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    Use these college planning timelines to keep yourself on track!

    Check out this website for more information on what to consider when choosing what type of school or training program to attend! 

    When it comes time to begin thinking about colleges, there are many things to consider.  


    Coming from a small island community in Alaska, adjusting to life in a large metropolitan area such as Los Angles or Chicago may be difficult. Many Ketchikan High School students have struggled in urban environments. On large campuses, students can feel lost and perplexed by the enormous administrative bureaucracy, diverse culture and fast paced environment. However, many Kayhi students do quite well on larger campuses.  You know yourself best.  Make sure you consider this aspect of college life while looking at potential schools.  If possible, make a visit to campuses you are considering to see if it's the right fit for you.

    Small colleges offer a close-knit community and smaller class sizes.  Classes are more likely to be taught by professors rather than assistants at smaller colleges.  Generally, smaller colleges are a part of smaller surrounding communities as well.  

    If you want a lot of interaction with your professors, small schools may be a better option. If you want a broad cultural experience with a robust pace, you may want to consider larger schools in urban areas. 


    Urban vs. Rural

    Colleges and universities located in urban areas tend to be exposed to the same types of problems that occur within a city. These problems include crime, pollution and noise. On the other hand, cities offer many experiences students look forward to, such as rich cultural offerings and city life. Colleges and universities in rural areas sometimes lack the large research facilities of their urban and suburban counterparts. Rural colleges lack viable access to metro areas but often offer much on campus, such as theater and sporting events. Urban areas give students access to large non-university museums and libraries. Often times, suburban schools offer the best of both worlds.


    Do you want to live 2,000 miles away from home?  Or would you rather stay closer to home?  Some students travel across the country, become homesick and go back home within a year. Others thrive in a new environment.  You know yourself best.  Additionally, don't forget to do your research about the geographical area and its associated climates. Find out what the weather and climate is like in every region of the country. Can you tolerate Michigan's long and harsh winters? How do you feel about living in a desert like Las Vegas?


    How do you know if you can afford college? When you have your list of colleges narrowed down, make sure you research each college's financial aid packages. Find out which college or university will give you the most amount of money and financial aid. Look for information on scholarships that are offered to students at that school. Go to the high school's main office and request a transcript. Find out what your cumulative GPA is.  This information can help you figure out how much financial help you might expect from your school of choice.  Sometimes the most expensive college ends up being the least expensive to attend based on scholarships and other aid offers.  Also consider programs at Alaska schools.  These schools offer excellent incentives to Alaska students.



    Make sure that the schools that you are considering have your desired major and that you are qualified for the program. Also, ask people you know about the schools you are considering.  If you are going to be a civil engineer, go to your counselor and ask to speak with some local engineers. If you want to be a nurse, talk to some nurses and see what they have heard anything about the schools you're considering.


    Is football important to you? Many students thrive in environments where they are surrounded by tens of thousands of fans rooting for the home team to score a two-point conversion in the fourth quarter of the Bowl Championship. This may be an event that deeply enhances your college experience.  How about theater?  Music?  Large colleges offer large scale experiences; however, small colleges often offer the same sporting events and theater experiences as larger colleges, just on a bit smaller stage.

    Once again, do your research. Find out what type of fraternities and sororities are available. Take a look at the sports that are available.  Check into the music and theater program to see what kinds of performances will be offered throughout the year.  If you go to the campus, stop by the cafeteria and ask students what they like to do in their free time. This can give you great insight into what the students on that particular campus enjoy doing.

    Learn how to stay on track with your college planning by reading the following articles: