College Planning

  • Location, location location! We have been finding that students go away to schools and return after one semester. Sometimes it is because of failure while most of the time it is because of homesickness. There are some things you can do to help your child adjust.
    1. Visit the colleges.
    2. Make an appointment to have an interview.
    3. Arrange to get a campus tour.
    4. It is best to go when the college has an open house.
    5. After each visit make a journal describing personal reactions, plusses and minuses.
    6. If your child has an opportunity to go away for the weekend or go on school trips that are overnight stays, encourage them to attend.
    7. Talk to other students who have been away to college.

  • Colleges have different majors. There are Liberal Arts schools. These schools tend to prepare you for Graduate schools. Some colleges focus on Teacher Education, but have a variety of other majors. There are schools that offer mainly Engineering and may only have a couple of other majors. Unless your are going for something specific, it is good to look at a school that has a multiple of majors. For example, the University of Rochester is well know for their engineering majors, however, they still offer a multitude of additional majors.
  • The size of the college is important to look at. The University at Buffalo is so big, you have to take a car or bus between classes. geese is smaller where you don't need a car at all.
  • In addition to the size of the school, you must be concerned with the size of the classes. You can visit a college website to get this kind of information. Bigger schools will use graduate assistants to teach the course when needed.
  • A decision will have to be made whether to send your child to a private or public school. Public schools are the New York State SUNY system. They are more reasonable then a private college, but have less money to give out in grants. A grant is money you do not have to pay back. Private schools are very expensive, but usually have endowment money that can lower the cost of the school. Students receive this money usually from excellent grades, athletics, or volunteerism. If they are looking to attract students to go into a certain major they may also give you a grant or scholarship for this purpose.
  • Colleges have different types of admissions. This would include Rolling,Traditional,Early Action and Early Decision. Rolling decision allows you to apply at any time. The only deadline is when the course is about to begin. They also send your acceptance letter in a timely manner since they process your application as soon as they receive it. Traditional decisions are at schools that have a deadline. They look at the entire application pool and then start to make decisions. You do not usually hear if you have been accepted or rejected from them for a couple of months. Early Action applications have an early deadline. You usually want to go to a specific college and are unsure about acceptance. When you apply Early Action, you can apply to other schools. It is non binding which means you can keep your other applications on file. Early decision is the same parameters as Early Action except that once you are accepted at the college of choice, you must withdraw your applications from any other college you applied to.
  • Many colleges are having students apply on line. We help students apply in the Guidance Office if they have difficulty applying on line at home. You may use a generic application that covers many colleges and universities at : You can apply to SUNY colleges at
  • Check out our College Websites link to go directly to these sites. The College Website link takes you to the actual application. These do not. Apply to colleges/universities you decide are a good match for you. Be sure to apply to a "safety" school. A "safety" school is one that you know you can get accepted to and afford to go to.
  • In their senior year, if your child is going to a private school , they will need to ask two teachers for recommendations. They typically ask someone from the Math/Science area and someone from the English, Social Studies or Foriegn Language department. State schools generally do not want recommendations, however if your child does not have the criteria to be accepted based on their grades, occasionally a recommendation will help.
  • If a student applies on line they must let us know in the Guidance Office so we can send additional information such as the transcript. If they apply using a paper application they must bring that into the Office for the same reason.

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