Students who do their research and enroll in colleges and universities that offer respected undergraduate and graduate degree programs can increase their chances of gaining academic, career, personal, professional and financial rewards that endure for decades. By conducting thorough college searches and understanding admissions application processes students can also save money on admissions fees and enroll in schools that have good relationships with area employers.

Other than buying a house, few decisions have as long lasting an impact as the decision to enroll in a certain college or university. Search tools available to students and their parents include college ranking reports such as the U.S. News and World Report, Princeton Review and Washington Post’s College Rankings. Information listed in these reports varies by publisher but generally include school founding dates, student demographics, whether or not the schools are public or private, social and professional programs offered to students at the schools, college entrance examination requirements and tuition costs.

Conducting College Searches In-Person

If students are centrally located to colleges and universities they are interested in attending, they can travel to the postsecondary schools and explore the campuses, including academic halls, athletic hubs and dorms in person. Students planning on attending college on-campus are encouraged to visit surrounding neighborhoods to get a feel for the area colleges and universities are located in. They can also browse through local newspapers to discover important facts about towns schools are located in.

To get the most out of college visits, it’s a good idea to schedule an appointment through an admissions counselor. This way students can receive guided tours of the campus and take advantage of opportunities to learn about school history, current objectives and policies and practices. During tours students can ask admissions counselors and financial aid officers questions regarding lab fees, add/drop deadlines and internship and work/study programs.

By visiting colleges and universities, ensuring the schools are fully accredited by organizations recognized by the United States Department of Education and reviewing college ranking reports, students can narrow down the numbers of schools they want to submit admissions applications to. This step can save students and their parents money as some postsecondary schools charge $30 or more in application fees, money that is generally non-refundable

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More About College Search and Applications

Additionally, completing college and university applications generally requires students to provide their name, contact information, high school name and graduation date, honors and awards received, extracurricular activities they were involved in during high school and community programs they participated in. The more well rounded and involved students are at school and in their communities, the greater their chances may be of getting accepting into top schools. Many colleges and universities also require students to write and submit essays and, of course, high school transcripts, with their applications.

As a tip, students are encouraged to give essays thought before sitting down and writing them. It’s also helpful for students to have a parent or siblings who are already attending college to read over their essays, noting areas for improvement. After applications are submitted, some schools will schedule telephone or in-person interviews with students they feel are a good fit for their schools. By dressing in business casual attire, writing down questions to ask interviewers and answering questions openly and honestly, students can further increase their chances of getting accepted into top schools.

After admissions applications are received and interviews are completed (for colleges that conduct admissions interviews), admissions committee members may meet to review and discuss applications. Information provided on admissions applications can carry a lot of weight during committee discussions. It is during these discussions that increases in a student’s grade point average can make the different between whether or not admissions officers decide to admit a student.

The best chance high school graduates may have of getting admitted to top colleges and universities may be created during the high school years. Maintaining high academic standards, getting involved in sports or student organizations and volunteering in community programs show college admissions officers that students are focused and intent on improving themselves and the communities they live in.

College Search and Application Articles

What are the top 5 business schools with the highest enrollment?

The concept of a business school is actually a relatively new one as the first collegiate business school began operation in 1881. Learning how to run a business was not a part of the typical educational curriculum and still is not widely taught before students enter their postsecondary education. Recently, however, business schools and business degrees have become among the most popular choices for students. Business schools provide business degrees at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

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What are the top engineering schools?

Engineering is defined as "the branch of science and technology concerned with the design, building, and use of engines, machines, and structures." There are many reasons someone would choose to enter an engineering degree program. Engineering students are generally interested in innovation and the creation of new products or ideas.

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Top Five Teacher Education Schools

Education is the cornerstone of advancement in our society. Obtaining an education is the closest thing to a guarantee for elevating someone's status or earning potential. Many sources have demonstrated that education is one of the only factors that can be isolated as an alleviator of poverty in America. Teachers who are qualified and knowledgeable in their subject areas, however, must provide education. Teachers must relate to their students to create a positive change within them and guide their pupils to success.

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What are the top writing schools?

Ever since humans stopped living nomadic lives and settled into communities where commerce and social interaction were prevalent, the need and use of a written language arose. Language was and still is used as a method for transmitting important information, creating stories for entertainment, and speaking with peers. The nation's universities realize the importance of writing and its many uses, and cater their educational offerings to this.

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Start looking for graduate schoolsl in your junior year. Find out why!

If you're planning to go to graduate school right after you obtain your Bachelor's degree, it is a good idea to begin looking in time to meet the deadlines. Also keep in mind that graduate schools are very selective in the students they choose; if you even think you may want to go to graduate school when you begin your Freshman year, begin working to obtain high grades from the beginning.

