College search accelerates for juniors
Mundelein, 3/23/01 --Pioneer Press Columnist, Millie Maughton.
Updated: July 8, 2012 8:28AM
Although most high school students are enjoying their first several summer days, many high school juniors still have school on the brain. While senior year awaits them, they are thinking ahead to college.
This is the time when college searches start getting into high gear. Our mail carrier must have a love-hate relationship with us since each day brings anywhere from a few pieces of mail to a handful just for my daughter, who has been in this process for awhile now. Our mailbox is filled daily with postcards, large envelopes, stickers, packets and more.
There are the well-known larger schools, Big Ten and otherwise that are courting my daughter and many of her friends. There are the local and in-state colleges hoping to give that stay-close-to-home appeal. There are some specialized, Ivy League, and totally unknown universities that send multiple mailings.
My daughter started the process on her own a few years back at the end of eighth grade, but has more recently gotten wrapped up in the next steps. Thanks to her strong verbal and writing skills, she knows that the area she would like to study is creative writing.
For some students, that may be the toughest part. What do you want to study that will shape the rest of your life? Wow, if that doesn’t make you pause when you are 17 years old…
In addition to online research and talking to friends, many juniors have already done college visits beginning with a trickle in the fall and taking advantage of long weekends and spring break to hit a couple more schools. This summer is bound to see vacations tied in with still more visits near and far.
Of course, choices get narrowed down due to several factors. Distance determines how many visits kids will make home, budgeting for plane flights versus long car rides. The size of a school welcomes some students with their smaller populations or the opposite for students that want more diversity and options for majors and nationally ranked sports teams.
For moms and dads, the financial part is a whirlwind of information that can be as overwhelming as any other decision they make for their children. Looking for scholarships, loans, and the like is kind of like a part-time job.
So as this summer rolls into another school year, we’ll keep an eye on some students and how their college search is going, the highs and lows, bumps and stresses, and how everyone fares in between.
Contact Mundelein Musings at: firstname.lastname@example.org