College Counseling As A Way To Find The Right Fit

By Jerri Perry

College counseling consists of far more than simply helping a person to choose a college that will accept them. There are thousands of colleges and universities that offer a plethora of programs and opportunities. The task can be daunting if not attempted with clear direction and focus. Enlisting the help of a person trained to assist with the selection process can be very useful.

The first step to choosing the right college is to be sure that all of the standards for admission are met. This means that the potential student meets the grade point average and standardized test scores that the institution requests. The advisor will then help the person to narrow down choices based on many other factors.

Personality is a key component of choosing the right place to obtain an education. Therefore, the counselor will spend an adequate amount of time exploring their client's attitudes, interests, goals and abilities. The more that the student knows themselves the better likelihood that they will choose a setting that is a good fit. Often parents play a large role in determining where their child goes on to college. It is the job of the advisor to help the potential student make independent decisions about their education.

The size of campus is an important consideration. Knowing whether one is drawn to more intimate surroundings or whether they prefer a larger setting where they can easily be lost in a crowd is important. In a smaller environment a student will be noticed more, and often received more attention from classmates and professors. Conversely, large lecture halls where a professor does not know their students on an intimate level are more likely in larger settings.

Also important to consider is location. Students should have an understanding of whether they prefer a small town or big city. Often wonderful institutions are housed around farmland and small towns. This may mean that student's off campus life is limited. However, there are some higher education settings that are built within a large metropolitan city where there is a lot of nightlife and excitement.

Individuals must consider price when looking at higher education institutions. The student will need to have an understanding of how much money they have to contribute to their education. Knowing this information will quickly narrow down the choices.

Visiting campus is essential to making the final decision. After all the other factors have been considered, a student should have narrowed their choice to three to five colleges. If possible, they should take the time to wander around the area, visiting the student center, admissions office, dorm rooms, and classrooms. A guided tour is a great place to start, but potential students will also want to venture out on their own without any parents or other influences. The college that is chosen will likely be where they will live for at least four years, so it is important to feel comfortable on campus.

Enlisting the help of a person trained in college counseling can be very useful when making a decision. This professional can guide the individual from the beginning of the search until the end. The client will gain a better understanding of themselves, their goals and their desires.

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