Finding Your College Fit

We understand that choosing the right college is a critical decision, and “Finding Your College Fit” aims to provide valuable insights and guidance for this important journey. In this webinar, you can expect to: – Discover Your Priorities: Understand how to identify your academic, personal, and career goals to shape your college search. – Exploring College Types: Explore the various types of colleges, from liberal arts institutions to research universities, and learn which one aligns best with your ambitions. – Narrowing Your Choices: Gain strategies for narrowing down your college options based on factors such as location, size, and campus culture. – Financial Considerations: Get tips on managing the financial aspect of college selection, including scholarships, grants, and student loans. – Application Insights: Learn about the key components of college applications and how to present yourself effectively. – Campus Visits and Virtual Tours: Discover the significance of campus visits and virtual tours in making informed decisions. – Q&A Session: Have your questions answered by admissions expert Chino Eke in the field of college admissions. Don’t miss this opportunity to gain a clearer understanding of the college selection process and find the best fit for your future. Join us for the “Finding Your College Fit” webinar and make a confident choice for your academic journey.

Date 11/02/2023
Duration 51:44

Webinar Transcription

2023-11-02 – Finding Your College Fit

Lonnie: Hello, everyone. Welcome to CollegeAdvisor’s webinar, “Finding Your College Fit.” To orient everyone with the webinar timing, we’ll first begin with a presentation and then you’ll have the opportunity to ask your questions in a live Q& A. Um, just want to let everyone know if you are interested in downloading the handouts, you can do so by clicking on the handout tab and clicking on download before we jump into our presentation.

Let’s first meet our panelists.

Chino: Hi, everyone. My name is Chino. I am currently a post graduate at Yale. In my 2nd year, but I attended Princeton University class of 2022, where I studied neuroscience and minored in global health and policy and I’m excited to. Share my thoughts with you all today.

Lonnie: Nice. Thanks. So before we get into the presentation, let’s first get a sense of what grade you are in. So please respond to the poll. It allows us the opportunity to ensure that we’re speaking directly to our audience. Um, so let us know. And then Chino, you said you were doing, uh, what was it? A Pulse program? What’s that?

Chino: Yeah. So postgraduate program allows students the opportunity to Kind of do research, um, find a better, um, kind of like fit before applying to a graduate program. So I just recently Finished my medical school applications were in 2024. I’ll be attending who knows where, but I have some choices as of now. So it’s pretty great.

Lonnie: So you are going to be presenting to high school students today on like finding your college fit for undergrad, but you just recently went through kind of finding your college fit for med school, or you’re kind of going through that process now.

Chino: Yeah, it’s a little bit different, but it’s has a lot of similar components.

Lonnie: Great. Great. Okay. So going back to our poll, we have 38 percent of our audience are in the 10th grade, and then we have 25 percent 12th grade. We have a few 9th grade, 11th grade and other as well, but basically we have representation of all grade levels for our webinar. So with that, I will turn it over to you to share with us the process of finding your college fit.

Chino: Yeah. So the four principles of finding your college fit. Kind of entail a few key elements. Um, the first being knowing your numbers, so your GPA and your test scores are important, but they can help you contextualize, um, what types of schools you might be considering. Um, as a viable candidate, and obviously those don’t, um, mean, like, those aren’t everything, but they’re an important place to start from, um, building a smart college list.

We’ll get into what a smart college list entails a bit later, but that kind of incorporates. Schools that you might match with that have, um, pretty good test score and match with, um, including some reach and some safety schools. potentially your state school or other schools of that nature. Getting an early start, really, like you, most of you are doing today, um, informing yourself is really important.

Also, if you have the opportunity and the means to go visit some schools that you might be interested in or that you’ve heard about from your, um, college advisors or academic counselors, teachers and whatnot, it’s very important to do because it can help you understand The groups of people that you might be surrounded by at those institutions before you apply, and then the cost of college is very expensive, but it’s also an investment.

So being prepared for the cause, but also knowing what you might be interested in studying prior to applying is not definitive or necessary that, you know, absolutely and being open minded and having the ability to be flexible. can be exceptionally helpful, but having a general sense of what you want to get into before applying can also go a long way.

