Top 10 College Search Tips for Parents from Parents
1. Take inventory of what your student wants before you even begin – programs/majors, school size, location, environment, proximity to home, athletics, Greek life, etc. Listen to your child/student. Your job is to help them search for the fit they want; they will feel it when they are at the college for them.
2. Meet with the high school college and career counselor. They are a great resource with lots of knowledge.
3. Start visiting colleges early! Visiting colleges junior year in high school will save time later and you won’t be rushed. The more they see the better! Visit a variety of different colleges – university in a large city, a Catholic University, a college in a small college town, etc.
4. Start with schools that offer the best programs in their field of interest. Then narrow down by other factors: location, extracurricular activities, student support services, career opportunities, etc.
5. A big selling point that caught our attention was that DePaul offers a 3+2 program for students dedicated to getting their master’s degree. Students can start their graduate program while still taking classes for their bachelors degree.
6. Trust your kid’s judgment as they really know what they want or if not will figure it out and will pick the right school for them.
7. Take advantage of college visits and college nights in high school. We were so IMPRESSED with DePaul’s representative.
8. Financial aid and cost information can be confusing. Call and communicate for details especially about your situation. Don’t just accept what is posted on your bill; you can appeal for more after you receive your offer. DePaul gave my daughter an excellent scholarship compared to many other schools.
9. It is good to know if you feel welcomed and a part of the community. The culture of the school is critical. If you are not happy in your environment you are not going to learn or do your best. Seeing videos and talking to the students during tours was part of our research.
10. What is your child’s passion OUTSIDE of academics? Make sure that passion is involved in the decision process. This plays a big part in finding their “people” in college and can be their coping strategy when adjusting to college life