The goal of the “I am College Bound” campaign is to provide New Hampshire high school students with the inspiration, information and planning support to pursue higher education goals. The Center for College Planning team especially encourages low-income students, their parents and their mentors to recognize that New Hampshire campuses and the U.S. Department of Education offer strong financial aid programs which enable eligible individuals to access financial assistance in paying for education beyond high school. To inform, engage and grow public awareness about financial aid programs, students are incentivized to share content with friends and peers within their networks through monthly promotions.
Laying the Foundation for Your College Search
Is your mailbox full every day with college and university flyers advertising how great their campuses are? Is your email full of invitations to attend an Open House or visit campus for an information session and a campus tour? Are college admission representatives visiting your school counseling office to answer questions of your senior classmates? For current high school juniors, you may be sensing the time is right to start thinking about your life after high school as this year will go by quickly. So how about taking advantage of some of these opportunities and jumpstart your college search process?
Did you know there are about 6,700 colleges and universities in the United States? If you are having trouble identifying schools that might be a good fit for you, a great online resource we use here in the Center for College Planning (CCP) is Big Future. This is a great tool to use to “create your road map” to college. By using this search engine, you can input exactly what it is you are looking for in a campus and program of study. Breaking it down by size of school, location, and major will help to target your search and give you a good list of schools to review.
As helpful as online research may be, face-to-face interaction with colleges and universities is crucial. Each college you express interest in will encourage you to schedule a campus tour. In most cases, you will be able to request that tour via an online visit form. Make the most out of your visit. Contact the Admissions office a few days before your visit to ask if you could meet with a professor to talk your interests and gain helpful information about specific academic programs. When you are on campus, pick up admission materials and financial aid brochures. Ask to meet the admissions officer who works in your area to introduce yourself, as he/she is the one who will most likely read your application. As you get ready to leave the campus, make sure you are reflecting about your visit – write down your thoughts, talk with your family about what you have all seen and heard.
As you develop the list of colleges you will visit, one easy thing you and your family can do is to start looking at potential financial aid packages the colleges may offer. Do your research on the financial aid pages of a college’s website. One of most helpful tools you will find on a college’s web site is a net price calculator tool (more on that in a moment!).
Take our advice - start researching colleges early! The effort you make now will set the tone with your college search process. For assistance in navigating this journey, read our Choosing a College information to help jumpstart some ideas – and remember to mark your calendars to join us for our 20th Annual Destination CollegeSM event Saturday, March 30th at Plymouth State University. Destination College, New Hampshire’s largest college planning convention, is a great way to learn more about the college admissions process – and it’s FREE to attend. Registration will open in January 2019.
December’s I Am College Bound Promo:
True or False: A net price calculator is a tool to help students and families compare the possible cost of one college to another and is usually found on a college’s admissions or financial aid page. For help in finding the answer to this month’s “I Am College Bound” promo question, click here.
Participating New Hampshire students have the chance to win one of two (2) $25 Amazon gift cards this month!