Choosing a College Checklist
September 2, 2015
Choosing which college to attend will most likely be the biggest decision your son or daughter has made so far. It can be an overwhelming — but not impossible! — decision. In today's post, Roscoe Smith, Associate Vice President for University Admissions at Cedarville, provides some helpful advice on walking through the college decision process with your son or daughter.
Begin with the end in mind. What kind of person do you want your son or daughter to be after four years of college? Identify the characteristics that you want to define your son or daughter — academically, socially, and spiritually — and then choose a university that is most likely to produce the results you desire.
Recognize the significance of the college years from a developmental perspective. Going to college is certainly about earning a degree, but that is likely not the most significant outcome. Students moving straight from high school to college will navigate the transition from adolescence to adulthood during their college years. Consider the following:
- Who will be there to guide your son or daughter when they are making decisions about what they believe and who they are becoming?
- Will these teachers and advisers share the core values you have been developing in your son or daughter for the last 18 years?
- Will your son or daughter be encouraged to grow deeper in their Christian faith?
Take time to understand the God-endowed talents, gifts, and abilities that your son or daughter possesses. Do you believe that God endows every image-bearer with a unique set of gifts, talents, and abilities for a specific purpose? If so, then it is important to take time to understand what that means in the life of your son or daughter. As parents we are tasked with nurturing those God-given talents — even during the college years. Help your student choose a major and a career that are a good fit for his or her talents and abilities. Choose a college that is committed to helping your son or daughter develop their gifts for their God-ordained purpose.
Asking the right questions will improve your chances of choosing the right college. Develop questions that will help you determine a university’s ability to produce your desired outcomes and its interest in developing your son or daughter’s unique gifts, talents, and abilities.
Visit universities during the academic year when you can experience the unique personality of the school. Sit in on classes, attend chapel, meet with students and faculty, and get a sense for what makes each school uniquely different.
We will be praying along with you this year as you work through this incredible, life-changing decision. Please don't hesitate to contact us if we can help in any way!
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