Finding Your College Fit
Senior Advisor, Alana Herbert, shares her insider knowledge on how to find the right colleges for you.
2022-01-25 Finding Your College Fit
[00:00:00] Hi, everyone. Welcome to CollegeAdvisor’s webinar, finding your college fit to orient everyone with the webinar timing, we’ll start off with a presentation, then answer your questions in the live Q and a on the sidebar. You can download our slides and you can start submitting your questions in the Q and a tab.
Now let’s meet our panelists.
Hello everyone. My name is Alana Herbert. I went to UC Irvine. I studied in urban studies and business management. And for the past 10 years I’ve been working and supporting students as a senior advisor to help them on their path to college. And I’m so excited to give today’s webinar on finding your college fit.
Okay. So before we get into our presentation portion of our webinar, we want to first get a sense of who is in the webinar space. So our first poll for this evening is what great. Are you in, [00:01:00] so Alana, tell us a little bit about your major. What made you decide on your. Yes. So I actually was one of those students who was undecided.
I just had a lot of interests when I was in high school in 12th grade. And I just remember like, and being sure. So after my first semester, after taking like classes, some business classes, I took some psychology classes. I just kind of fell in love with, um, people. And so from that made me really look into like urban studies.
At first, I thought that it was going to be all about just learning about cities, but I learned that from like my time and just taking more and more classes, that it was really diverse and it connected to a lot of the experience I had like living in Los Angeles. So it was one of those things that it just came with time.
And I learned, um, that it was really a good fit after I got into some of my classes. So you don’t have to know right away what major you want to do, but it was still good for me to connect [00:02:00] those, those topics together. Nice. Thank you so much for sharing. Um, so as far as who is what grade our participants are in, we have about 61% is in the 11th grade followed by that 20%, 10th grade, 14% is in the 12th grade.
And then about 5% is in the ninth grade. And then we have 1% of other, okay. So I’ll turn it over to you, Alana. Great. I’m so excited to see that we have a Verace variety of different people from different grade levels. That’s great because this information will apply to all grade levels. So that’s really great that you’re getting an early start and willing to know really hot.
What makes the process of finding your college fit? So I like to say there’s like four principles to really understand your true college fit. And I’m gonna be talking about these four principles throughout this webinar, but the first one you have to know is know your numbers. Know your numbers is really, really simple.
[00:03:00] Second, you have to build a smart wish college list. So it’s not just about having schools and the number of schools, but you want to be able to have a connection with those schools. So I’ll break down what it means to have a smart college list. Three. You want to get an early start. So starting today, like coming to this webinar, joining you’re doing that.
So that’s great. Continue to leverage that time is on your side. And then for you definitely want to prepare for the cost of college. College is an investment in your future. So you definitely want to think about the price and have this serious conversations with your S your, at your family and advisors to pick the right fit college for you.
So why is having a college fit in so important? It’s truly important because attending college it’s matters because it’s has to be a good fit based on your academic. Financially and culturally, um, having a good fit college is what’s makes you [00:04:00] sustain in college, right? It’s what makes you thrive in college?
It’s what makes, um, college not feel less stress, like not as stressful. It makes for you to be in an environment where you’re able to perform better and overall have a great experience right now in high school, you’re doing a lot to prepare for college. And apply to college, but we have to think about the end goal, right?
The end goal is to actually graduate from school, right? And so in order to graduate, you have to feel connected to that campus and that university, the surroundings, the, the professors, the students. So that’s why it’s important to take the time to really fill out what is your college fit. And the best thing about college fit is it’s so individualized, your college fit is different from your friends may be different from your, your siblings, your parents, because we all are unique.
And we all have our own experience and we want to have a certain experience on college. So it’s definitely [00:05:00] important to have a fit, a college list that fits your needs. So part of that, how do you really get to a college to have your fit? Right. Remember back to one of those principles, you have to like, know your numbers.
And really when I say know your numbers, that means, know your GPA, know your test scores. These are important because these have a large factor into the type of colleges you can get to. So it’s important to understand what your numbers are. So you know how that affects like your lists moving forward. And if there’s ways where you can continue.
I heard in the poll, we have some ninth and 10th graders and even 11th graders. There’s still time to improve your GPA. Take more practicing. So definitely know your numbers each semester, while you’re in school, that’s really important. The next thing is the money numbers, right? The financial numbers, you really want to know, what’s your true cost of attendance.[00:06:00]
There’s different prices for in-state schools out of state schools out the country. So you really want to know is a school affordable for you and your family. So that’s what it means by knowing your numbers. So don’t forget one, know your, your GPA, your grade point average to know your test scores and three, know your, the financial cost to the college.
Next is what I say is the, the meat, the heart of knowing why you want to have the college you want to go to, this is the heart factors, right? These are the things that make you want to fall in love with the college. This could be for academics. It could be the major. It could be the classroom size. It could be the academic resources.
Sometimes it’s social things, right? It could be the student activities. It could be the diversity weekend activities. Some campuses are really busy and they have [00:07:00] a lot of things and some are a little bit slower and they kind of slowed down on the weekends. That’s important. You have to know what matters to you.
