My name is Angela. I am a senior at Trinity High School, and I am in the process for finding the college that is best fit for me. The things that are most important to me in terms of finding the right fit are:
1) Distance from home: I want to find a school that is far, but not too far. I want to meet new people, but still be able to get home if I need or want to.
2) Size: I want to find a school that is small enough that I see familiar faces, but big enough that I feel like I am branching out.
3) Post-College Career Opportunities: I want to go to a college that offers a variety of majors that appeal to my wide range of interests so that I have the option of changing majors if I choose to without having to change schools and start all over. I also want to find a school that has strong placement services – both for internships and for jobs after graduation.
4) Extra-curriculars and social life: I want to find a school that has a variety of extra-curricular activities, including sports. In high school, I have been a cheerleader and played volleyball and softball. I’d like to find a school where I could participate in those activities if I wanted to.
5) Cost: I want to find a school that meets my academic and social needs but also gives me the best financial aid package.
With these things in mind, I have visited three colleges so far this fall: Kent State University, Ohio University and the University of Dayton. Here’s what I thought of each school.
Kent State University
In early August I went to Kent State University for a college visit. There were administrators there showing slide shows and explaining the campus life and tuition. I also stayed for the tour; students there led those and answered any questions we had. I personally liked the campus because it was like a small college town I felt like a lot of places were nearby. The only thing I didn’t like though is that it wasn’t just college life down there, it was kind of mixed in with other cities and people who had nothing to do with the college. However, for the majors offered I noticed there were a variety of things to do there and that’s probably because they are a bigger college that has a lot to offer, the only bad thing is that everyone seems to want to go there so the competition to do certain majors is quite competitive. Our tour guides explained that there were many different extra-curriculars there which made me feel like I would always have something to do that interested me. I’m not quite sure if I could see myself going there just because I would like to get away from people I already know, I want to be surrounded by a whole new environment.
The second college I visited was Ohio University. At first we met in their theatre where a student gave a presentation and answered any questions we had about the school. She spoke with us about the tuition, extra-curriculars, types of courses, and history of the college. I loved the campus, it was absolutely gorgeous and when I had pictured what a college looked like in my mind that was it. The buildings were old fashioned and homey. Even though I loved the campus I didn’t at the same time, I feel like it may have been too big and spread out. There are a lot of people that go there and although I’d like to meet new people I don’t know if I’d be thrilled to see a new person every three seconds. There were many different courses there, which I loved. I love having many options just in case I want to switch majors. I was surprised when they told us all about the different extra-curriculars they had there. It’s obviously a huge school so they are Division 1 but even with the competition to be in varsity sports there are club teams as well. When I left I felt I could actually see myself there, maybe. If I can get over how big the campus is my mind might change. I feel like if I was more familiar with the places there it wouldn’t seem as overwhelming as it is going for the first time.
University of Dayton
The third college visit I went on was at the University of Dayton. I have a friend that goes there so they gave me a personal tour of the campus. I felt like it was the perfect campus, it’s not too big but at the same time it doesn’t seem to be squished together. There was just enough space for you, if you needed to be alone you could be. It’s a 3.5 hour drive, but it’s nice because you’re in a big city without feeling like you’re in a big city. It definitely feels like a campus. It was just the right distance, far enough to be away but close enough to go home for a weekend. I personally felt there wasn’t anything I didn’t like about the campus, it was beautiful and the buildings were nice inside and out. Everyone there is beyond friendly and welcoming and I really liked the feeling of being accepted. I feel like I loved that it wasn’t too big of a population and it just seemed to be the right amount of people around me. Even though UD is a private school it seems to still have a lot to offer to its students. There are internships that you could do to get hands-on work experience which I feel like is a great way to see if you would really enjoy doing what you’re going there for. They seem to have a great Honors Program so if you are looking to push yourself you can. They are all about doing, and actually helping out others. Just like the two other schools I visited they had club and varsity sports, they have school spirit which is always fun. After I left that day I felt I could definitely see myself at the University of Dayton, there wasn’t a thing I didn’t love about it. It was a great experience.
It’s fall, which means it’s application season. I plan to apply to all three schools; but if I had to choose a front-runner, right now, it’s Dayton.