Feb. 27, 2019

Choosing a College

It’s never too early to start thinking about plans after high school. Many CalPac students plan to continue academics after high school and planning in advance can help make this transition much easier. Affordability, academic fit, geographic preferences and social experiences are among the factors that you may want to consider when choosing a college that is best for you.

Many CalPac students take advantage of California’s excellent community college system. Some California community colleges have automatic transfer options directly to the UC system and this is one way to get a world class education at an affordable price. However, private schools can often be just as affordable for low and middle-income students. Often, private schools will cover cost of tuition and expenses as part of your financial aid package. Also, there are many excellent scholarship opportunities available. Questbridge, for example, provides high achieving, low income students with an opportunity to earn a College Match Scholarship, which covers the full cost of tuition, room and board, are loan-free, and require no parental contribution for many selective colleges.

Choosing a college is an opportunity to dream. What is your ideal college? Some college students thrive in a familiar environment. Some like to stay close to home. Others crave adventure and love the idea of traveling to an unfamiliar place. Some want the excitement of a big city or the opportunities of a large college. Others might prefer a quiet small-town experience and feel more comfortable in a smaller school.  Colleges That Change Lives is a great resource to learn more about smaller schools that you might not have thought of before.

When choosing a college, you should also think about academic challenge. You want to select a college that inspires you to do great things. Some students do best when faced with a great challenge, others do better when they have an opportunity to be the top of their class. There are many great online resources to assess the difficulty of a college’s academic program https://www.princetonreview.com/college-search

Choosing a college can be a fun experience, but at times it can also be stressful. Don’t forget that you always have options. Some students find after their first year that their “dream school” wasn’t their perfect choice. You always have the option to transfer or change plans mid-stream. So, don’t worry that you need to make the “perfect” decision right now. Think of college selection as an opportunity to learn more about yourself. Think about your goals and dreams and think about what inspires you and brings you joy. CalPac students can do great things. We are rooting for you.