Other things that you want to prioritize might be the location. Some students want to be really close to home. Some want to go far away, sometimes different. Uh, factors or influences are important. They want that in the school or they don’t. So definitely think about these factors. Think about career. Does this school even have the major to help you get into the career you want to go to, uh, does this have the resources?
Do they have a career center? Um, do they have a network? Do they have alumni support? Do they have a place where you could do internships and overall you feeling and vibe, right. That’s really important. Are you connected to the school? Right? Cause that’s gonna make you on hard days when you have papers and midterms, that’s going to keep you connected to wanting to stay in [00:08:00] that school and do well because you’re experiencing all those wonderful things for the academic and social preferences that you have.
And when we think about what makes a really good fit college, It’s like two things come together. I like to say it’s when science and art come together, it’s when those have factors, you know, knowing your numbers, knowing your GPA, knowing your test score, knowing the cost of that college, plus your heart factors, those things it’s going to make you fall in love the academics, the social, the sports, um, the sorority Greek life.
Those two things come together. That’s what makes you right. Graduate from school. That’s what’s going to make you happy to be in that environment. That’s why it’s so important to do, do, do research and find out what those factors, those heart factors mean to you because there’ll be different for each and every.[00:09:00]
So remember when I said there was those four principles, right? Knowing your numbers, the second ones was to have a smart wishlist. So what does that mean to how, how do you have a smart wishlist? How do you build a smart list? First? You want to be grounded in your own interests, right? You want to know? I like to snow.
I like to ski. I want to be in a school that has snow, and I want to be able to ski that is very important to your individual interests. Right? That’s an example. You want it to be reflective of your, your GPA and sat scores. That’s why it’s so important to know your numbers because are you even eligible to apply to that school based on your GPA?
Um, are you, are, are, are you able to qualify for scholarships? Do you meet the minimum GPA for scholarships? Are your test scores and range? Students who also have been admitted from previous years, um, to that campus. [00:10:00] That’s why that’s what makes it so a smart wishlist, because it’s grounded in both, it’s grounded in those head factors and it’s grounded in those heart factors.
So the steps you want to take, right. It’s continue to know your numbers, but think, long-term think about what are your career goals? What are your interests? Um, what type of college are you interested in? Do you want us to answer a question? Do you want to be in a research environment? Do you want to be in a liberal arts environment where you get to learn a little bit of everything?
Do you want to be in a historically black college university? Like those are things that you have to consider what’s best for you to. Really start your research right through exposing yourself to what these different colleges are through web search, through videos, campus visits, uh, summer programs. I heard we have some 10th and 11th graders, um, in the, in the, in the webinar, which is great.
Those are great opportunities for you to actually stay on campus or do a virtual [00:11:00] program where you get to learn about that campus or university or that, that major or career fair that you’re interested in. So definitely explore. Explore is like the key thing to do. Cause that’s kind of like how, you know, what you want to do and also what you don’t want to do.
Sometimes there’s power in knowing what you don’t like as well. So continue to explore, um, your different options. The next three, you really want to be inspired by your research as you’re finding things. Do you see something about that university? Do you like the fact that new NYU is in the heart of New York and maybe you always dreamed of, you know, living in New York city, that’s important.
You know, those are things that’s going to make you connected to, to learning more about NYU. And if it’s a good fit for you, this is a process. Um, building your smart wishlist and your college list doesn’t happen overnight. So I definitely want you to realize that that’s why getting an early start [00:12:00] is so important, right?
Because you’re going to make changes. As you have experiences, you might think that you want to go into one major as you go do a program in that major, you might totally change your mind. That’s fine. Life is all about change, having flexibility. So you want that flexibility in your, your list as well. And really the goal ultimately for your smart lists is to be balanced and balanced with likely target and reach schools.
And I’ll go in more into depth. What exactly does likely and target and reach schools?
So again, what are likely and target reach schools. And basically this is an individual way to see if a school, um, if it’s a likely school, if you are most likely to get admitted into that campus, it means that you have a 75% chance of getting admitted. I like to, I like basketball. So I like to think about LeBron James, right?
He’s a popular basketball player. And [00:13:00] when we know about LeBron, James is when he goes up to dunk. He a 99% of the time makes it right. It’s like a dunk. So every time LeBron takes a dunk, that’s like a likely school. So when you look at your numbers and your GPA and you look, and you look at that individual school, if it’s like a 75%, if your GPA, your test scores are over those averages, then that’s a good score to indicate that that might be a likely.
Right. And each person will have a unique likely and target and reach school because every person has a unique GPA and test scores. So that’s why it’s so important to have your own balance lists right next, this target, right? It’s those 50 50 schools. Uh, those are schools that we could say that 50% that students might get admitted.
So it’s kind of up in the air. If you know, LeBron James, when he goes to the free throw line, sometimes it goes in and sometimes it doesn’t right. It’s we don’t know when he’s [00:14:00] going to make those big shots at the free throw line and when he’s not right. Um, then you have your reach schools and that’s just like, you know, you just reach in, it might mean you have less than 30%, but of getting admitted, but you still want to push yourself.
