As I explained in a previous post, I recently asked a group of friends about their experiences in selecting a college or university.
This story comes from a woman who attended Cornell College in Mount Vernon, Iowa, in the early 1990s. She is now a manager of educational programs at a university in Denver, Colorado, and is pursuing a Master’s degree in social work.
“Honestly, I think I went to college right out of high school because it was expected of me. I wish I’d taken a year off! I looked for a small school with a liberal arts focus, and frankly I fell in love with the campus when I visited. I also looked for small class sizes and good access to professors. The “block-plan” system at Cornell was appealing as well because of its depth and sense of immersion in a subject. I wouldn’t say that I did tons of research when I looked at schools, but I did have help from my high school counselor and my parents. (Somehow, I think things are more competitive today than when I went, however.)
I would encourage students to find a place where they can focus on what they really want to learn, as well as an environment that supports how they learn. I appreciated the small classes, but I know some students want that “big school” feel. I liked the community-like feel of my campus as well. In my experience, I believe I landed in the right spot even though hindsight might suggest I could have done things a bit differently.”
So here’s a question or two for current students who are panicking about their applications during their senior. Will you be a person who, twenty years from now, looks back and wishes you had taken a year off before college? Are you going to college because it is expected of you? Or are you clear on your goals and the means to attain them?
Technorati Tags: Cornell College, Mount Vernon, Iowa, choosing a college, selecting a college, elite colleges, brand name, social work, liberal arts Del.icio.us Tags: Cornell College, Mount Vernon, Iowa, choosing a college, selecting a college, elite colleges, brand name, social work, liberal arts Furl Tags: Cornell College, Mount Vernon, Iowa, choosing a college, selecting a college, elite colleges, brand name, social work, liberal arts