So, why is CollegeFit important? Well, there are a few components, again, here. The first being academically. So, for example, if you’re really interested in something like engineering, Where it might be a more technically savvy institution, you would potentially prefer to take classes that are focused on the physics and the math and the STEM courses, but if you are interested in having some combination of like the sciences, but also liberal arts, other institutions could be a great fit.

So knowing kind of, again, what you might be interested in studying, if you’re interested in having a more holistic approach to the education that you might receive in university, then Having a liberal arts education might be for you, but if you’re like, very technically savvy, and when you go into something like computer science, or some form of engineering, then going into a technological institute like Georgia Tech, those might be better.

Um, financial aid, um, the financial burden of college, like I mentioned right before, is exceptionally high, and having a general, um, understanding of that and how the financial aid process might play out is really important. And then the final component is the culture. And to be honest, if you don’t have the ability to understand the culture of the institution, and what I mean by that is going to visit the school, talking with people that have attended the school, um, reaching out to the community that the school, um, Mike’s to participate or a part of, then it can be very challenging for you to get a really good sense of what your experience at the institution might be like. So, those 3 components are really important for finding a fit.

Chino: Um, and then if you want to really ensure that you’re going to thrive in the environment. Um, and have, like, the best performance possible. I think it’s really important as well to consider what your peers who have recently applied and are currently attending certain institutions.

Um, they’re what their experiences might be like. So listening to webinars like this. Or going online and doing some research can really help contextualize your environment that you might be find yourself in and then can help you gauge whether or not it’s a right fit for you. So, the knowing your numbers component, like I mentioned earlier, is again, really important.

Every school will have a GPA/SAT/ACT kind of breakdown metric on their website. Um, they’re broken apart into quartiles in which you can find the mean being the 50 percent of students have X or, or, um, GPA, and that can help you kind of evaluate. What type of school you are applying to, um, understanding when and how it is possible to improve your numbers.

So if you find yourself like, um, it was mentioned that a few of you are, uh, freshmen and sophomores and some more others are juniors and we have a few seniors, but as you take every semester, it’s good to understand that we’re every semester of high school. It’s good to understand that. Each semester is kind of like a building block.

And even if you don’t have the best start to high school, if you show consistent growth. And you’re challenging yourself in classes, then you and your GPA is gradually improving. Um, then it is still a strong showing for schools when you’re applying. So a single number that is cumulative. While important is not necessarily everything.

Um, and then the final portion of this, I think I’ve mentioned a little bit. Is understanding the true cost of attendance versus, um, what the sticker prices. So a lot of schools, for example, like my own institution of exorbitantly high sticker prices in the upwards of 70 to 80,000 a year, which honestly is shocking.

It’s quite staggering. But if you dig into it a little bit more majority of the students, and you can find this more specifically on individual websites, like the school. Financial aid office will provide typically, um, the actual cost is more affordable, even though it’s still very expensive. A lot of students are on financial aid, at least at Princeton and other institutions like it.

And so. Looking for sources of funding, either by filling out the FAFSA or looking for external scholarships, um, instead of immediately deferring to loans, um, is a very important thing that you can get started looking into based on your background, your experiences, many people don’t fully utilize, um, their local community.

And if you’re part of, for example, a religious organization, or maybe a sports team. or some club that you participated in quite often, then you can possibly receive financial assistance from them. So also the alumni networks at these institutions tend to also be, if they’re in your area, they tend to also want to prop up often students that are interested in attending their university.

So those are all great sources of potential funding and can help make a long term investment, which is what college is. More affordable.

So, um, really beyond the whole, um, financial knowing your numbers, GPA, SAT score, ACT scores, there are what we call hard factors. Um, the thing that really makes you fall in love with the school. So I think what 1 thing that for me was very important is understanding who my future classmates might be and considering the learning environment I would be part of.

Having the ability to have a lot of different thoughts and opinions on campus really helped broaden my horizons and people of different backgrounds also provided me with information that was exceptionally useful. And I didn’t necessarily receive in a high school environment that. Are amongst people that I’ve known since I was five.

