the campus newspaper. If the student has Greek intentions, visit some frat or sorority houses. Students should check out the dorm unannounced, introduce themselves to attending students and pick their brains.
Have a snack in the cafeteria. After all, their food is what the student will be eating for the next four years! Students who have decided upon their course of study should make every effort to arrange a meeting with the head of that particular department and audit a class or two. This may require an overnight, giving the student a greater opportunity to check out the dorm.
These are some college selection websites I recommend:
? For alternative criteria go to www.fairtest.org or call 617-864-4810. They have a list of some 300 schools that apply non-traditional guidelines in the Admissions Process.
? Afro-American schools: www.blackhighereducation.com/hbcu.html
? Jesuit schools: www.ajcunet.edu
? Jewish affiliation: www.hillel.org
? Trade and vocational schools: www.overview.com/colleges/
This is one of a series of articles by college admissions and financial aid expert, Reecy Aresty, based on his book, "Getting Into College And Paying For It!" For further information or to contact him, please visit www.thecollegebook.com.
For almost three decades, financial advisor and lecturer Reecy Aresty, has helped thousands of families to protect their assets, increase their wealth, and reduce their taxes. During the 1980's, he turned his attentions to the complex world of college admissions and financial aid. By the end of the decade, he was already saving his clients thousands of dollars on a college education!
He has authored, "Getting Into College And Paying For It," also available in Spanish. Filled with trade secrets and insider information, it offers solutions for high school and college families guaranteed to give students the all-important edge in admissions, and parents countless legal ways to reduce college costs.
In 2004 alone, Reecy saved families hundreds of thousands of dollars! He has become a major factor in obtaining affordable, quality educations for America's students. In doing so, he has restored the faith people used to have in one another by proving that there are still people who care, people who can be trusted, and people who actually do what they promise ? and get results!
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