To apply to these schools. And sometimes these schools could just be really, really popular. I always like to give the example of UCLA that’s the most apply to campus in the world. Right? So if your GPA is hitting the minimum or you are valedictorian at your school, it’s still gonna to reach, be a reach because they have so many applicants and not enough space.
So just the chances aren’t going to be less than 30%. And that’s why we would consider it a reach school. And it’s kind of like a, you know, a three-pointer right. Those are like the hardest shots to make in basketball. So kind of think about those analogies. Think about like the schools that you’re looking in and make sure like whatever, the amount of numbers, your scores you apply to there’s some balance between likely and [00:15:00] target and reach schools.
So how many reach schools and target and likely school should I apply to? If you’re a student it’s always like really balances kids. So the number you should apply to, I always say it’s really up to the student and the families, but I always say minimum, you should just, you should score for nine to 12 because you’re thinking about, we think about balance.
We thinking about nine schools, then you will have three likely schools. You’re applying to three target schools. You’re applying to in three reach schools. And the ultimate reason why this is about the balance is so important because. Everything is not guaranteed in the college admissions decision. So you want to give yourself options.
You wouldn’t want to put all your eggs in one basket by applying to like one school. Right? So definitely you want to have a list that’s grounded in having a lot of schools at first, and then as you get [00:16:00] sure, what your preference are, what you’re looking for, then now less will probably get smaller and smaller, but definitely you want to keep it at around nine to nine to 12 minimum
and well, you might be thinking like, okay, a lot of you had told me great things about like likely. And reach schools. How do I know if a school is a target? I likely reach school for me. Well, definitely it’s in your, in your research, you will find that every college will share just average GPA’s and average test scores on their website.
Also, if you’re, if you’re after school, sometimes they have Naviance. We’ll also have this data point as well as college board.com, which hosts art. The sat also has this data points on these different schools. Um, if, again, if your test scores and GPA is above, like the averages, you can kind of approximate that that’s basically a likely school.
If it’s [00:17:00] within pretty much a target school. And then if your test scores or GPA or below. Pretty much say that that’s a reach school. Um, there’s a great resource called college score.ed.gov. This is a national government website that just has a lot of great resources and data points on just different colleges.
Um, the cost of the school, their mission results, their first salaries. So anything that you want to know about a college, that website will definitely have it. So I definitely suggest you write that down. You get that, that do your restart some of your research on that. Website’s a great resource to have.
And so definitely. Why is it important to connect with the current college students at your desire colleges? You’re looking for one that’s going to help you make connections at that college and university. What better way to know what that school is like is talk to students that [00:18:00] are in your ma in your potential major.
You’re interested in, um, the potentials like school that’s potential dorm. You’re looking at that’s really important, or even if they graduated, um, that’s really key. So definitely, uh, do your D make those connections and talk to people and alumni and talk to students at that campus. That’s basically you’re learning from the source, right?
You’re getting the information straight from someone who’s experienced that as well. This will actually help you identify some of those heart factors. We talked about. Um, sometimes you could get on the website and you, you, you see a lot of great things. And then when you talk to a student and they share like, wow, this school maybe gets cold during the winter time as someone I’m from Los Angeles, I’m from California.
I’ve experienced. No. So I don’t know if that is, whether it really important is that important to my, my mood. Yeah. Like I like being in [00:19:00] a nice warm environment. So that experience is different than someone who maybe wants to go to the east coast and experience that. So definitely talk to someone and know talking to students.
We’ll let you know, um, if that is a good fit for you and you just can learn more from them and ask them questions as well. So definitely connect with school students at mission reps, as many people as you can at that college, you’re interested in.
A little bit about me. So what was my experience in selecting UCI as a perfect fit? Well, I wasn’t fortunate enough to kind of start off with a balanced list. When I applied to colleges, I was just like, I want to apply to a lot of schools just because I want to have options. I want to get into, you know, into as many schools as I can.
But what happened with me was UCI really turned out to be the best [00:20:00] fit because I went back and as I was making decision on the college, I went to, I kind of started jotting down. What was those important factors to me? So location was really important for me at the time I wanted to be close to my family.
Um, and so Irvine checked that from being from Los Angeles, Irvine’s about a 40 miles away. So that, that was important to me. Like the financial aid being first gen was really important that I had like scholarships and resources and Irvine provided that for me. So that was another factor. I was really connected to the student organizations at Irvine.
I knew that I was interested in like sorority life and they had like the chapter that I was interested in. So that was another great plug for UC Irvine. When I was thinking about that school diversity, it was. It was a UC. So it was people coming from all across the world, different experiences. Um, and I liked that and they [00:21:00] had different learning environments in their dorms.
So I thought that was unique that I could be in the like leadership hall or I could be in the social justice hall. I could be in the art hall, so different interests can still collaborate and learn from each other. So I liked that, that they have that environment. And just being that I was like an undeclared, I kind of shared that earlier.