And so having that understanding of, you know, what factors about the school, whether it be, you really are interested in the sports teams that they have, you’re very, you know, fond of large sports schools, then it might be worthwhile considering, um, both academically rigorous, but also, you know, Um, schools that have a very, you know, successful sports team.

I think my school, while they were amazing in many things, didn’t really have that sports element, which I grew up with and kind of missed out on, but there were other things that made up for it. So I think having a general understanding of yourself and like this whole application process will just really be a giant period of reflection.

And it’s very important to start early. If you can journal. About individual experiences that might seem trivial to you today, but. On the long run, you can refer back to these experiences and they can help guide your personal statement. They can help guide your supplemental. Essays, and they can also help you get a better grasp of.

What you might be looking for in an institution. Academics are important, like I mentioned earlier, liberal arts institutions have. A breadth of academic opportunities where some, maybe more technical schools might not. And so really understanding, like, for example, if you’re considering, you know, pre medicine, like, you have a set number of courses that every medical school requires that you take and if you really want to have.

External courses to that very stem and rigorous course load, then it might be beneficial for you to find an institution that maybe has that as a major, or maybe has the opportunity for you to take integrated classes, like, for example, medical anthropology was a class that I took at Princeton that was both informative about the culture of.

You know, the world and the people that we treat potentially as medical practitioners, but it also, you know, fulfilled one of my requirements for being a doctor. The pre medical curriculum. Um, the social component is also very important because there tends to be a triangle that people ascribe to in college where you have academics, social and sleep and people say that if you can balance all three, it’s exceptional, but many often find themselves sacrificing one of those legs of the triangle.

So really making sure that you are able to interact with people that are. You know, both like minded, but also have diversity of thought. Um, they are, as long as there’s activities that you can participate that aren’t specifically just towards, as one might say, resume building, um, it’s very important. And so finding that balance at a school is really the main facet of, like, what draws on your heart.

Um, the location might be very important to if your family is a big consideration where you attend and you want to be able to, like, have access to them on the weekends or during the weekdays. That might be very important real estate affiliations, career opportunities. And I think. Those 2 are both exceptionally important to most individuals.

But most schools have a pretty robust alumni network that can provide. Career opportunities and career exploration abilities. So, yeah, and then just the overall feeling that you get from the people that are currently attending the institution, and you can really only do that by talking with others. Yeah, those are the heart factors, I would say.

And so, what really makes, you know, a good college fit is the combination of, you know, the head factors, which are how your test scores and your academic performance might pair with the heart factors that can really help make the learning experience both enjoyable and exceptionally informative. And then that combination, hopefully, will come together and lead to a successful graduation and a future career. So.

Lonnie: Okay, thank you so much for diving into those heart factors. We are going to do our second poll. We would like to know where you are in the college application process. So as we’re talking about finding your fit, let us know. Perhaps you haven’t started, but you know, even about part of being here in the webinar is you getting that, getting that start.

Um, maybe you’re researching schools. working on your essays, um, getting your application material together, or you could be almost done. So let’s see. I see some of the responses are coming in. All right. So we have 50 percent are currently researching schools, which is really great to hear. And then we have about 25 percent are almost done.

Congratulations. being almost done with those applications. And then we have 13 percent that are getting their application material together. But everyone that’s here has actually started, um, the college application process in some way. Um, okay, Chino, I’ll turn it back over to you to take us into how to build a smart college list.

Chino: Sure. Yeah. So a smart college list also congrats to everyone who started the process. That’s the first component of getting. Started early, but yeah, so let’s dive in a little bit to the smart college list, which kind of is, can be broken down in three steps. The first being knowing your numbers, long term career interest and goals.

And what you find potentially interesting in the school that you want to attend, and I mentioned this earlier, but, you know, again, harkening back to the standard metrics is really important, but it can also be useful for students to understand that the GPA is not everything, and it will be contextualized both in your performance at your school overall.

But also in the courses that you take, so taking often is recommended that you take the most rigorous courses and if you in your personal statement can really help provide context into your school environment, even if you might not have the best academic showing in terms of statistical values or numbers, you can really still succeed.

