The college selection and application process is a time of self-discovery and personal growth. You reflect on your life, evaluating what is meaningful and important to your continued academic and personal growth; and you develop criteria for a college environment that will accommodate these needs. Starting to visit colleges in the middle of junior year helps you to focus on goals for senior year and the future. This experience also allows you to interact with your family on an adult level because you will be making your first major decision as an adult. You need to keep an open mind and listen to all of the sometimes conflicting suggestions from friends, family, counselors, teachers and college admissions officers. You then need to take the time to evaluate the advice and put it into a perspective that is meaningful to you. There are about three thousand undergraduate institutions in the country, and many are appropriate for each student.
Choosing your college is an interesting and exciting experience. If you begin early and follow the schedule outlined in this handbook, the process will be manageable and successful. Ask questions whenever they arise and adhere to deadlines. You will make a good decision for your future.