There was a range of different just academic interests. So at Irvine, so I didn’t know if I was studying business, I was going to do psychology and they had really great programs and resources and. Entrance. So that was a good, that was a, that was a plus for me. Like, I didn’t have to feel like I needed to know at that moment, but whatever decision I was going to make that Irvine could help it, provide it for me.
Um, and then I visit Irvine. I actually visit Irvine a few times. I visited when I was in the 10th grade and I liked it a lot. I just liked the culture. I liked the feel. I liked the vibe. [00:22:00] Yeah. Quiet from LA, but it was still like a city didn’t feel like it was disconnected. So that was something that I liked about UCI personally.
And then after I, I applied during a yield period. So after I got admitted, there was a, a time where campuses will often, like they want to recruit you to, to choose their school. So I went to the UC Irvine. I stayed in the dorm. I had a, actually a, a college person who was my mentor for the day and showed me around.
I just went to a different lectures, got to sit in a real live lecture. So just having that, that weekend experience and seeing the campus, it was just kind of like the icing on the cake because it, it hit all those factors. And then being there and being, being to able to experience what it would be like as a college student there just ultimately just made my decision easier for me.
Um, so I’m very happy and I got to experience [00:23:00] all those things that was important to me. I got to join the sorority. I got to connect. I was an RA, got to, uh, you know, help with the dorms. I help them. My interest in education groups started doing alumni events and going back to my local high schools and surrounding high schools and giving presentations about UCI.
So ultimately it was like a full circle for me. Um, Even though I didn’t start off having the most balanced list. Eventually those heart factors still came to play. So that’s why it’s good to kind of get an early start on that and being able to identify what your heart factors are
and what’s the last advice I would give to students, looking for their perfect college fit, really getting an early start. So that’s great. I heard there was some juniors and [00:24:00] 10th graders, some ninth graders here, even the 12th graders every day. You know, it’s a great opportunity to continue to do research seniors.
I, as you are getting admitted to school, continue to look at these, these factors. Think about your heart factors. Is this campus aligned to that? Thinking about the cost of college? That’s really, really important. Um, thinking about what is important to you, you know, only, you know, what’s important to you, so definitely make sure that you, you know, share that with your, your counselors, your family, um, and your list can evolve and that’s okay.
Like your list will change, especially. I know we have some ninth and 10th graders. What you like now might change in two or three more years and that’s okay. Just definitely make sure that you’re doing the research and you are exposing yourself to as many opportunities you can to learn that different career field that you’re interested in or that college as well.[00:25:00]
Okay, well, that actually concludes the presentation portion of the webinar. I hope you found the information helpful and remember that you can download the slides from the link in the handouts tab. Now we’re going to move over to our live Q and a. How it’s going to work is I’m going to read through your questions that you have submitted in the Q and a tab.
I will paste them into 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 and a tab, isn’t letting you submit questions, just double check that you’re, that you joined the webinar through the custom link in your email and not the webinar landing page.
Okay. So our first question that I have is, um, what resources would you suggest that students use to build [00:26:00] their college list? Good. Good. Good question. So definitely use the score court, scorecard.edu.gov website. Use the college websites, the college websites. They have their yields. They’re meant to yield you to want to go to their schools.
And there’s a lot of information. On college websites. If you want to know about unique programs at that school, the college website is it’s the best way to learn that information. Definitely. I highly recommend college college board.org college board website actually has a college builder. So what you can do is put some of these interests that you have, and based on that, they’re going to recommend schools that meet that factor.
So it’s literally helping you starting some of your search and kind of identify what those schools are. So definitely look at those three websites and of course, you know, social media is [00:27:00] big. So continuing to look at videos, college, uh, college tours, um, as well as Tik TOK videos or YouTube videos on each campus.
Nice, nice. And then just adding onto the great resources that Alana share with. Um, CollegeAdvisor.com also has, um, our own internal website that we use to support our clients. We’ll build in your college list too. So you’re able to find, um, access to the websites, access on various data to really help you with making informed decisions on which schools you’re going to apply to.
Okay. Next question that I have that we have coming from our live Q and a. When should you start visiting colleges on your list as soon as you can, um, breaks are great opportunity. Winter break, spring break, [00:28:00] summer break. Um, the weekends, I always say, start with local colleges near you. It’s easy to get to them.
So definitely that can, you can start there and, you know, plan trips around. When you can also fit this with schools that are a little bit farther away and check out the pre college program. So you’re in the ninth, 10th, 11th grade, you have your summer breaks where like a school might offer a program. It might be virtually, it might be in person.
Sometimes it’s a week, a couple of days, two, three weeks where you can actually like live on campus experience. The food is taking classes with professors. Um, that’s a great way to just get a feel of what the college campus is like or just what college is can be like as well. Okay. And this is continue with the college tour.
Do you think it’s more important to tour a college while the school is in session rather than over a break or summer? Honestly, it’s really about like, what’s your [00:29:00] availability. So if it, if it’s great, if you can see a college in session, but if you can’t that’s okay too. I think it’s most important to actually just experience the campus.