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Do you know how to find out what your school's accreditations are?

Just because you attend college or university doesn’t mean that you’re receiving a quality education, one that hiring managers and top postsecondary schools respect. To ensure that the credits you earn at school can be transferred to other colleges and universities and to ensure that your degrees gain you quality employment with companies you want to work at, check to make sure that the college or university you attend is accredited.

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Are some schools better than others? Find out here!

One thing that is of great importance to adult students is the quality of the education they will receive. While younger students tend to rely on their parents for guidance, older adult students are on their own and must rely on their own judgments. This may cause concern if they are unsure of the school they are interested in attending: they want to know if it is really the best choice for what they are seeking.

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Do you know how colleges are ranked? Find out here!

Accredited colleges and universities have been ranked by local and national organizations and periodicals like Forbes, the Princeton Review and US News & World Report for several years.  Company recruiters, parents and prospective college students review college and university rankings to increase their chances of hiring students who graduated from top schools or, in the latter case, to make sure that they and their children get a quality education.

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Do you know how to search for an accredited school? Find out here!

Searching for an accredited school to attend is not as tough as it may seem.  In fact, college rankings like Forbes’ “America’s Best Colleges” list, The Princeton Review’s “College Rankings” and US News & World Reports’ “College Ranking and Lists” can help to take the guess work out of which colleges and universities offer the programs, undergraduate and graduate degrees and student activities you’re most interested in taking advantage of.

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Can you use social networking for college and job search?

The popularity of social sites such as Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and many more have changed the way people conduct searches for college as well as jobs. Before the introduction of social sites, the only way a person could find out information was through personal contact, Internet research and tours of the facilities. Today it is easy to learn information about colleges and employers before making a commitment to work or attend school.

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Why should you get your college applications in early?

The sooner you submit your college or university scholarship, student loan and grant applications to federal, state and local government agencies and/or to private companies sponsoring the financial aid, the earlier your application gets reviewed.  If you get your applications in early you can also make a positive impression on college or university administrators and business owners.

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Is entering college as a non-matriculated student right for you? Find out!

While not all schools accept non-matriculated students, there are enough of them available to meet the needs of those students who are either not ready to choose their degree programs or those who just want to take a few courses without the obligation to obtain a degree.

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Are you applying to multiple schools? Check out some tips!

Even if you are interested in attending a particular school and have your heart set on that school, it is a good idea to leave your options open and apply to several different schools. While there is no right answer as to how many colleges to which you should apply, many people believe six or seven is a good target number.

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What happens when you don't get into the school of your choice?

When you begin looking for colleges to attend, you want to apply to several even though you may have a preference for one above the others. However, it is also important to understand you may not get into your first choice school for any number of reasons, especially since most popular choices have more applicants than they do available spots. This means they will only choose the crème de la crème from among the applications they have.

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What should you know about the college registration process?

When most people think of registering for college they think of the initial application, but in reality the process continues throughout the term of your program. There are certain steps you follow in the beginning but the process doesn't end once you fill out the application and are accepted.

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What do you need to know about college admissions?

Applying for college as an adult might seem daunting, but don’t let the admissions process scare you. Meeting the demands of your job make it clear that you have what it takes to succeed in and out of the classroom. On top of that, the below information will help to make understanding the admissions process at the accredited college or university you want to attend easier.

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Want to build on your past knowledge? Go back to college.

One of the greatest advantages that adult learners have is a level of “real world” experience that college aged students do not have.  Since one of the more common motivations behind adults who go back to get more education is a motivation to move up in their current organizations.

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Don't have your high school diploma? Find out why you should get your GED!

GED stands for General Educational Development, and it is a national test for those who did not receive their high school diplomas.  The test is also for those who have diplomas that are not recognized by New York State. The GED assesses skills and knowledge that one would gain throughout four years in high school, in addition to what is attained from personal experiences and the media.

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Do you know what your scholarship needs are?

In the majority of cases one scholarship does not cover the entire cost of your education. This means you may find it necessary to apply for more than one scholarship in order to meet your financial needs.

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Did you know you can earn college credit via summer programs?

The income disparity between those who finish their Bachelor's degree and those who do not is staggering. According to the U.S Census Bureau's current population surveys, students holding a Bachelor's degree earn almost $20,000 more than high school graduates per year do. This fact alone should underscore the importance of obtaining a college degree for prospective students. The rewards are lucrative but they certainly are not free. There are ways to limit the costs of a student's education. Students who want to save money or potentially improve their college experience should consider taking summer programs.

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