Incoming college freshmen have a ton of important questions about school. While all of their questions should be addressed, there are a few that carry more weight than others. The following four questions count among the most important.
1. Do I Have to Decide on a Major Right Now?
It’s not unusual for a freshman to not know what to major in. While some may believe that kids should know their majors before they get to school, maybe this isn’t the best tactic to take. Instead, it’s reasonable to think that a person’s education will influence his or her decisions about what to major in.
2. What Kind of Academic Advising is There?
A person’s school should provide him/her with good academic advising and this academic advisor should be introduced to the student right away. (This is related to question one.) While most students will spend the first several months of their college careers just trying to adjust, at some point they’ll be asked to think about post-college jobs and even grad school. The time to find a mentor is before the mentor is needed for these decisions.
For example, let’s say the student in question thinks at some point it might be good to research online MBA degree programs. That person’s academic advisor should not only be able to tell him/her what is needed to get into graduate school, but also what the student needs to do to adjust to online classes (provided the student hasn’t had them before.) Each life decision should be scrutinized and both the good and bad points of the decision looked at. A college mentor and advisor is one such person to do just that. A mentor can even help with concentration strategies so that the student reaches their peak performance.
3. Does the School Help with Internships?
Internship opportunities should be viewed in the same light that graduate school is. Incoming freshmen need to know what kinds of opportunity for on-the-job training their school can provide. If there aren’t any internship opportunities for lower division students, are there other options like service learning opportunities? A student’s school should not only teach him the basics of a profession (via his major), but also offer opportunities to practice what the student has learned.
4. What Kind of Financial Aid Do You Offer?
The fact is many if not most students can’t attend school without financial help. U.S. News and World Report suggests that students need to find out what kinds of financial aid students get at their schools of choice. It’s good to find out how much the average financial aid package is as well as how many students receive grants and scholarships. Knowing the answers to these questions helps with planning. These answers also let students know if they’ll need to work during school or not.
Final Thoughts on College Prep
College requires serious commitment and serious questions. The college freshman who is most successful has at least four key questions answered before coming to school. The answers to these questions not only help the freshman to adjust, but also helps him to make solid decisions in the future.
Ani Oaks is a freelance writer and web enthusiast. You can read some of her published work on her Google+ page.