Like I said, vibes feeling is really important. So just being in a campus, like, I’ll give it go back to new NYU, us campus it’s in the middle of the city. And so some students, they see that they experienced that and they don’t, they don’t like that. Cause it’s like, well, I don’t know. Whereas campus, my building here is it, there is up the street and you can figure that out and have that experience, whether it’s in session or not because the school is so integrated in the city.
So that might be something that’s, some students love that aspect and others do not. So just having that exposure is what’s going to let you know what things that you do like, and don’t like, so like I said, sometimes knowing what you don’t like is just as important as knowing what you do.
Great. Um, and then this question is still [00:30:00] continue with the college tour. Uh, what advice do you have for students who haven’t had the chance to visit campuses in light of COVID? Yes, definitely utilize like virtual campus tours. A lot of times they have live sessions as well. You can ask admissions counselors, your questions, even though you can’t physically go to a campus, you can still see what it’s like, get, get exposed to it.
They have now great technology. You want to see what a dorm is like? You can literally from your computer, see exactly what that dorm is. So definitely don’t let being virtual limit your experience and just getting that research and being able to see some of these, these campuses, even if it is virtual, how important do you think the sat and the act test.
Ooh, great campus. Great question. Um, it’s really up to that campus. You’re applying to now due to the pandemic, a lot of [00:31:00] colleges have now made test optional for their, for their students to apply to their schools. So it’s really in some, have not some still require it. So I think it just goes down to that individual list and what you’re looking for.
And if this is something that it’s required, if you’re a 11th grader, definitely still prioritize it. It hurts to have it, take it at least one time, maybe twice, if you have time to like, if you have it within your schedule, but it will vary if depends on the schools you’re applying to.
Okay. Uh, next question. How do you learn which schools are the best for a particular focus like study. Many schools offer the majors and programs, but how do we discern what may be a better stem program and what makes it better? Yes, that would [00:32:00] be a great website to look up is the U S best news. And this has all rankings on different colleges, and they’ll actually allow you to filter different majors and different programs.
So you can see the best engineering programs, the best engine, best chemical programs. You can see the best, um, math programs. So that’s a really good resource to have as well to know where they rank and what their specialties are as well. Cause sometimes that’s just as important.
How much, uh, can extracurricular activities affect your chances of being emitted, extra activities? Big influence in, um, your missions. It’s part of making you a holistic candidate. So yes, I shared a lot about the numbers, which is one aspect, but what you’re involved in, in your community, your home life, your school outside of your [00:33:00] academics is really, really important.
So I heard we have some ninth, 10th, 11th graders. It’s still not too late to get involved, make connections. So if there’s like a sport you want to join, if there’s a community service you want to do, there’s a career interest and you want to join that club. Like, I feel like interested in stem, join the robotics team, join the engineering team.
Definitely get involved. That’s really important. Cause that’s, what’s gonna make you look like a whole listed candidate for these schools. And of course these schools want leaders, um, and their campus when they come. So they want you to be able to be connected when you get to their campus and university and make a change too.
So definitely that is a big part of your application. One big element of your application. So definitely get involved if you have not already.
Okay. Next question. Coming from our live Q and a, what should I look for on college campus tours and what should I do on the college [00:34:00] tour? Great question. So one you want to look at. Um, what they have offered. So a lot of times when you’re on a tour guide, we’ll be going through, you know, perks of that campus at university Hawkins about alumni that attended that, that campus visiting the different programs.
So sometimes you can see if, you know, you want to be a journalist major, who they have a studio on campus, right. Do they have somewhere where you can fill them? Do they have resources? So definitely making the connection between what you want to get out of your time in college and seeing if that, that school has the setup and the resources to prepare you for that.
Um, definitely bring direct questions to the guy. So if there’s, you’ve already started, maybe your research you’ve already got an interest in this campus, so definitely ask them your direct questions. If you still have some follow-up that you didn’t find from the research. Um, and there’s a second part to the [00:35:00] question I want to make sure I answered that as well.
What do you do on the college tour? Yeah. What do you do? You can definitely, you know, take notes. Um, you need, you want to make sure you are, you know, getting those key details. A lot of times the, the tour we’ll go over admission requirements and admission details. So especially if you’re transitioning to apply that, that upcoming fall, those details are really, really important to know, to know that and jot those down.
So definitely make sure you get all the mission criteria that you need to make sure you have a, uh, a successful and a great application.
Okay. Our next question. Um, when leaving the go-to, when leaving to go to college away from home, was it hard for you to adjust and get comfortable? Wow. This is a really good question. Yes, it took me. It took me actually about two to three months to get used to the quietness of Irvine. Like I said, [00:36:00] I’m from Los Angeles, so I’m used to a lot of city noise.
And so it it’s going to Irvine. It was really quiet at night. And I remember I would L. Talk to my roommate, like, are you still love? Like, are you, are you sleep? Um, so definitely sometimes like change will happen, you know, you’re going into a new environment. Um, so sometimes it will take some adjustment, but I always say like, college is a great place for you to just learn from so much about yourself and others around you.
That, that, that experience is so valuable. So yes, there might be some growing pains like in those transitions, but I think if you’re still connected to that school and you know, you know, that school is a good fit for you, like you’ll be able to navigate those changes because you know that you’re getting the things that you need academically, financially and culturally as well and socially.