So knowing your numbers, but also your long term career interest, and I recognize that, you know, at your age, probably 17, 18 years old, um, it is hard for you to probably imagine knowing what you’re going to be doing 6, 8 years down the line, potentially, or 4 years after graduation. And for me, that was often a concern, but having the general interest in science that has evolved into medicine.

has really helped guide my decisions to study what I did. And so having that sense, even if you don’t know definitively, but just having a general goal in mind, like you feel like you want to see yourself in a specific environment, then that can really help orient you when you’re applying. Um, and then I think this leads into the type of school.

If 100 percent sure, that you need to, you know, pursue a really technically heavy, um, career, then a liberal arts education might be for you. And that allows you to get extreme breadth of information, but also exposure to a lot of different ways of thinking that can really help guide what your future career path will be.

Um, doing your research, and I think like this is the first step because it really informs you about hopefully. What might be important to look out for, but searching the web for, you know, the school’s, um, mission statement or their values, the types of students they like to attract, um, visiting campuses and potentially participating in summer programs.

If you have the opportunity, we’re fortunate enough to do so. Um, there are many summer programs that require costs and there are also those that are. open for applications and students who might not have the same means. So don’t let the concept of a summer program deter you from even searching for it in the first place.

And then, really, you know, inspired by what you are researching, hopefully you can refine your list. And we’ll get into this concept of likely, uh, Target and reach schools, um, in a moment. But that balance between your test scores, your interests, what the school’s stated mission is, is really important in helping contextualize and refine your list.

You want to have a good mix of schools that are You might not be as academically qualified as the next person to attend, but it doesn’t mean that it should completely deter you from applying because, as they say, and I think the metaphor that we’ll extend into is you miss all the shots you don’t take, so you have to take a shot.

A likely target and reach school. Stat wise, this kind of refers back to Um, the quartile that I was mentioning earlier with the GPA and your test scores. So a likely school is typically defined by 75 percent or more of the students that you, in terms of your test scores, um, that apply are likely to be admitted.

And a way that you can kind of gauge this without knowing the exact number of admitted and matriculated students is by looking at the quartile breakdown. So if you see that your test scores. Put you in the third quartile for that school, then you are that school should be considered a likely for you. A target school would put you in the middle quartile, um, where you are, it’s possible that you might, you know, it’s a 50/50 shot might be rejected.

You might be accepted, but then I think really what it comes down to in the target and the reach categories, both are how you contextualize and frame your character. Because the courses that you take, the extracurriculars that you participate in, and your test scores can only provide snapshots into your life.

But the person behind the application is arguably the most important part in my mind. And I think that stands true for a lot of people who participate in admissions counseling and also admissions decisions. And really, the best advice that I’ve ever heard. Was a college is trying to create a class that is reflective of the larger, um, country or student body that they typically attract.

And so you want to make sure that you as an individual are sharing the aspects of who you are. Through your essays specifically, because that is the only glimpse into the person. Or the character that you really are that we can receive. So this is the general outline for. You know what we aim to have and you want to try to have if you’re applying to say nine schools, you want to try to have a third of them likely a third of them target and a third of them reach by the 1244 for a good balance is great.

So, yeah, I think I just mentioned this, but balance is really key. Um, on average, we recommend that you apply to between 9 and 12 schools. And while it is true that the application fees are not minimal or not nominal. Um, It can be daunting specifically, but if you qualify for financial aid through FAFSA, there are ways to have fee waiver for applications to certain schools.

And even if you don’t qualify, and you’re like, we think that you might need financial assistance. A little known fact that is arguably very useful is you can reach out to individual schools, explain your financial situation, and ask for the application fee to be waived. And often, it’s not always guaranteed, but often schools will do so.

So don’t let the number of schools just by the cost deter you, but really getting an early start, making sure you’re thinking about what you might want to share about yourself. Um, I tend to tell my students that an individual story goes a lot further than a, um, kind of bibliography or a journal of their life.

And so if you can really encapsulate both your emotional essence and then who you are as a person and your characteristics into a very simple story that conveys a lot of information, um, the reader or the admissions counselor or admissions director might shine their light more favorably on your application.

