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DECIDING

Beginning the Process The formal college admissions process begins in January of junior year with group meetings that outline the entire process and make you aware of the following factors that you need to consider when exploring colleges and universities.

Size Colleges range in size from 26 students at a most selective and specialized college, such as Deep Springs in California, to about 50,000 students at a comprehensive university, such as Ohio State. Many students value the interactions with faculty like the ones you have experienced at St. Edward High School; whereas other students prefer more anonymity. You should keep in mind that the term "small college" generally refers to colleges with about 1500 to 2000 students where you would certainly recognize faces but not know everyone on a personal level.

Location It is always a learning experience to understand the cultural nuances of another part of the country, but you need to consider whether you want to be close to home, in an urban or rural environment, or want a climate that allows you to pursue throughout the year recreational and athletic activities that are important to you.

Type of Curriculum Do you want a broad, general education that a liberal arts and science program provides or a more specialized program such as engineering, business, nursing or education, which can be found at a university? Does the college or university have flexibility in regard to courses or the option to change majors or divisions? Are there language requirements or distribution requirements? Are there opportunities for internships, undergraduate research, or cooperative education programs or international study programs?

Student Body & Student Life What is the percentage of undergraduates compared to graduate students? What is the ethnic and geographic diversity? Are support services available? What voice does the student body have in school affairs? What are the opportunities for study abroad? What athletic and extracurricular activities are available? What is the focus of the social life? Do most students remain on campus on weekends or seek their social life elsewhere? What housing and dining options are available?

Calendar Does the college or university operate on quarter, semester, or trimester program? Does it have a short winter or spring term? How do the various calendars meet your family and employment needs?

Admission Requirements What tests are required? Is an interview required or expected? What are the application options? Are essays required? Are teacher recommendations required? What are the deadlines for applications and housing?

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