Okay. So you said apply to nine to 12 colleges. Um, should we, oh, questions appeared. Should we [00:37:00] visit all the colleges that were interested in. And it depends on what your availability is. It might not be realistic to hit all nine or 12. So that’s why you definitely want to utilize maybe some of your, your tops or your top three, if you can, and then, you know, utilize those virtual tours.
So you can see the campus feel without like physically go into those, those universities. When should your college lists be finalized? Oh, this is a great, great question. It should honestly be finalized before you start applying. So a good time period to think about. It will vary from each situation because as you kind of start to do research and learn about the different colleges, there’s different admission types.
So you kind of have early action, early decision, regular decision, and early action sounds like you started college early and [00:38:00] you find out if you get in early, early decision, you apply early. And if you get admitted, then you’re deciding you’re going to that it’s a binding contract. So you’re going to that campus.
And then you have your regular decision and they also have like rolling a mission when it’s like first come first serve. So based on all these different types, your deadlines might vary. So essentially I like to say whenever your, your, your first deadline is. So if you’re, if you’re applying EA, are you applying to a school that has, or a regular decision early, you probably want to have it finalized two months before then.
So you’re fighting after you get it finalized. You have two months to work on that first, very college application.
Okay. Um, let’s see. Um,
how do you get, uh, grants loans or financial help? Great question. So the first thing you want to [00:39:00] do is apply for FAFSA, the free application for federal student aid. So remember I said, it’s free. So this is an application that all students, all schools require students to, to apply to B, to figure out their financial aid packages.
So rather you think if you’re gonna get a lot of money or not, everyone should apply, apply for the FAFSA application based on that, then you’ll get qualified for any loans, grants, or scholarships. And then this is all financial base. One aspect to get aid from schools, then you kind of have merit based, which merit based is kind of like thinking about your performance.
So that could be your performance and your academics with your GPA, your performance and your, like your extracurriculars and your community involvement or, and or your like sports or athletics. So you have two ways to get qualified for aid, so financial [00:40:00] based and merit based. So there’s definitely ways multiple ways to qualify for ways to pay for your college.
And that’s why you want to prepare and get an early start. So you can start applying to scholarships, both financial or merit early. Great. Um, when should I start applying for college? Yeah. So, uh, the, when your first earliest deadline, depending on the type of application, and that will vary based on students and student, usually your ed or you’re like, I’m all in a school.
I really like this is my dream school. Always thought about that school because if I get in, I know I’m going. So you’re very passionate. Maybe you have to be passionate about that one school, because if you’re admitted, you’re, you’re, you’re enrolling into that campus. So usually that is the first, sometimes that happens November 1st.
So [00:41:00] then you would, you would have to have your application in by November 1st. So, uh, just pens on these college deadlines. Okay. So we’re going to take a slight pause. From our questions and answers. Um, for those in the room who aren’t already working with us, we know that the college admission process is overwhelming for parents and students alike.
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All right. On our website. All right. So now back to our questions and answers. Okay. Let’s see.
This is the good one. Um, so do different majors have different college rec like college admission requirement? Yes, they do so different majors might have different. Extra criteria you’re based on that major. So for a good example of like your art majors, sometimes you might have to provide a [00:43:00] portfolio dance.
You might have to send an audition tape or go and do a dad, a performance in person. Sometimes your, your stem or your engineering majors or in your nursing might require additional testing. So you might have to take the sat and then sat too, which is kind of like your subject exams. Um, and they might require like math or a science field.
So that’s why it’s really important in your research. When you start looking at the majors, does that major require additional information for you to complete? And sometimes they have different deadlines, so they might have one deadline for the general college and then have a, uh, uh, additional deadline for those additional requirements.
And sometimes they’re all lumped in one. So you have to be able to know those differences.
Okay. So all that you share, does this apply to community colleges or just universities? Yeah, I [00:44:00] think everything that was shared still applies to community colleges, um, because different community colleges have different majors as well in different focal areas. So you want to make sure when you’re at a community college, you’re taking classes that are transferable.
So if, whether you are completing a short term program, a certificate or your plans is to transfer to a four year, you want to make sure that you are you’re in the right campus and the right fit. That’s aligning to the major and the program that you want to do. That’s going to help you then transfer to a university.
So yes, steel know your numbers for community college deal. Think about your preferences, um, what you’re looking for as well, and still get an early start and you’ll have to, you know, complete basketball and prepare for college as well for the cost of class.
Okay. So what if you don’t know what you’re in, what your interests are, how do you start looking and researching for colleges? [00:45:00] Think about what do you like to do to the day to day? What makes you happy? What things are you involved in that you truly enjoy? Are you your happiest? When you’re interacting with people with a younger sibling teaching, like everyone has a specialty in an interest, right?
So those little things matter. So start there, uh, if you definitely work with a CollegeAdvisor you will basically work with your advisor to help you identify those things. And that’s really great. Cause sometimes we don’t know, uh, what we’re good at and we have, you have maybe accomplished a lot. We seem students.