So, again, apply to as many schools as you financially and feasibly can, but at the same token while you’re doing so make sure that your schools that you’re choosing to apply to. Are not all breaches, they’re not all likelies, but we have a good plan to reach likely and target schools.

And then, how does a student know if the school is reach target or likely? And I think again, this is just going back to your test scores matter, but they’re not everything. Um, there’s a great resource as you see on the screen, the college scorecard. ee. gov Um, it provides a lot of statistical breakdowns for both the cost, the admissions rates, kind of like the quartile.

It’s compendium with the quartile rankings that I mentioned that are on individual college websites, but also the fields of study that most students at those institutions tend to lean towards. So, at my school, there is a pretty unique. large breadth of majors, but we have an exceptional School of International and Public Policy.

And so there is a significant proportion of students that attend this via school, and there are also a significant proportion of students that do computer science. And we have a great applied math program, but Or a theoretical math program, but not as well as applied math. So I think like, like having access to the types of fields that students tend to go into from an institution might help you gauge where you fall if you know what you’re generally interested in and then reviewing the mission statement, the location of non academic factors when you’re considering your list is very important.

Um, like I mentioned earlier, if you have the chance or if you know, someone that has attended college recently is currently going to school that you might be interested in having a brief coffee chat or a conversation or phone call is exceptionally useful because they can help. You both understand why they chose the school that they’re attending, but also maybe give you some insight that they have acquired from other schools that they applied to.

So speaking with your peers, um, your mentors and friends, um, and then also not being afraid to reach out and reach out to the admissions office and see if they can put you in contact with current students. Many schools will do that. During COVID, many schools filmed tour guides virtually of their campus.

So taking advantage of those types of resources is exceptionally useful.

So why is it important to connect with current students at your desired college? Um, well, beyond what I just said, making connections with people at the schools that you attend to, um, apply to, if you end up attending one of those schools, you might have a person that can help guide you in more detailed ways, especially if you are a first generation college student or someone that has not had affiliations with that university that you’re going to attend.

Um, so it can ensure that you basically thrive, thrive with the institution, but additionally, it can help provide insight into what those hard factors that we mentioned earlier are, Um, and they can be a great source of information generally for the application process and helping you walk through each hurdle that this very long and protracted process will be.

And then what was my experience at Princeton? Um, I think 2 things that really kind of shaped, um, my experience were the price and the people. I applied early, uh, restrictive early action. So there are kind of 3 ways that you can apply. Um, early decision, which is a legally binding application that typically happens with early decision 1, which happens.

The same time as early action, restrictive early action, which the deadline recently just passed, um. Last Tuesday night, November 1st, um, where you apply typically in a smaller cohort of individuals and your application is considered. amongst that group and a certain proportion of seats for an institution are safeguarded for those students that demonstrate basically that they’re interested in attending the school.

You have both restricted early action, which basically states, depending on the school, but for Princeton, it states that you will only apply to this private institution and no others. But you can apply to public institutions if you would like in your state or region. And then there is just regular early action, which just says You have your materials ready, you want to apply in a smaller cohort, you believe you’re competitive for these institutions, and you have a good grasp on what you want to do.

And so you might be able to apply by this November 1st deadline, but I applied restricted early action to Princeton because I knew that the school was something I would like to be a part of. I had visited during my sophomore year and out of all the schools that I visited, Princeton was both. the most serene, but also, um, the most kind of genuine in terms of people.

And so when I was accepted, I saw how low the price was after I had received Pell grants and also, um, scholarships from the institution. And that was the main reason or the main impetus for me deciding to attend. But I think again, visiting the schools that I did my, I’m from the Midwest and my East Coast tour, which I was a great excuse to get to travel, um, with your parents and your siblings, if you have any, but, um, that experience really helped guide me in terms of what institutions I really was considering.

And then some additional factors that I’ll briefly mention. Our location, again, being close to family wasn’t exceptionally as important as it was for my younger brother who attended the University of Michigan, um, but the opportunity to both, the opportunities for both academic and extracurricular, um, experiences were really important to me.

