Word of warning!

Ok, let’s get started.  First you need to begin the process by understanding a few simple things about chosing a college.  NOT every college is right for everyone, that should be pretty easy to figure out, right?  Wrong!  You would be surprised at the number of college students who chose their college for all the WRONG reasons and end up having to transfer, often losing credits in the process.

Here is a list of some reasons why students chose a particular college.  See if you see yourself in any of them, and if you do, don’t worry we’ll discuss in detail why you should or should not use any of these reasons.

  • It’s where my boyfriend/girlfriend is going.
  • I like the mascot.
  • It’s where my parents want me to go.
  • I want to join a fraternity/sorority.
  • This college has a lot of girls/guys that go there.
  • They have a really good football/basketball/baseball/sports team there.
  • This college is a Party School!
  • I’m looking for Mr. or Miss Right, I want to get married.

Now, some of those reasons might seem like good ideas, but trust me after talking to literally thousands of transfer students over the years, NOT one of them is solid.  Sometimes if your parents are paying the tuition it may be prudent to go where they want you to go, but if you feel strongly enough about NOT attending a college, you should talk to your parents and then if they won’t budge, I’ll give you a few hints on that one a little later.

Some of the reasons why you should NOT use the above list are pretty obvious, but let’s look at a couple that may not be.  Like the one about following your significant other to college.  Studies show that only around five percent of couples who are dating when the enter college actually stay together for the four years they are in college.  This can cause a LOT of issues, particularly if you both attend a small college.  Don’t get me wrong, if you both are selecting a college for the right reasons and just happen to be dating, this is perfectly acceptable, but if you go against your dreams just to stay close to that special one, you might want to rethink that choice.

Remember, we are going to college to get an education.  This does include extra-curricular activities like social groups, athletics, dating, and all the typical “college activities” that young people like doing.  You probably will want to go to Florida or Texas for spring break, you are certainly going to want to go to football games and the likes, but you MUST remember that the end game is an education that will result in a career.  I can’t tell you how many students I have had to sit down in my office over the years and remind them that this is a four-year committment and while that may seem like a LONG time to an 18-year-old, it’s only a fraction of the time that you will work during your lifetime.  Investing four years to get an education that can result, typically, in earnings of more than a million dollars over the course of your career, is certainly worth a little restraint.  We will talk a LOT more about that in future blogs, trust me, it’s that important.

So, those are a few of the more silly pitfalls that students fall into when chosing a college.  Of course there are many others and I’m sure that some of them are even more off the wall.  My intent in this post was to get you thinking about why you are chosing to go to college.  In our next post, we’ll talk a little about some reason that make sense.  Remember, it’s a long process and one that you should be prepared to invest in.

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Hello world!

I was actually trying to think of a good way to introduce myself to the world this evening, it’s really early morning if you want to be picky, and I though to myself that this is a wonderful thing, blogging.  I’ve worked in higher education for a very long time, taking great care to learn all I can about college admissions, registration, advisement, retention, financial aid, and enrollment management, all terms we will discuss later, in order to be the very best admissions professional I could be.  Well, you can imagine that someone can’t have been in the field for as long as I have without having picked up a few tricks of the trade and some wisdom that I hope to be able to impart on a new generation of college bound youngsters.

A little about me, to get us started.  I was born in the South, way back when there were no computers, heck there weren’t any calculators when I was born, well not any that anyone I knew could afford.  Home computers weren’t even invented yet and some of you might think that I’m so old that color wasn’t even around when I was a kid.  It was, in case you are wondering.  I like to think of myself as being from the first generation of progressive technological thinkers.  My generation developed the first video games, we began the internet phenomenon, we were the pioneers of and the transition between, those who first had television and today’s generation of instant, well, everything.  I went from having three channels on my TV set when I was a kid to today having what seems to be unlimited access to just about anything I could want to watch.  I’ll spend a bit of time of all of this later on, in another blog, but suffice it to say, I feel very fortunate to have been born when I was and to have witnessed the marvels that I have.

But back to my reason for this blog site.  With all the experience I have I feel that there is a generation of pre-college students out there who could really use some sound advice, and thus I want to be there for you.  Too many people will try and direct you throughout this arduous process, and I will only give you sound advice and a promise that IF you want to go to college and are willing to do the work, I’ll be there for you and together we will get you going in the right direction.  This is MY promise to you, today, tomorrow, and until we reach YOUR goals.

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