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College Admissions Help from a College Admissions Advisor

14th November 2011
By Gene Hunt in Business Law
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When filling out your college admissions application, keep your long term goals in sight rather than only thinking about "my chances" of college admissio.

What college should I attend? It is a question that confronts high school students every year. The summer 2009 saw the largest graduating class ever, with more than 3.3 million students receiving their diplomas. Should I go to Mom's or Dad's alma mater attend the institution that my brother or sister attend? Should I go where I have the best college admission chances or where my college counselor suggests? Maybe I will just go to the school of my favorite sports team.

When selecting a school and thinking about your college admissions application, the answer of where, can actually be simplified by keeping your long term goals after college at the heart of your decision.

A college admissions consultant might steer you to consider some other questions. Questions such as; In what field would I like to work? or In what area of the country would I like to live and work? should be key drivers in your decision process. Once you have an idea of what field you would like to work in, select an institution that has a strong curriculum and reputation in that particular field of study. Whether it be an engineering specialty, liberal arts or hotel & restaurant management, consider a university or college that has a history of focus and dedication in that academic concentration. This will ensure you not only maximize your learning potential in this field, but also improve your value to potential employers after graduation. College counselors will tell you there are some schools such as the US Military Academy or Harvard whose reputation outstrips any specific major and whose graduates are valued no matter what degree they obtain. However, not everyone can get into these schools. When you drill down to a specific academic specialty, you will be surprised by the options that open up at colleges you may never have heard of. As an example, unless you are from the state of New York or have researched the best colleges for Electrical Engineering, not many students would know that Copper Union is one of the best institutions for this specialty.

Much like basing college decisions on a field of study, a prospective student should also evaluate what area of the country they would like to work and live. Again, would argue that this analysis can also produce college choices a student may not have expected. Using the example once again of universities that garner national recognition and are looked upon positively by any employer, such as Stanford and MIT, one could lose sight of regional colleges that carry as much weight within a certain area of the country as these institutions. For a graduate that wants to work and live in Houston or San Antonio, you cannot do much better than a degree from Texas A&M University. The university's reputation and alumni network in these cities has a tremendous impact graduate opportunities.

Combining your desired academic specialty with the region of the country you prefer to live, will greatly enhance your decision making process. It will help to focus your efforts, time and money on the institutions that align with your academic, career and life goals. As a 17 or 18-year old student, it may be tough to decide what you really want to do and where in the world you want to grow your career. However, if you can work with your college counselors to formulate your long-term goals, and use these goals to determine which colleges or universities you will apply to, the dividends will be realized for years to come.

Kevin Vaughn
Admit Insights

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