Counselor’s Corner; College Visits- Seeing Beyond What the Website Tells You

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IMG_0998With the holiday season around the corner, most have their minds on family and celebration, but in our line of work, it is a different type of celebration season.  For Chatfield, it is the time of the season to begin showcasing our newest facility.  The newly opened Over-The-Rhine campus is having its first-ever Open House on November 7th at 11 A.M.  We thought now would be the best  time to share some information on the importance of college visits, and an open house is a great opportunity for a visit.  We’re also sharing our checklist for college visits that we have developed over the years.

The best thing you can do is to prepare your students, and having a list of questions to ask when they visit a college is the best way to ensure your students get the information they need to make one of the biggest decisions of their lives.

The stakes are even higher for students who come from families who cannot (or in some cases, will not) offer meaningful financial support.  Often times, these students choose colleges based solely on location and cost, instead of choosing the school that best meets their academic needs.  These same students choose schools that are closest to home, and what they perceive to be, the least expensive.   It is no coincidence that the students who base their choice mainly on these two factors graduate at a much lower percentage (54% to 31%.)  These students are also disproportionally affected by the conflict between work and class schedules—nearly 75% of low-income students cite work or class conflicts as a factor of dropping out of college.

College visits allow students to gather first hand information on whether or not a college is the right fit for them.  We find them to be very helpful to both the students and their parents. For example, many people in our region think Chatfield is expensive because it is a private college.  The truth is, we are one of the most affordable private colleges in America.  Combine our already affordable tuition with  endowed scholarships, federal and state grants, and Chatfield’s expansive work study program, the price becomes competitive, and in some cases, less expensive  than a state school.

Remember, visiting the website and having all the mail/ e-mail information in the world is no substitute for sitting down with a financial aid advisor and getting the full picture on how to pay for an education.

So as your students plan to visit colleges, please feel free to share this checklist.

View the Checklist Now
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