Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The College Search: Step-By-Step

Big Future by College Board is an awesome, informational website in which you can search colleges by name and find out just about anything you need to know.
Not only does it offer the basic facts and statistics, but Big Future also has many links and videos scattered throughout that offer advice from professionals as well as other college students.

In this post, I will show you how to navigate the Big Future website by using Ohio University (main campus) as the example.

In the search, you will be directed to a page with a list of schools that match your search. In this example, I selected the first link which just simply says "Ohio University."

At A Glance - 

This is the main page that you see when you click on Ohio University. It gives a generic bio on OU as well as some quick facts and contact information. As you can see, on the left of the page are the rest of the tabs: Deadlines, Majors & Learning Environment, Campus Life, Applying, and Paying. Below these tabs are additional tabs for transfer and international students and also one to explore 20 similar schools including the top five: Ohio State University, Miami University, Boston University, Kent State University, and Penn State University

Deadlines - 

This tab gives you the deadline dates for admissions, test scores, and financial aid. It also provides other specific deadlines for international and transfer students. On the right side of the page is a link to a video about when to apply for financial aid, which many of you may find helpful.

Majors & Learning Environment - 

This tab gives general information on student-faculty ratio, retention rates, degrees offered, and majors.
There are four sub-sections to this tab.
The first tab, Most Popular Majors, lists the most popular majors at OU along with answering the question "Do you need to choose a major before choosing a college?"
The second section, All Majors, gives a list of every major offered at OU, what department they fall under, and what degree you can receive with that major. This section also answers the question "How do students choose their majors?"
The third section, Study Options & Services, lists outside opportunities for students like study-abroad and internship programs.
The fourth tab, Where Graduates Go, shows where graduates continue to study within one year of receiving a bachelor's degree

Campus Life - 

This tab gives an overview of the school size, location, and unique facilities.
It also has five sub-sections.
The Student-Body section gives information on average age, race/ethnicity, gender, in-state and out-of state, full time students, and part-time students.
The Housing section gives percentages of students living in college housing and what type of housing options there are. It also gives housing deposit deadlines and dollar amounts.
The Activities section lists all of the student-organizations on campus and the percentage of students who join sororities and fraternities.
The Sports section lists all of the sports offered at OU as well as what level. Some sports are only offered at the division level (the actual college sports team), however you can get involved in some sports by trying out for the club team or getting together an intramural team.
The Support Service section lists programs regarding counseling & wellness, academic support, and services for students with disabilities.

Applying - 

From deadlines, to fees, to requirements, this tab shows gives all the information you may need on the application process for a specific school.
It gives the total number of applicants, the number admitted, and the number enrolled.
The first sub-section, What's Important, lists academic and non-academic factors in admission decisions.
The other sub-sections include general information regarding application requirements, academics & gpa, SAT and ACT scores, AP class credit, and College-Level Exam Program tests (exams you can take to gain college credit for a specific course).

Paying - 

This tab gives the low-down on all things related to money. It gives the cost of attendance (in and out of state), how to apply for financial aid, financial aid by the number, and scholarships.
The financial aid by the number section also gives information on tuition payment plans.

College Board may seem overwhelming at first, but it really can provide you with a lot of the essential information needed in your college search. I hope you found this post helpful. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns please message UB on Facebook or email us at ubou67@gmail.com.

Good luck navigating!

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