And so Having the ability to have a fully funded summer internship in Europe, Africa, Asia, or South America, continents that I had never been to prior to undergrad, um, was really meaningful and fun. formative, but also having the opportunity to pursue research and, you know, kind of garner the skills that are necessary to be a competitive applicant to those medical programs and higher, um, fields of learning, um, was really important to me.

And then I think the, the final and most important thing that really helped me Kind of contextualize my outlook on life and largely my ability to really relate to others was the representation of background thought on campus. I had many friends in my high school career that were my high school and my hometown was relatively homogenous and the ability to meet people and interact with people from different countries and different ideologies was exceptionally important and really helped.

form who I am today. And so I think that’s compilation of things was kind of why Princeton was a perfect fit for me. But there were many other schools that were very enticing. And I’m not here to say that one school might check all the boxes, there’s always going to be something that the school can do better at.

But largely, I think the people really made the place. So That’s why I chose Princeton. And then just some last advice. You all are already here, so you’re getting an early start. But again, even if you’re a freshman or a sophomore, do not hesitate to write down your experiences. It could be as simple as going on a walk and seeing someone, um, interacting with someone else, and that really motivating you to want to pursue something.

Um. I think this, both this process when I was applying to college and the process since that I’ve recently completed applying to medical school really kind of pulls at who you are and makes you really reflect if you’re doing it properly and having the ability to access, um, both very detailed memories and experiences from your past can really help inform your decision making.

Approach to apply. And so getting started early is really important. Um, during that process, if you’re actively trying to, you know, record and recall, um, through journaling, which is one great way I find, um, if you are able to get to know yourself and what’s important to you, um, that’s really important because without having any form of guidance of who you are and what you want to do, the investment that college is, um, I become less tenable, you might end up finding yourself spending additional time at an institution that both cost a lot of money, but also is, um, less guided than high school.

Um, in a lot of ways, people and students for better for worse are coddled in high school. You are able to kind of Have things presented to you, and then your choice is not made for yourself, but it’s kind of directed. So, in college, you have such a breadth of opportunities. There’s 100 percent too much to do.

If you want to be involved in something, you can be involved in it. And if there’s not something that exists, you have the capacity to do it. It’s training you for both a life of higher learning, potentially, um, a career, but also to help you develop into a well formed adult. And so that combination of things, if you’re not sure about what is important to you and who you are.

It might be very difficult. Um, and then the final thing I’ll leave you with is if you don’t know what your college list currently is, it doesn’t have to stay the same. It doesn’t have to be static as you experience more, um, about the university system and about education as a whole. It’s okay for a total, and it doesn’t need to be a specific number, um, until you’re really considering.

Sending off those application deposits and, um, writing this up. So,

Lonnie: okay. Thank you so much for this really informative presentation. Um, and also sharing your own experience that you took when it came to you finding your, your college fit and helping you also really make your college decision. Um, so this is now the end of the presentation part of our webinar. Um, just a reminder, you can download the slides from the link in the handouts tab.

And now we’re going to move on to our live Q& A. I will read through the questions that you submit in the Q& A tab and I’ll paste them in the public chat so that you can see and then read them out loud before our panelists gives you an answer. As a heads up, if your Q& A tab isn’t letting you submit questions, Just double check that you joined the webinar through the custom link in your email and not the webinar landing page.

Okay, so we’re gonna move into our first question and it reads, what is the best way to see how the campus and environment of a college is like if I can’t go visit on a tour?

Chino: So I think there’s a few ways you can do this. The first, like I mentioned, because of the pandemic, a lot of schools. Have recorded virtual tours.

And so we’ll look into that might be exceptionally useful because even though it’s not as organic, you can still get a good sense of. I can’t this is like potentially. Additionally, um, if you are able to reach out to students, um, easy way to find people that have alumnus of an institution or might be current students is using LinkedIn.

I know it’s a little bit. By searching the school on the platform, you are likely to come across a lot of people that have attended currently attending and not being shy and reaching out. Um, in life, I find generally is very useful, but also, um, can help you connect with people that you might find as your colleagues in the future.

Um, and your peers at the institution, so that could help provide you with, I guess, insight into, you know, the school if you’re not able to attend in person.

