I Am Having Trouble Deciding What College To Attend- Money Is No Object? (996 hits)
I am having trouble determining which school I should go to. I have been accepted to the University of Georgia but I also am interested in an HBCU (Howard University), which is way smaller than UGA, and is out of state. Cost is no matter to me, but I was wondering if you have any insight on how should I go about figuring out which school I need to choose?
Congratulations on the acceptance into the University of Georgia and Howard University. The University of Georgia was the first public, state-supported college in America. Howard University is one of the top three HBCU’s, along with producing some of the most prominent African American leaders known today. Both colleges maintain a superior reputation, prestige, and history. Whatever your final decision; my goal is to help you make the best decision possible. I am an alumnus of Winston-Salem State University a HBCU. The campus life reminded me of home and a daily family reunion. Although the school was small, I found it large enough to explore my dreams. Finding a small and inviting college campus was important to me. I didn’t want to be labeled by my social security number; instead I wanted to be known by my name. I share my brief experience to help you understand there are several reasons for selecting a particular college. Whatever the decision you make; remember the decision should be based upon your acknowledgement of self and what you want from your college experience. Today I will share with you five steps to making the right decision when selecting a college.
1. Just who am I? This is an important question to ask you when deciding the college to attend. Who are you? What are your strengths? What are your weaknesses? Do you enjoy being around different kinds of people? Are you shy? Are you outgoing? An important factor you must consider before attending any college, joining organizations, or making friends with someone you must discover you first. Your identity makes you who you are. If you decide to attend a college based on its popularity, your parent’s desires for you or whether your friend s are attending the same college you may soon find yourself transforming into someone you do not recognize. Therefore, I encourage you to assess yourself even before you begin deciding on the college to attend.
2. Discover your reason for attending a particular college. On a sheet of notebook paper, draw a line in the middle of the page. On one side of the line write Howard University on the other side write University of Georgia. Under each school write the reason why you would like to attend the college. I would advise you to list as many positives and negatives as you can. This sheet is important as you begin to narrow down your selection. I must be honest when I was deciding what college to attend I created a poor positive/negative list based upon how far the ride was from my dorm to back home where my boyfriend stayed. I did not consider any factors such as cost, safety, student to teacher ratio, or the academics. Thankfully I managed to attend the best school, but the reasoning behind my decision was not clearly addressed in the beginning.
3. Don’t believe the hype! Several news articles and blogs have been written that question if an HBCU will land you a job. Students worry about attending an HBCU believing that they will not be as successful or as marketable. Success is not given to you because you even attend a college. Several people who attend predominantly white colleges/universities and find themselves in the same unemployment line as any other graduate. Success is about the effort and drive that you have to reach and maximize your opportunities. Employers are seeking students who have outstanding skills and experience.
4. Know your financial obligations and the resources available for college tuition. I am assuming because you stated, “money was no object for you”, you have a full scholarship to both colleges. To me this would be the only reason for why money should not be an object. In an economy that has shifted drastically since 2008, it is important to understand the value of money. You should become aware of the financial obligations to both Universities. Most colleges require that you maintain a certain grade point average (G.P.A) each semester while on scholarship. If you happen to have a bad semester and your G.P.A does not meet the requirements, you will become responsible for the tuition cost. Therefore, money will be an object and may create a problem. Many people don’t like to look at the “what ifs” but a well prepared student or successful person looks at possibilities. I encourage you to visit the campus Financial Aid office to obtain a full tuition break-down and also make sure you understand all the requirements of any scholarship or grant received.
5. Finally, do not squeeze a foot into a shoe that does not fit. When selecting colleges to attend, make certain that you are making the decision that includes your belief that the school is for you. Not because your parents are alumni’s, your boyfriend/girlfriend is attending or because of where the college ranks on a list. Finding the right college does not necessarily mean it will happen overnight. I encourage you to visit the campus, the college website and speak to students who currently and previously are attending your college choices.