Student Insights: JaMyrah Fredrick, Missouri Valley College ’21

5 Simple Steps to an Easy College Search

by Jamyrah Fredrick

JaMyrah Fredrick is a freshman at Missouri Valley College, where she is majoring in Secondary English Education with a minor in Journalism. She graduated from St. Charles High in Missouri where she was the Copy Editor of her school yearbook production for 3 years. When JaMyrah isn’t writing, she’s somewhere with her nose in a book or watching a Marvel film.

Beginning to look for the perfect college is never easy. Most students have no idea where to start, and I was no exception. Do you begin with that school that has been emailing you since freshman year or the nearby college your friends are planning to attend? Like most, I went into the search completely clueless, with my mind set on a university I thought was perfect for me (spoiler alert: it wasn’t). After a few searches, I began to form a quick and simple order of looking into colleges. The following list will not only lead you down the path of finding the perfect school, but it’ll also cut the time in half. You’re welcome.

1. Clear Your Head​:

While it may seem to be a wonderful idea to go into the search of colleges with your mind set on a school, it’s not necessarily the best foot to start off on. The college I had thought I wanted since middle school turned out to not fit me at all, while my final choice was a school I hadn’t even known of before I began my search. Make sure to clear your head and keep an open mind.

2​. Choose A Destination:

There are over 5 thousand colleges in the U.S and over 50 thousand worldwide, so it is important to have something that will narrow down the list. The location is the perfect factor to do so. Knowing where you want to pursue your schooling is a key point in finding the perfect college or university. Think to yourself: ‘Would I prefer attending a university in a rural area or am I more of the city life type?’ Having an exact location is most suitable, but even simply knowing if you want to go an in-state school is helpful.

3. Consider a Few Potential Majors

Almost every college has a field where they excel; some have amazing science programs while others are known for their nursing departments. Some of you are going in with little to no clue as to what major is best for you, which is nothing to panic about. Start thinking about what subjects you’ve liked so far in high school. Even knowing as little as ‘I want to do something with math’ is a great place to start. As you start to look, consider some schools that have great programs for what you plan to major in.

4. All About The Benjamins

Sit down with a parent, guardian, or trusted adult and discuss a rounded budget towards tuition and fees. This will let you know what price range you can afford for college. Knowing this will help you in your search and even more so on deciding on your final school. Budget and cost is a big factor in a college search but don’t let it deter you, this step can also tell you how many scholarship and loans you should be applying for and if done early enough, can put you ahead of the game. I had a budget of about $5,000, but with the help of scholarships, I headed to the school of my choice for absolutely free.

5. Size Matters

While the size of the school doesn’t seem significant at first, it will be in the long run. This factor depends on your personal way of learning; if you’re a hands-on learner, a smaller school would allow you to excel. If larger groups are more your thing, you’d most likely thrive at a large university. If you’re a bit of both a medium sized school would be best. While this factor may not seem as important as the rest, it directly affects class size and your learning ability, so trust me, it’s just as vital.

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