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The Importance of Visiting Colleges to Find That Perfect Fit!

June 10, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 169

Visiting colleges is an absolutely critical part of your student's decision of where to attend. While it is an investment of money and time, it will save you money in the long run. There's nothing worse than sending your student off to a college they have never visited before, only to discover that there is some key element there that wasn't apparent on the glossy four-color college brochures, which absolutely drives your student crazy. Your child will be spending the next four formative years of their life at this place, so making sure they like it there is wise, even if it is somewhat costly.

When you visit colleges, don't forget the importance of taking notes. This is important because you want to get as much personal information about the college as possible. When you apply to that college, you will be able to use all those personal details in your essays, your email communications, and your thank you follow ups.

For example, my son visited a class in the honors program when we were on a college visit, and when it came time to write his college application essay, he was able to state, "I want to go to SPU because when I heard Dr. Reinsma speak on the core relation between the French literature and the Italian Renaissance ornate architecture, I wanted to..."

Therefore, make sure you include as many details in your college visit notes as possible, so you can incorporate them into your future communication with the school. Schools keep track of the number of times you contact them, and they will be very favorably impressed to see that you were paying close attention to them during your visits.

When you do find that perfect fit college, make certain to very carefully compare financial aid offers, because those offers will come in over a long period of time, and you will want to find the one that is best for your bottom line. One college may say, "We're giving you $25,000 worth of scholarships," but if that college costs $36,000, you're still going to be out $11,000. Another college may say, "We're going to give you this much financial aid," but all of their aid is a grant that you don't pay back.

Compare this to the college who may give you more financial aid, but it's all in loans that you have to pay back. And don't forget to factor in all the little incidentals particular to each college, such as ASB fees, parking fees, or technology fees, as well as travel home on breaks. Sometimes these details will tip the scales in favor of one college over the other.

When you get them through home high school, make sure you have prepared your student for college. Failing to aim for college is one of "The 5 Biggest Mistakes Parents Make When Homeschooling High School." Learn how to avoid all 5 mistakes in my free e-mail mini-course.

My Total Transcript Solution will show you how to create an AMAZING homeschool transcript that will impress the colleges!

Lee Binz, The HomeScholar, is a homeschool high school expert. Both her two boys earned full-tuition scholarships at their first choice university. Search for "The HomeScholar" to see how she did it!

Source: EzineArticles
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