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Searching for Schools After the Swamp

By Claudia Witcher

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As the seniors prepare to go off to college, the juniors are ready to assume their role.  Along with their new power and seniority also comes the college search.  This years juniors will begin or continue the hunt for somewhere to go after high school.  It is a big deal as they will be spending four of their best years there.

There is a lot to consider when you are selecting a college.  One of the most important things about finding a college is finding one that suits the person you are.  If you are an athlete, what division is your sport?  If you love biology and chemistry, how is the science department there?  Do they have a band or choir?  Even things like how far is the nearest grocery store?  It might seem like an unimportant aspect now, but when you are up late studying and get hungry you might be desperate for a close Kroger or Walmart.  Another thing to prioritize in your college search is the cost of the school.  You no longer are required to go to school which means it is now up to you to pay for it.  When you go to college you are there on your own accord, so if you don’t put forth effort it is your money you’re wasting.  That being said, the schools can be very pricey.  To make sure you get to go to the college of your choice, be cost-aware in your search.  Look for available scholarships that would help cover the cost.  If you plan to go in-state and received good grades in high school, you will also have the help of your KEES money.

While you have qualifications for college, they also have some for you.  You have to submit applications that include things like your grades and extracurriculars from high school.  It is suggested students apply to many different schools so you are guaranteed to get it one.  Different schools have different acceptance rates which is also something you will have to look at in the college search process.

When you are a junior in high school you are given two excused absences to tour colleges.  You are also given two your senior year.  This gives students the opportunity to get the college experience, even if it is just for an afternoon.  Junior Ali Zia has done his fair share of college visits, already having seen Vanderbilt(Nashville, Tennessee), University of Kentucky(Lexington, Kentucky), University of Louisville(Louisville, Kentucky), and University of Massachusetts(Boston, Massachusetts).  Zia knew before he went that his college of choice was the University of Massachusetts, but getting to experience the campus really solidified it.  He liked the fact that UMass was in the middle of everything and it did not resemble a normal city campus.  “I recommend college tours so you can get a feel of the environment,” Ali said.

Whether you’ve been on many visits or none at all, you should consider the option.  College tours give you an inside look on what the next four years could be for you.  

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Searching for Schools After the Swamp