One critical goal that no smart cookie Quince girl should lose track of is selecting the college that’s right for you, and one great way to help you make the best selection is to take a college campus tour.
If you are getting ready to celebrate your Quinceañera, you are probably just starting out high school and right now you’re asking yourself, “Why should I worry about college now if I’m still trying to figure out how to survive HS?!” Visiting a college campus is a fun and exciting opportunity to explore something that you’ll be experiencing in 3 – 4 short years, so it’s never too early to try. It’s also a good idea to get the campus tours out of the way early on, because you might not have time when you’re in 11th or 12th grades, when you’ll be bombarded by many other important deadlines such as the SAT’s, college applications, and of course passing your school’s exit exam.
If you already have a good idea about what it is you plan to study in college, you should look online at rankings that show which colleges and universities offer the best programs for your intended field of study —one great website is The Princeton Review at www.princetonreview.com— and make a list of campuses you’d like to visit, starting with those. If you’re undecided about what you want to study, then a campus tour is definitely for you because it can help you get a feel for what college life will be like once you are at that school; a college campus tour is a great way to set apart many colleges and universities that can begin to look a lot alike after you’ve read so many brochures and college guides.
As you explore your options online, be careful with sites that specialize in organizing college campus tours, as some may try taking advantage by charging you extraordinary fees. Many high schools and after-school programs offer free or low-cost campus tours, which you take with your fellow classmates. Be sure to ask your high school’s college or guidance counselor for more information.
Of course with so many people on tight budgets these days, it can be difficult to visit every campus on your list, especially if some of them are across the country and require traveling expenses. While you should definitely make it a point to visit at least the colleges and universities that are in or around your city, you can also take a “virtual tour”, which is an online tour of the campus from the comfort of your home. Websites such as www.collegeweeklive.com and www.campustours.com have virtual tour guides to show you around, and they even schedule live “virtual tours” that allow you to interact with college counselors and more.
As you plan and prepare for the perfect Quinceañera celebration that will make you a princess for a day, be sure you are doing what you need to prepare for your future as well. Remember that a good college education will last a lifetime.