“Warm, welcoming, smart, and unpretentious– our university is filled with students who are driven to be the best they can be without striving to do so at the expense of others. They excel at allowing everyone to be comfortable with who they are, and not having to be a certain type of person in order to fit in.”
Does this describe the type of college environment you want to be in? Where do you fit in? Which statement below describes you the most?
- I want a college where most of the students share my background and viewpoints.
- I want a college where some students have viewpoints and experiences different from my own.
- I want a college where many students have viewpoints and experiences which are unlike my own.
Using your answer, look for the following when researching colleges:
- What is the mix of undergraduate geographic diversity? How many students are in-state? Out-of-state? International?
- What is the racial/ethnic make-up of the student population? Hispanic, Asian, Pacific Islander, Black, Native American, White, other?
- Where would you find students who share your spiritual beliefs/values? Colleges have Hillel for Jewish students, MSA for Muslim students, Institutes for LDS (Mormon) students, and worship opportunities or spiritual centers for many other students. Where will you find your group?
- Is there Greek life? How many students join fraternities and sororities? Are there Greek houses on campus to live in? Or not?
- Do students play sports? Varsity, club, or intramural? Are other recreation sports (biking, running, hiking, fitness classes) offered/available?
- Do students share a common passion or commitment? Does the campus lean toward a particular political culture? Are there any unifying values that define the campus climate?
- How is housing arranged? Do all freshmen live on campus? Are there special living/learning communities you can choose from, like sustainability, international studies, arts, engineering, etc.?
As you read about colleges, review their websites, and take virtual tours, be sure to ask these questions. Learn as much as you can about the student body of the college. After all, you will spend the next four years closely- connected to the students in your classes and the community in which you live.
Take notes about each college and its social atmosphere. What do you like or don’t like? The ultimate question is, “Would I fit in here?” The answer should be a resounding YES, and then you can add it to your college list.
At EdMission Possible, we create a customized college list based on each student’s academic, social, and financial preferences. Our customized virtual college counseling services make it possible to work with students from all states across the U.S. as well as many countries around the world. Call or email us today to inquire about our comprehensive packages or a la carte services.
Happy college hunting!
Burcak Deniz Cakir
Founder and President | EdMission Possible
Burcak Deniz Cakir has a B.A. in Foreign Language Education, an M.A. in English Language Teaching, and an M.B.A., all of which have laid the solid foundation for her professional experiences as an educator. She has completed the College Counseling Program at UCLA, which is known to be the most prestigious certificate program in the profession. She has previously taught English as a Foreign/Second Language (EFL/ESL) in Turkey and in the U.S. at Virginia Tech, Harcum College, Rutgers University (Newark and New Brunswick Campuses), and Pace University. Having taught EFL/ESL at the college level for over 20 years, Burcak can communicate effectively with college-age students from different countries. She is bilingual in Turkish and English. Her extensive experience with international students from many countries including but not limited to Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Korea, and China has given her the opportunity to understand their unique problems that domestic students may not be facing throughout the college admissions process, such as but not limited to extra testing requirements (TOEFL, IELTS), the translation of high school transcripts and recommendation letters, different financial forms and statements required, visa issues, being homesick, culture shock, etc.
Burcak is an Associate Member of the Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA) and a Voting Member of the International Association for College Admission Counseling (IACAC). She currently lives in Edison, New Jersey with her husband, two daughters, and her four-legged son. In her free time, she can be found spending time with her family, reading (lots!) about college admissions and college essays, watching her favorite movies, getting lost in design magazines, and decorating her house.
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