“People think getting into college is a prize to be won, and the reality is it’s a match to be made,” says Scott Verzyl, Dean of Undergraduate Admissions at the University of South Carolina.
For many students Spring Break means planning visits to schools as you continue to work on your college lists. I encourage all of you to consider the idea of finding a great fit and then determine the steps that you can take to achieve admission into schools that are a good match for you.
Finding these schools is about building a positive high school record in and out of the classroom beginning wherever you are right now. High school can and should be fun.
You can take challenging classes in areas that interest you, further develop your interests by trying activities you’re drawn to, and build positive relationships at school, through non-school activities, and in your job. What is most exciting, fun, and interesting to you? Getting clearer about what’s fun now will make it easier to figure out what might be interesting to you in the future.
The process of finding a good fit also means that you need to work hard at those things that are part of your personal high school plan. That includes making high marks in the courses that you have selected, taking leadership roles in your activities, networking, and getting involved in meaningful community service activities. You also need to set a plan and create a timeline for college admissions testing, college visits, and the college application process. (Remember, students, these are your responsibilities!)
Diane Veto Parham wrote a great article for South Carolina Living that can guide you when thinking about potential schools to consider. In it she asks:
Does the school have majors that match your career interests? Are there places nearby that offer internships or extracurricular learning experiences to boost your appeal to future employers or graduate schools?
Parham’s article, “College Prep 101,” succinctly lists many helpful details to help you in your search and can be found here.
Note: There are a few references that are SC specific (and clearly marked as such), but most of the information will be helpful to any high school student and their parents.
Explore which colleges are a good fit for you as you move through your happy high school years. It’s actually fun to set a strategy to discover a perfect college match!