Your status as a junior is quickly coming to an end, which means you're so close to saying sayonara to high school and hello to higher ed! But first, you have to actually find that one perfect college that's right for you. With hundreds of great options to choose from, it's not an easy task but it can certainly be a fun one. Here are some tips to help you construct your college list as you wrap up junior year and become a senior.
1. Attend college fairs. When it comes to learning about a bunch of schools all at once, it doesn't get any easier than roaming a college fair. With admissions counselors from various schools eager to speak to students, this is prime time to ask questions and collect materials that you can dive into at home. Ask your school counselor if he or she knows of any in the area, then take a look at these must-know tips for attending fairs.
2. Plan campus visits. Pictures can only help so much when you're trying to visualize yourself at a certain college. The best way to get a feel for any school? Visit! Check out these five things to look for on visits and start scheduling your trips today. Whether you start with just a quick tour or a planned event, like an Open House, you'll no doubt get closer to narrowing down your list.
3. Request information. Whenever you Google a school or even a specific program at that school, look for any opportunities on their websites to sign up for more information. From printed materials to emails, you'll start receiving details that you might not get from just looking at their sites and get closer to knowing which schools you'd love to attend.
4. Consider your intended program. If you happen to know what you want to study in school—say, political science—ask your teachers, school counselor and any family friends you have in that field if they have any recommendations for schools. From there, you can factor in your other preferences, like size or location. Undecided at this point? Consider that a program, too! At least at Siena it is; we call it exploring (learn more now).
5. Keep an open mind. Along the way, a relative might suggest you research a school in your hometown that you immediately crossed off because you were hoping to move away. Or, a teacher may recommend a school she thinks you'd love that you had never even heard of. Whenever something like this happens, our best advice is to keep an open mind and take a closer look. You might be surprised to learn that the school you grew up near is actually perfect for you, or turns out, you feel more comfortable on a smaller campus than a bigger one, contrary to what you thought.
One last tip: enjoy the process. This is one of the most exciting times in high school, exploring your options for where you'll spend your next four years. Have fun!