How to begin your college search

Clemson University, located in South Carolina, is one of the top rated schools in the country overall. They take pride in their campus tours and are widely known for this. (Photo courtesy of Kaitlyn Stocum).

Ah junior year, a time of immense stress and deciding what your future is at 17 years old. College visits can be stressful, but don’t have to be if handled properly. Here are six ways to start your college search:

Start college visits, it’s never too late: Most college tours are free, so take advantage of them. Students that attend the school give tours and are always willing to answer any questions. As well, admissions officers are always at tours ready to talk to students and provide them with whatever information they require. 

If you can’t visit, do online research and email professors/advisors: College websites are the most accessible form of information and include most baseline information including GPA requirements, virtual tours of the school, and lists of majors. Emailing advisors might seem like a big challenge, but in reality is a great way to show interest in a college. They really want to see that you have a great interest, not just applying for little reason.

Sign up for different college camps: Regardless of if you play sports, most colleges offer different camps related to a specific major where you can go stay at the college and experience what a college student does. University of North Carolina offers different journalism camps, which are widely attended due to the popularity of their journalism school.

Take advantage of what the school offers: Leesville has lots of college fairs, ranging from schools in NC, to out-state schools like Alabama and UC Berkeley. Plenty of military branches visit as well, like Army, Navy, Coast Guard, and Air Force.

Talk to counselor:  Part of a counselors job is to help students on their college journey. They are the ones that send in high school transcripts for applications, so they talk to admission officers all the time. Counselors can give suggestions or help guide you along in the application process on the small details that can improve your application.

Contact current seniors and previous seniors that you know: A majority of seniors are more than happy to talk to you about their college visit and application process, and the good thing is that they have the most recent application versus using an outdated website. College students as well are more than happy to talk to you about their experiences and what made them decide to go to their respective college.

The reality is, everything about college between the search, ACT scores, application process, and final decision is exhausting. Many students feel overwhelmed and don’t know where to start but using these suggestions are an easy way to start your college search.


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