Kind of limit, there, there things that they’ve done really well or started clubs or been able to done volunteer work, like those things all are great. Um, in colleges love to see that. So I definitely recommend you think about some of your interests in your day [00:46:00] to day, things that you love to do and still enjoy and work with CollegeAdvisor.
You’ll definitely have a visor supporting you during that process as well. Nice. Um, okay, so moving into our next question. Hm.
Okay. So this one is, um, like my GPA is a one point in nine 11 grade. I had a 1.9. Um, and now it’s a 2.8. Um, and so I was wondering how a college colleges look at this. Increase, especially with reach colleges. Yeah. Well, this is like a really, really good question. So colleges love to see just improvement, right?
Um, definitely. I think this is an opportunity, a lot of colleges in their applications, they have, um, a space for you to share about. [00:47:00] Is there anything that you want to share about your academic history like gaps? So this is a great way you, you can acknowledge if there was something that occurred. Um, In your life during that time, during that, you know, 1.8 situation to semester, and maybe the now, and you’ve grown to a 2.8, like you, you can definitely express that.
Um, so make sure that, you know, you are, you know, sharing all your story, sharing the things that have impacted your grades, if it’s positively, or if something happened as impact your grades negative. So colleges, they only know what you share with them. So you have to be open and be able to share things that were challenges, um, as well as growth as well.
So I would say like, that’s a good situation where you want to share what happened and then share it, like the things that you did to increase your GPA, to get to that point in terms of [00:48:00] reach schools, it might still be a reach school, but again, it’s all about balance, right? So even if you know that you’re applying to that set up two to three.
Um, reach schools like you’re still have target schools. You still have likely schools because that way overall, you’re going to have more options. If you’re limited yourself only to reach schools, then you’re going to, you’re limiting yourself literally, um, to maybe not have as many college acceptance to make a, a good and a broad decision because sometimes just getting accepted.
It’s just the first part. Like I say, you have to think about the finance. You have to think about the cultural fit, the social fit, academic fit. So some of these things, if they don’t have what you’re looking for, or it’s not up to par or there’s like challenges, it’s not, might not be the best fit. So that might eliminate a school.
So that’s why goes back to minimum, you know, you want to apply to nine to 12 schools, so you have options. [00:49:00] Options is key. That’s the biggest thing. Remember anything from this webinar? Remember you want to have options. Absolutely. Absolutely. Um, how do you find a college, you know, with diversity? I know we heard, you mentioned that was one of the things that you saw, you know, in the college that you chose.
Um, so any recommendations for students who are looking to have to maybe find colleges that are diverse? Yeah. So a lot you can get data points and you can have the numbers and the breakdowns of racial backgrounds and ethic backgrounds from like college websites, um, and like college board. But I think, I like to say show, you can tell me those things, but I want to show it, show me those things.
Right. So when you’re really looking at the college resources look like, do they have like student groups, uh, that are important to you? Let’s just see, like, how are you. [00:50:00] Um, students sharing about their experiences. Like those are things that are more important than sometimes just the data. So you want to look beyond the data.
The data is like a good point to start, and at least y’all know that they check off that box, but it’s more to a school than just meeting like those data points. You want to feel like that connection. You want to feel that people are safe. It’s a safe environment for you for how you identify. Um, and you have those spaces where you can learn from others.
So again, I always say, just go beyond sometimes the numbers.
Okay. And then what if you don’t know what you want to do in life? Like as far as like your career, and you’re thinking about, you know, finding your college fit, what recommendations do you have? Yes, I have, I definitely have a lot. I always, I think undecided, undeclared is the best major ever to actually enter college.
And I am biased. I will, because I started as undeclared. Um, because [00:51:00] you get the great thing that colleges do when you are undeclared, as you get to be exposed to more classes. So they’re going to keep you on the same path. Sometimes people think of undeclared and undecided. Like you’re just maybe wasting time and you’re going to spend more time in college, but that’s not true.
What the college is doing is they’re going to make sure you’re meeting your general education courses. Um, and you’re getting exposed to different, these different. Subjects in different departments. So within that, you get to get exposed to more than just, okay. I know I’m going in and I’m studying music, so I’m gonna start with these music classes.
So I think the experience is really unique and it’s okay. I always think about what’s your what’s what’s angle. Like did this campus provide multiple, uh, resources for different fields? What does the alumni say? Um, going back to the scorecard website, what’s the average salary range for, for first year students after they graduate from the first, first year [00:52:00] college graduates from that campus and university what’s on their career center website.
Do, do they have connections with businesses you’re interested in or products you love or do they have interns going to work at those different companies? So look, sometimes you don’t have to know what it is, but just know if that’s the start look to see if that school can support you in finding out as well.
So that’s another good thing. I definitely recommend all looking at the career centers of all colleges you’re interested in.
Okay. As a senior, is it too late to apply for colleges for the upcoming fall 2022 semester? Fall 20, 22 and some colleges deadlines have already passed. But remember how I said earlier that there’s different admission types. So there’s a lot of schools that actually still have rolling admission. So it’s kind of first come first served.
