“You can be at the biggest university and be given personal attention and you can also be ‘just a number’ at the smallest of institutions, too,” warned Jennifer Clutter, Program Coordinator for the School of Pharmacy at West Virginia University, during a recent conversation about what students should keep in mind as they work through choosing a school that’s right for them. Jennifer, like many admissions professionals, wants students to know that this first step is an important part of setting yourself up for success.
“You don’t buy a new car without at least kicking the tires, do you?” asked Jennifer. “Your degree will likely cost you more than most average cars do, so you should put even more care into choosing where you’ll invest this money, not to mention time.”
When you do visit, keep in mind that everyone you meet or interact with could possibly have a say in your admissions decision. You’ll want to make a great first — and second and third and so on — impression. Jennifer suggests that you treat everyone with respect, from the person who answers your email or phone call to the president of the institution.
So, you’ve visited the school. You like what you see as far as the campus goes, now it’s time to dive deeper into the support that the school offers you. Jennifer left us with a few questions that you should ask as you consider if the school is the right one for you:
- What classes will you be required to take? If you might choose to go to graduate or professional school, will the coursework you take at XYZ State transfer and prepare you for entry into other programs at ABC University?
- Are your top choices places where you can see yourself expanding your knowledge, skills, and abilities? Have fun? Challenge you? If you don’t feel comfortable or see yourself succeeding and XYZ State, chances are you won’t be happy.
- What support services does that college have available to students? Your college experience is more than just going to classes.
- Are there places on campus for you to get tutoring if you need it?
- What about medical care should you become ill?
- What about helping you in your job search near graduation time or in your summers?