Lonnie: Okay, um, thank you. Our next question reads, um, can you help me understand better on national versus regional colleges and what are the pros and cons?

Chino: Sure, so understanding the question correctly, I would consider a regional college something that might be near your hometown or something that is in close proximity to where your family is. lives. A good example of this is a state college. So my home state of Indiana, um, a regional college might be Indiana University or Purdue University.

But a national school might be something that both draws on a large proportion of its students from every state, um, or it might draw on a large proportion of the students from the international community. So schools that are preferential towards a specific region, maybe like the Midwest. Um, as Indiana is, um, might be considered for regional and national might be, uh, something that pulls from a lot of places. I think there was a question.

Lonnie: Yes, it says, what are some of the pros and cons?

Chino: Yeah, so I mean, if you are an individual who wants to enjoy, or better said, an individual who enjoys, um, your local community and the environment that you grew up in, a regional college might be a great option. But if you’re someone who has had the experience that you’ve grown up and you want to learn more about the world potentially and have a different experience, then applying to more national schools might be better.

But I think it’s really important to contextualize based on the individual school and not just if it’s considered something in the regional institution.

Lonnie: All righty. The next question is, how can I improve my chances of getting into college?

Chino: So I think this question, while while intended might be a little bit, um, deceptive, I don’t think there’s any one thing an individual should try to do. Or can do to improve their chances, except being genuine about what you’re interested in.

And that takes a lot of self reflection, but if you are an individual who wants to quote unquote pack your resume, it can come across in your application as very disingenuous when you’re trying to explain why you did an assortment of activities. Another I recommend for my students and what I did myself was try to find what I was passionate about, While it can be hard, it’s worth, while you’re early in your high school career, trying a lot of things.

Hopefully, you’ll land on something that you’re really interested in. And you can kind of fiddle around the extracurriculars or the activities that you’re participating in, kind of around that, and try to help shape who you are around the activities that you find passionate, you find yourself passionate about.

And if you do that, and you’re really passionate about something, it will come across in your essays, it will come across in your application, in your activities. And so that can help you really succeed and stand out as an individual rather than just a bunch of cool stuff.

Lonnie: Okay, this question it reads, Is it better to attend a private or public college slash university?

Chino: I think both have their pros and cons. Um, public institutions, while many are exceptionally, you know, well funded, they can have potentially larger classes and have a larger breadth of individuals who Are attending schools for various reasons, and that can provide you with a lot of opportunities, but one of the falls to potentially having a larger class size is if you’re not 100 percent sure of what you want to do, then be a lot more challenging for you to find an individual one on one mentorship and guidance.

Well, if you know what you want to do, and you have a good sense of how to navigate the process and found a mentor, then you can potentially be exceptionally successful, um, at attending a public institution, which tend to be cheaper for in state students. I think for out of state students, they’re pretty comparable to most private institutions, unfortunately.

But that those are some of the benefits of a public institution that I can see private institutions. Um, while more expensive, often tend to have more class size, tend to have more funding. Um, while this is not always the case, it is the general quota and they also tend to have, um, I guess a more narrowed, uh, student body that itself selects depending on the school.

There can be maybe less diversity in a public institution. Some might have more, so it kind of just depends on the school. Okay,

Lonnie: so we’re going to take a short pause for me to share more about the work that we do within college advisor. So, for those in the room who aren’t already working with us, we know how overwhelming the admission process can be, especially for competitive applicants like yourselves.

Our team of over 300 former admission officers and admission experts are ready to help you and your family navigate it all in one on one advising sessions. Take the next step in your college admission journey by signing up for a free consultation using the QR code on the screen. During the QR, during the consultation, a member of our team will review your current extracurricular list, discuss how it lines up with your college goals, and help you find opportunities for growth and leadership.

After scanning the QR code, you will be able to select a date and time. For a phone conversation with a member of our team. Okay, so we have, um, another question. Um, and it says, when do we start applying for scholarships?

Chino: Yeah, so I think, and Monty’s trying to admit I’m incorrect, but I think most of the scholarships are typically geared towards rising seniors, um, and individuals who are currently applying to college.

