Summer Break Checklist
The summer break is quickly approaching. So, if you are prospective-college student we would like to help! We want to give you 5 college preparation hacks to do over the summer to prepare. Remember by spending a little bit of time over the summer break you can move forward in your college selection process exponentially.
Who Is This For?
Ideally, soon to be high school juniors, seniors and 2-year college students who are ready to transfer to a 4-year college or university. However, we highly recommend that sophomores in high school also start the process. This is one of the biggest decisions in your lifetime. So take your time but you need to start early so you don’t rush yourself. Also, don’t try and do too much all at once. Avoid frustration and information overload by following these few simple steps below.
Why We Want to Help
We understand that the college search process can be difficult, there are a lot of places to start, a lot of things to consider, and we simply want to help.
Summer Break College Hacks
Ask God to guide you to the right school!
It sounds cliché but if you are a Christian then this is your best place to start!
Determine what you are looking for in a college or university experience.
Consider things like academic reputation, location, campus life, personal attention, campus facilities, in-state or out-of-state, cost. This will help you know where to start looking and speed up the process. It’s hard to look at a lot of college material without a baseline of things that mean a lot to you first.
Determine why you answered the previous question the way you did.
Does the school fit your personality type? Did you choose it because it’s your friend’s choice? Does it help you reach your career or ministry goal(s)? This is a big decision, so you need to really get to the “Why” of what you want in a college experience. If you are not really sold on your choice then you may end up transferring and possibly spending more money in the long run.
Determine Your Budget
College is a big investment, but we believe a great investment wherever you decide to attend. However, you and your family need to determine how much you can afford and how much you are willing to borrow to make it happen.
The next step, if you are a senior in high school would be to fill out a Free Application for Federal Aid (FAFSA). Check out our checklist at cbc.edu/financialaid.
Then, start hunting for scholarships! Even though colleges and universities offer scholarships, the more outside scholarships you can bring in with you the better. Here is our scholarship list that you can take a look at to get started.
These first 4 suggestions take some quiet time and soul searching. A lot of people don’t want to take the time to go through this exercise. Then the process becomes confusing and frustrating and a good decision can’t be made.
So, the summer break is a perfect time to slow down and focus on them, even if you are working. This process is not meant to be a 1-hour solution. Break these steps into smaller steps. Then move to steps 5 & 6.
Well, light research. Google! You can take the things that are important to you in a college experience, that you have already determined from steps 1-3, and plug them in your google search bar and off you go. Multiple options in seconds! Look for reviews on certain college web matching sites like Niche.com or Christian Connector. You can find CBC on both of these sites.
Also, family members and friends that have attended college are great resources. Ask them about their experience and why they chose the college that they did. Good or bad you can learn from their experiences.
Calendar your college visit days
I don’t mean you have to plan out all your visits over your summer break. If you have already narrowed down your choices and you are ready to do this, then great. If you are not ready to do this, then just taking time with your family to schedule the times of the year that you will set aside for college visits will be extremely helpful. Then, you can plug in the schools one at a time when you are ready, throughout the year.
Remember, don’t stress yourself out about the process. Just be consistent and do a little each week or month depending on how close you are to a decision date. Enjoy dreaming and planning where you want to be and what you want to do in your college years. Once you determine what you want in a college experience, what you are willing and able to pay for, and why you want it, then finding a place will come naturally.
Let Us Help
If we can help in any way, please reach out to us and we will assign a Personal Admissions Counselor to help you through the process.