Finding Your Way To The Right College


     If you are thinking of going to college, do you have any idea of how to apply? Well if you don’t, you are not the only one. Here is some information that can help you to answer some of your questions.
     When applying for colleges you should start in the Career Center. Blair’s Career Center is next to the Counseling Office. In the Career Center you will find something called “TCCI”. TCCI is a good resource that students can use to help chose the college that is right for them. TCCI is a Web site that students can use to find out more information about colleges and universities. TCCI is available to every student. In the Career Center you can learn when the colleges are coming to visit Blair and what kind of school is right for you.
     According to Cathy Henderson Stein, the College and Career Information Assistant, when applying to colleges and universities, first students have to research what would be a good school for them. “We have many colleges and universities in this country,” she said. “Some are two-year schools and some are four-year schools. Students need to find a good academic and social fit for them.” A two-year school, like Montgomery College, teaches the same courses as a four-year school, but they are usually cheaper. Ms. Henderson-Stein added that if you are not sure what to major in then find a college that has some subjects you like. You can choose your major after you start college.
     If you are applying to a two-year college like Montgomery College, it has open admission for people who live in the county. You will always be accepted if you are high school graduate or have a GED which is a general education diploma. The closest campuses for Montgomery College are in Takoma Park and Rockville. Many Blair students go to the Takoma Park campus. Quynh Nguyen, who graduated last year, said it was like a “little Blair” because there were so many former Blair students there.
     Four-year colleges are “competitive.” That means that they don’t accept everyone who applies. Normally students select a couple of schools to apply to. There should be at least one “safety school”. The safety school can be a two-year college or it can be one where you know you will be accepted. “Safety” schools usually have lower test score requirements. It is also fine to apply to colleges where you think you have a reasonable chance of being accepted that have higher requirements than safety schools. You can also apply to a “reach school“ where you may not have all the grades or scores but your extracurricular activities or other qualities may help to give positive results to that school. So there is no particular number of schools to apply to.
     Junior Destine who graduated from Blair in 2002 and is attending Columbia Union College found that his soccer ability helped him get into the school and a soccer scholarship is helping him pay his college expenses. “Your dreams are achievable,” he said. “You can achieve as long as you keep working hard all the time.”
     Of course you can’t think about going to college unless you also think about paying for college. The easy answer is that it’s possible to get lots of money to help everyone pay for college. The hard answer is that if your family does not have a lot of money to help you, you need to fill out lots of forms at the right times and get lots of help and support from counselor’s and teachers.
     An article in a past issue of Silver International that can give more information about this is at Silver International’s Web page. Go to <http://silverinternational.mbhs.edu/v151/v15.1.02.moneycollege.htm> .
© Copyright Silver International Newspaper, Montgomery Blair H.S. 2005 (This page was created by Cindy)