Thank you, Monty. While it’s never too early to start looking out for things, um, I know, for example, I sit on the committee for the Princeton Prize, which is a national, um, award that’s by, driven by county, and students can apply to that as early as their sophomore year. So there are institutions specific, um, the Princeton Prize is not specific to Princeton, um, you can apply and it is a thousand dollars towards any institution that you put your hands in.

But if you’re awarded it, um, I know that most of the scholarships tend to be geared towards rising seniors. So, having an eye out is great, but you might not.

Lonnie: Yeah, absolutely. I agree. You know, you can get the early start, um, your junior year, just getting a sense of some of those, uh, national competitive scholarships and you know what they may be requiring, um, so that once you get into the season where you can apply, then you have a good sense of what the application may entail.

It can help you also with, you know, Prioritizing your timeline so that you can be able to get done with your applications and also making sure that you carve out the much needed time to fill out your applications, your scholarship applications. That is, but generally you start applying to your scholarships.

And your senior year. Okay, so our next question is, Reese, is it best to attend a top school if capable?

Chino: So, I’ll circle back to kind of something I said earlier. Um, it’s the people that make the place for me, at least. And so, whether that be your peers, whether it be the professors. That you’re going to learn from whether that be the administration who is able and open to listening to the student body concerns.

Um, I think that’s probably the most important because these individuals will be part of you for hopefully the remainder of your life. Um, for example, my alumni network and a lot of top institutions tend to be exceptionally robust. And that’s one of the main draws for many students that apply to these schools, in addition to the exceptional funding opportunities.

And so if you are capable and fortunate enough to get accepted into an institution, it is highly worth considering attending. But at the same token, I do not think that there is a one size fits all, um, for, you know, going to a top school just because of the name.

That’s it. It’s, you’d be remiss to just attend because, oh, you got into like a top 20 or top 10 school, even if maybe another school is a way better fit for you because of who you are and who you see yourself becoming.

So, again, self reflection is really important, spending the time to get to know yourself and being able to apply that while you’re making your considerations for the institutions that you might consider is probably the most important thing.

Lonnie: Yeah, yeah. Um, okay. And this question reads, um, is it going to be difficult to manage academics in college if I get, if I get admitted to a REACH college?

Chino: So I think one thing that was challenging for me from personal experience, and I can talk about my peers as well if you want, um, was that while I had the academics, From my high school, my high school might not have been the same caliber, quote unquote, as a different school that my peers had attended. So for example, I went to a Catholic high school in Indiana, but Some of my peers went to these boarding schools that prepared them with college level courses, and throughout their freshman and sophomore years of college, they were very easy to, you know, acclimate, and they performed exceptionally well.

My freshman year, I did not perform as well as I intended, and over my freshman and sophomore year, I had an upward trajectory that really showed growth. Bye. It wasn’t, you know, as well as I kind of appreciated. And so you really do, if you’re diligent, rise to the occasion. And while it might feel overwhelming at first, just know that a lot of your peers are also going through something comparable to you.

And the whole point of being in an environment like that is you hopefully will be able to lean into your classmates, make those really deep and meaningful connections with them. And then from there. grow together and learn more about the world and about yourself in the process and hopefully some topic that you’re interested in.

Yes, it will be challenging, but also I think Everyone is capable. They’re diligent.

Lonnie: Absolutely. Absolutely. All righty. So with that, that brought us to our final question for the webinar. So, thank you, Chino for this great presentation again around filing, finding your college fit and definitely, you know, wishing you the best as you continue to lean towards your decision, you know, for medical school.

Thank you. Yeah. And then for our audience, just want to share with you all that we have a good number of webinars that are coming up for this month, uh, ranging from, you know, speaking about the A. C. T. and the S. A. T. to also some school specific, uh, SAT Workshops. So you don’t want to miss out on this, and this is also, you know, for the SAT Workshops, you don’t have to be in the twelfth grade. Um, so why not get an early start with getting a sense of. You know what to plan for ahead. Um, so with that, everyone, thank you so much for your time and Chino. Thank you again. And that now concludes our webinar. Bye.