For many parents and educators, high school’s purpose is to prepare students for college. Students are encouraged to sign up for courses that will enable them to apply to college from their first year of high school.
For some, the thought of going to college is overwhelming. Some students don’t live near a college, so attending a college means moving away from their hometown and family. Many haven’t visited college campuses and aren’t aware of how colleges operate. Many colleges have tens of thousands of students. The thought of attending a large institution may appeal to some and overwhelm others. Let’s take a look at some things every high school senior should know about college.
1. Many colleges have strict admissions standards.
Whether you have your heart set on one college or have several colleges you’re considering, you have to meet the admissions requirements for acceptance. Working with an academic advisor from a college counseling business is a great way to prepare for your college application. Your counselor will identify your academic and career goals and ensure you’re focused on the right programs and colleges. Your counselor will also prepare you for the application process, identifying ways to strengthen your college application. For example, you might have an excellent G.P.A. but could benefit from pursuing extracurricular activities to round out your application. You may need help writing an application essay. Your counselor can provide the academic support you need to ensure you impress college admissions boards.
2. College is expensive.
It can cost tens of thousands for a single year of college studies. Several factors affect the total cost. Private colleges typically charge higher tuition fees than public colleges. Whether the college is for-profit or not-for-profit will also affect the cost. Some students have living expenses to consider if they need to move away from home, while others may reduce their costs by attending a local college. Students also pay higher tuition fees if they attend a college out of their home state.
3. You can earn scholarships.
High school students can apply for multiple scholarships that provide funds for college expenses. While scholarships are typically associated with academic performance, many scholarships are based on other factors, such as leadership skills and extracurricular activities. Your high school guidance counselor can supply information about scholarship opportunities.
4. There are more college programs than you may realize.
Many high schools have limited courses because of their size. Colleges offer dozens of majors. You may opt to pursue a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree, Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree, or Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) degree. Each of these degree fields offers multiple majors. For example, someone pursuing a B.A. might major in psychology, communication, English, or history. B.S. majors include nursing, engineering, business, and mathematics, while B.F.A majors include music, creative writing, and theater.
5. You don’t have to go to college for a bachelor’s degree.
Colleges award associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees. You can earn an associate degree in two years while earning a bachelor’s degree takes four years. While many high school students focus on applying to a bachelor’s degree program, several careers only require an associate degree. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (B.L.S.) reports that physical therapy assistants need an associate degree to launch their careers. The B.L.S. indicates these health care professionals can expect jobs to increase by 33 percent between 2020 and 2030, and their median annual income was $59,770 in 2020. The B.L.S. also reports that occupational therapy assistants should see a 36 percent job growth rate during the same period. Like physical therapy assistants, occupational therapy assistants need an associate degree. Their median annual income in 2020 was $62,940, per the B.L.S.
Colleges offer a range of degree options and majors. Attending college can be expensive, but you may qualify for scholarships to cover some of your academic costs.