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The College Search Process
Transcript of The College Search Process
My Majors Magazine
Big Future by College Board
What can I do with... major?
Navigating the College Search Process
Where to Explore Majors
Step 2: Get to know the schools
Step 1: Get to Know Yourself
What are you good at?
What are your favorite subjects in school?
What do you want to study?
How do you see the world?
What are you passionate about?
Still not sure what you want to do?
The Undeclared Major
You don't have to declare a major to begin your college studies
After you start college: Look for college resources to help you choose a direction
Career Fairs and Centers
UTA's Major Exploration
From here, you can narrow down your path to several majors.
Attend a College Fair
Great starting point for students who have no clue about which schools to consider
Opportunity to meet admissions counselors -- the first face of the university
Collect all their contact information
Find out some of the school's bragging points
You can collect tons of information and brochures on anything that interests you
examples: housing, financial aid, scholarships, athletics, student organizations
Come prepared with questions about college (see handout)
Write down which schools stood out to you and research them
Set up a College Visit
Chance to meet the schools you are more interested in
Get specifics and detailed information about the school
Chance to talk to both admission counselors and academic advisers in the program you are interested in
Chance to talk to current students in their environment
See for yourself what a school could offer you
College Preview Days
Chance to view a school from a college student's perspective
Attend for those schools that you are most interested in
Talk to Student Organizations
Meet current students
Visit with professors
Experience campus life
Some overnight experiences in residence halls
Find out if a school
fits who you are
Step 3: Sort through the Schools
Public or Private?
Funded primarily through the state government/taxpayers
On average, tuition costs are lower
Generally larger than private schools with larger class sizes
Likely offer a larger selection of majors
Typically have more in-state students, as well as commuter and part-time students
Usually easier to transfer credits from other schools
Who are you right now?
Offers broad studies
Students gain experience from learning in a variety of disciplines
Usually smaller schools
Typically only award undergraduate degrees
More focused on producing well-rounded students with skills they can apply to multiple fields
Research Institution or Liberal Arts College?
Often more specialized, career-focused programs
Usually larger schools
Most offer a full range of undergraduate and graduate level programs
More commonly offer pre-professional programs (engineering, pre-law, business, pre-medical)
More focused on exposing students to research opportunities
Residential or Commuter School?
Most students live on campus
Living in a student-only environment
Extra costs for housing
Many students do not require vehicles to go about their daily lives
Easy, anytime access to university resources
Many students commute to school from an off-campus residence
Living in "the real world"
Potentially cheaper to live at home or in a non-university residence
Need for transportation
Non-profit or For-profit?
Businesses whose funds depend on their shareholders
Courses sometimes designed to fit students who work full-time
Usually more online, night, and weekend offerings
Useful for career-driven students who want to seek a specific in-demand program,
Fields include business administration, medical billing, and graphic design
Institutions that receive funds from private donors as well as local governments
Typically offer more affordable degree options
Wide range of opportunities to meet any student's goals, including social clubs, tutoring, residential life, and academic exploration for undecided majors
College Search Timeline
There's more to the cost of a college than just the tuition
In-State or Out-of-State Tuition
Flat rate tuition
Guaranteed tuition vs. cost inflation
Room and Board (housing and meal plans)
Books, additional class fees, costs that fluctuate by major, parking permits
Transportation costs for commuters
"Average cost" posted online vs. actual cost when you attend
Some Other Online Resources
Take the SAT/ACT
Compile a list of colleges that interest you
Tour a local college to help you generate questions for future trips
Plan ahead for any fall college visits
Attend some local college fairs in September
Visit colleges during fall break
Research colleges that most interest you/find out their admission and scholarship requirements
Retake the SAT/ACT if necessary
Submit applications by January 1st
By Bethany Jones
and David Kiema
UTA Bound for Success
Step Four: Investigate the Costs
Step Five: Stay on Track
What is your
must you take to get to your dream job?
Will you need a
Master's degree? PhD? Certification?
Who do you know that can give you
on this job or how to attain it?
Funded not by the state but primarily by investments and private donors
Tuition rates are often higher
Generally smaller than public schools with smaller class sizes
Generally smaller selection of majors but may offer more specialized academics
Tend to admit more out of state students
Majority of students live at college and attend full-time
May also have religious affiliations
Things to Consider when Looking at Schools
One Step at a Time
Step 1: Get to know yourself
Step 2: Get to know the schools
Step 3: Sort through the schools
Step 4: Investigate the costs
Step 5: Stay on Track
Where do you want to be later?
What should guide your decision?
The major's career potential
What kind of major would that job require?
Also known as "Trade" or "Vocational" Schools
Focus on developing a certain skill set needed for a specific vocation
Hands on learning
Get an education without taking classes that aren't related to your occupation
Earn a certification in one to two years
Frequently partner with local companies, trade unions, and other professional organizations
Real life experience in conjunction with your education
Programs include auto mechanic training, welding, cosmetology, fashion design, and culinary arts
Some employers offer tuition reimbursements because technical training can make you a better employee
Distance from home
Urban or rural setting
Size of student body
Co-ed, male- or female-only
Residential or commuter school
Special requirements for entering your major
Time required to complete your degree
Retention rate, graduation rate, employment rate
Class size/student:faculty ratio
Potential for internships, mentorship, real world experience
Facilities and Activities
Libraries and Resources
Clubs and organizations
Athletics and intramurals
You can learn a lot from a first impression
Special Note: If you live too far away to visit a college, check their website for a virtual tour!
Narrow down a long list of college options to between 5 and 10 attractive choices
For-profit or Non-profit?
Public or Private University?
Research or Liberal Arts Institution?
Residential or Commuter School?
Diverse paths to higher education for diverse people
Four Year Colleges & Universities
One to Two Year College Options
Decide what you value most and find the school that's the best fit for you!
Note: At many four year schools, professors are often evaluated for their research and publishing first, and teaching second.
Liberal Arts Colleges
Note: A school can fall into more than one category
(ex: UTA is a public university and a research institution)
Visit different campuses to get a better sense of how living arrangements affect the campus experience
IMPORTANT: Always keep an eye out for deadlines!
One missed deadline could keep you from going to the school of your choice!
Sometimes called "Junior" colleges
Two-year government-supported institution
Provides vocational and semiprofessional training for some and the first two years of undergraduate study for others
Maximum level of education: associate's degree or professional certification
Most credits are transferable to four-year universities
Most charge nominal fees for tuition
Typically small class sizes
Admission is open to anyone, regardless of academic standing
Non-residential community from a wide variety of backgrounds and lifestyles
Usually offer flexible and on-traditional programs, including part-time study, evening classes, online instruction, weekend workshops, and other services
These schools let you jump right into what you want to do as a career!
These schools encourage lifelong learning every step of the way!
When searching for a school based on what you want to major in
As you search for the college that's right for you, keep an open mind about your career path.
Many students change their minds along the way.
Strength of the academic programs
Pass-Fail Rate on entry/certificate exams (MCAT, CPA, HESI)
Opportunities to apply learning through research or internships
Strength of alumni presence
If undeclared, search for schools that offer you a large selection of programs so you can explore your options.
Tuition, room and board
Application fee and deposits
Financial Aid offered
Percent of student population receiving aid
Automatic or Competitive?
Designated and Departmental
Part-time employment opportunities
Types and sizes
Residence hall requirements for freshmen
Availability of housing
Strong Interest Inventory
Myers Briggs Personality Test
Career placement tests administered through your high school (such as Career Cruze)
Where's the best place to unlock your potential?
Things to Consider
MISD College Fair