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Find the Right College as an Average Student

Date: 2017-03-28
Browsing times: 26

Students can use online search calculators to find colleges that accept students with similar grades.

By Briana Boyington, Digital Producer | Feb. 14, 2017, at 10:45 a.m.

 

Community colleges can be great options, but they aren't the only option for high school students with average grades who want to pursue a college degree after graduation. Most top-ranked, well-known institutions may be out of reach, but C students can find welcoming and supportive institutions – especially if they're willing to consider unfamiliar options.

 

"I think getting away from the brand name is important and very, very hard," says Marissa Warren, a school counselor at Yorktown High School in New York.

 

She encourages students to do a broad search for schools that accept applicants who fall within their grade point average and test score range and then weigh campus fit factors, such as academics, cost, location, size, campus resources, careers services and extracurriculars, and go on college tours to narrow their list.

 

"First, you want to see what schools would be willing to accept a student with a C-plus average or 1000 on the SAT," she says.

 

To start that search, families can take advantage of free or low-price college search and fit calculators. Counselors recommend options offered by the College Board's Big Future, Cappex, COLLEGEdata and the U.S. News College Compass, which filter college options based on student interests, GPA and test scores. College guidebooks such as the U.S. News "Best Colleges" guidebook or the "Fiske Guide to Colleges" can provide insight into admissions requirements for a large range of colleges, and families can look at freshman admission profiles on university websites, experts say.

 

 Find the Right College as an Average Student

Finding schools with high retention and graduation rates can be especially important for students who struggle academically, since both are signs that students come back each year and finish with a degree. These statistics can also signal that the school has resources specifically to make sure students are invested and successful, and which families can ask about, experts say.

 

Institutions with higher admission rates can also be good options to consider since that means that they’re looking for more than just the top 10 percent of classes, Warren says.

 

Most colleges have learning centers, offer advising and tutoring services and offer freshman courses that can make the transition to college easier. A student who has struggled throughout high school may have trouble keeping up in more difficult, college-level coursework and may need to spend money and time on remedial classes. Smaller institutions or schools that automatically assign students with mentors or advisers who keep in regular contact may provide average students with the accountability that they need to excel.

 

“With the smaller class sizes and more one-on-one, they're going to get more of the support that they need,“ says Terri Tchorzynski, school counselor at Calhoun Area Career Center, a Michigan career and technical high school for juniors and seniors.

 

Students should take advantage of the resources offered by their high schools and reach out to their counselors, experts say. Counselors can help students research institutions, learn about local college fairs or programs, and connect with admissions representatives from colleges that accept students with similar backgrounds, grades and test scores. Showing interest and building connections with colleges now can help when it’s time to apply, experts say.

 

“If they come in by their junior year, and they're already below that 3.0 and just an average range, we start introducing them to schools that have accepted our students in the past," says Ilyan Nunez, director of college placement at KIPP New Jersey. She encourages students to look at in-state schools to cut costs. "Since they don't have stellar grades, they won't qualify for merit aid,” she says.

 

With a C-plus average and less-than-stellar test scores, Darryl Cunningham was worried that he wasn’t the type of student that colleges were looking for. Through college application events and with the help of his guidance counselor, Cunningham was able to learn about different schools, connect with college representatives and apply – for free – to schools that would accept him, despite his GPA.

 

Now 21, Cunningham is on track to graduate with honors with a bachelor's in Christian education from Morris College in South Carolina this May. The nurturing, close-knit environment that attracted him to the college during his college visit helped him thrive. He credits the support of his professors and faculty throughout the school with helping him succeed.

 

Going in I was perplexed, I was in disarray, I didn't know what to do, but I was determined to do better than I did in high school," he says.

As students begin the college admissions process, it’s important to do what they can now to both increase their chances of getting accepted into institutions and excel once they get there. Experts encourage teens to study for standardized tests since good scores can boost applications, practice good time management and study skills, take challenging courses and demonstrate improvement.

 

 

If you want to have more information, please contact Dahan: 0086- 13530031936 or 0086-13823166234

This article is from USNEWS,(https://www.usnews.com/education/best-colleges/articles/2017-02-14/how-to-research-colleges-as-an-average-student)

 

 

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