While visiting a high school this morning, I was reminded that it’s that time of year when high school seniors, having heard back from colleges, are making their decisions about where they will be attending in the fall. Meanwhile, juniors are just beginning the college search. So, congratulations seniors and we hope UMBC is the place for you! But this is a shout out to the juniors, who are about to embark on a ride full of standardized tests, road trips, and open houses. Here are a few tips for beginning your college search!
1. Do some online searching
College Board will be your best friend for the next two years, starting with the actual search. It has a great search engine where you can filter categories that are important to you and provide you with colleges that match! It will also be the place where you register for the SAT or ACT—save the dates now!
2. Plan a visit
Once you’ve made your list, go to the schools’ websites to see when they offer campus tours or visit days. You’re about to spend money and four years somewhere—you should try it on before committing.
3. Check the requirements
Schools will list their admissions requirements on their website and you can start preparing now. Find out if the school uses Common Application; if it does, you could create your account—even start your essay! But most importantly, learn the deadlines!
4. Make an application plan
A lot of people don’t realize that you don’t have to apply to every school that’s out there—for one thing it can get expensive. Decide for yourself, and maybe with your parents, just how many applications you’re going to submit. Then, possibly after visiting, make the final list.
5. Attend Just for Juniors! (and sophomores too!)
On March 29, UMBC will host its annual Just for Juniors, a day that provides juniors and sophomores with an introduction to the college search with workshops, panels, and tours that will help you sort through the process.
You might go through these steps a few times as your list grows and shrinks, and that’s okay—it’s a long process—but hopefully having them will help you along the way.
See you at Just for Juniors!