So they [00:53:00] are a minute students as applications come in. So you could definitely work with our team to identify those campuses and still apply. If you’re interested in starting school, this upcoming fall semester fall 2022.
Okay. Let’s see. For our next question.
Does the number of APS taken making impact for college admits. Yes, this is, uh, this is really great, um, opportunity because it shows that you’ve already taken college classes. So this allows you to get extra honors points through colleges, which is great. So they see that as a boost, the first you get the experience, right?
You are learning like [00:54:00] this subject. So if you have an interest in that subject or want to take more classes in that subject, you already have like a foundation that you can take with you. And of course, um, if the AP exams and you take the AP exams and you pass with a three or above, you can actually get college credit.
So that’s even better, right? You’re coming in to that campus with already, uh, credits, um, to be able to maybe even potentially even graduate early or at least have the opportunity to take more classes in different things.
Okay. Um, what have you decided your initial, initial chosen major isn’t for you and the site that a different college has something that better suits your new major? Is it difficult to switch colleges after being accepted to one? So if you already, I just wanted clarity in this question cause it’s kind of like two different answers.
So I’m going to answer [00:55:00] if you are. Uh, current high school, senior, your current high school, senior, you get accepted to multiple schools until May 1st you’re in 10 days, you still have time to like review and make a decision. If you already enrolled and you want to switch, it’s just, you have to do a re applying application to another school because you’re basically applying to transfer.
But I like to say that, like, it goes back to that fit, right? Because college is more than just also the academics, right? So sometimes you, you might think you want to do something and then you start taking it and it’s not, it’s not a good fit, but that school is still might be a good fit, right? Because it’s providing like the financial support that you’re looking for, the culture for support you’re connected.
You might have friends, things like that. So does it, you want that college to be diverse in like the pro programs and majors they have? Cause maybe there’s another major. Apply. You can change your major too and not [00:56:00] necessarily change schools. So that’s why it’s all those factors that mattered. Don’t just focus on academics.
Like you have to think about all things that mattered that was going to make you fit because your academic interests can change within four years. So you want to, you don’t necessarily want to have to change all your schools and apply to college. As you’ll see this little, it’s a lot to apply to different colleges.
So you don’t want to do the process over again or multiple times, you kind of want to do it when you’re transferring or when you’re a high school senior.
Um, what are some tips that can help you stay motivated so you can focus in school so you can get a higher GPA. Good question, ask for help. Ask for help. Like, there’s nothing wrong with asking your help, asking your, your teachers for support guidance, making sure you actually isolate time scheduling. I know it’s a lot when you’re balancing like extracurricular activities [00:57:00] and schoolwork.
So, you know, definitely have a planner schedule that you’re helping you stick to where you stick to like times where you’re going to actually study, you know, power off, run off, you know, like the TV, the Netflix, your phone, um, that’s a good re good way to recharge and just, you know, look into, you know, your schoolwork.
Also sometimes when you’re over studying, you do need a break. So sometimes even walking away and doing another activity has helped, but definitely asks for help. Like, you know, talk to your teachers, talk to your counselors, their resource for you at your school. So they should definitely give you guidance to support you with your academic work and.
Okay. How do you know if a reach school is too much of a reach when you start seeing the acceptance rate 1%, 2%, 3%. Um, you know, [00:58:00] and this is very common with, you know, your Ivy league schools, your top, your top 50 schools. Um, I think that you have to evaluate how far away are you from the averages might be below, what are you significantly below or, and are you below their, their, their requirements?
Like, I can give the great example of like UC Irvine and the UC system, you know, the minimum to apply is a 3.0, so if you, if we, if you have a below that, like you’re not eligible to apply. So if you choose to apply, like they’re more than likely you’re going to get a denial because you don’t meet the minimum.
So that’s why it’s important to know. Well, are you even eligible one to apply to this school? Do you meet the requirements? And if you do do know that, like how far of your range are you from that? Of course you can work with a CollegeAdvisor to guide you with that. And then, like I said, balance is key.
So if this is the far reach to, to [00:59:00] reach school, what are the, the target schools? What’s the, where’s the additional likely school. Where’s the additional, um, target school that’s on your list. So that’s something to keep in mind as well. The more reach, reach, reach, you should have more and more likely to, to balance that.
Okay everyone. So that is actually going to conclude our question and answer and our webinar. So thank you everyone for coming out tonight. And thank you, Ilana, for sharing information around finding your college fit. Um, friendly reminder at the conclusion of this webinar. So right when the webinar is you will see an auto-populated screen.
Please do us a favor and fill out that form to learn more about CollegeAdvisor.com. You all asked a lot of great questions and you’ll be able to sit down with an advisor and get even more of your questions answered. You’ll receive a call from our team tomorrow. [01:00:00] Once you fill out that form. And again, it’s never too early to get a start on the admission process, and we are here to support you.
Also, here is the list of our upcoming webinars for January. Every month, we will be bringing you a host of webinars geared towards preparing you and helping you feel more confident about the college admission process. So again, thank you Ilana for sharing information around finding your college fit and thank you all for joining us tonight in this webinar.
Have a great evening. Bye bye.