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Any advice for high school students on their college search?

  • Acer Pahukoa '17
    Go somewhere different, somewhere that isn't like your hometown. You have four years to try something else. If you don't like it, home is always home. You can always go back there. But you don't have to rush back. I was told that, and it became very important for me.
  • Todd Campbell Jr. '16
    Don't turn Carleton down after the first view, and don't accept it, either. Dive into the process. See what Carleton has to offer. Do it a second time and a third time, because there will always be something at Carleton that you'll find later, and you'll just think, 'Wow, that's great.' I think you really have to ask yourself what you want out of a college, and then dig deeper. Call students. Call alumni. Ask them questions. There are so many hidden things. I think you have to search a little bit to know what you want.
  • Emily Balczewski '16
    Unless you are certain of the type of school you want to attend (hint: small, liberal arts, starts with "C," and ends with "ton"), apply to a range colleges of different sizes, locations, teaching philosophies, and social atmospheres. The college application process makes you realize things about yourself and your expectations for college that you may not have known when you made your first "short list." Keeping your options open is a valuable thing!
  • Sam Chao '16
    Unless you have to stick to a certain region of the world, cast a wide net - look at schools on the east coast, the west coast, the midwest, or around the world. It might be a little more work to research schools, but it'll pay off if you find a school that suits your needs (even if it ends up being a school somewhere in Minnesota).
  • Nate Livingston '16
    The most important thing is to be honest with yourself. It’s a time in your life with a lot of pressure around you -- from parents and friends, especially -- to apply to XYZ school because you should, without any sort of rational explanation. But then you go to visit, and for me at least, it was clear the ones I did like and the ones I did not like. That’s your decision. You have to be the one at that school for the next four years. Not your parents. not your friends. A good college fit is really important. I certainly made a good one coming here. These are my people.
  • Caffi Meyer '15
    Don't stress out! The college search can be nerve-racking but it doesn't have to be a scary decision. I tried my best to relax throughout the process and reminded myself that every school has redeeming qualities.
  • Owen Solis '17
    When I was going through the application process, I was looking for stuff that has no relevance to my life now. I would really try to picture yourself on campus. Not in an academic setting, because you’re probably applying to a group of schools that are Tier A, Tier B and offer the same kind of rigor. Instead, imagine yourself in your dorm room. Look out the window. Are you happy where you are?
  • Anna Chance '15
    Listen to your parents, listen to your peers, listen to your counselor—but also listen to yourself. If you find a school that fits YOU, then follow that intuition. I was hard-pressed to go to Vassar or Cornell by my family—and, even though they are great institutions, they were not the right fit for me.
  • Marielle Foster '16
    It's hard to have perspective in those years, because high school is a quintessential bubble. Think about the academics, the level of interactions with professors, how kind and helpful people are when you visit. When I visited Carleton, everyone stopped to give me directions, share anecdotes or make suggestions about things I should try. That sort of welcoming and inclusive attitude is rare, and special. Also, taking a year off was the best decision I made before coming to college.