It’s that time of year again! High school seniors are working on finishing up college applications and making the all-important decision about where they’re going to spend the next four years of their life.
Getting ready to attend college takes a lot of hard work. There’s a laundry list of big decisions to make, applications to submit and details to be sure are taken care of. We’ve created a checklist for seniors with some of the major tasks you must complete:
- College applications—if you haven’t already started, get to applying! College Board recommends finishing up college applications early to meet priority deadlines, which may include scholarships (make sure to ask your Admissions Counselor about those!).
- Submit test scores and transcripts—be sure to submit SAT or ACT scores if you have them, along with all official transcripts to the college and any application fees the college has (GCU doesn’t have an application fee. You can apply online for free).
- FAFSA— This is an acronym you’ll hear a lot. FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid. If you’re looking in to any type of financial aid, FAFSA, which is provided by the U.S. Department of Education, is a great tool for assessing what financial aid is available to you. Each state has a deadline for applying for FAFSA, make sure you submit on time.
- Visit campus—campus tours are a great way to gauge what student life is like and whether the school is a place you’ll enjoy living and learning. If you can’t visit campus in person, many schools have virtual tours such as this one, which can give you a good feel for the amenities and environment on campus.
- Register for classes—As soon as you let your Admissions Counselor know you’ll be attending their school, you can start registering for classes!
- Apply for housing—freshmen typically live on campus their first year of school. It’s a great way to get involved, create relationships and get the full college experience. Watch for housing application and registration deadlines so you can get the dorm room of your dreams!
No two colleges are the same. Students need to be proactive about their future school and should frequently check to make sure they’re meeting deadlines and completing checklists. Admissions counselors can assist students with getting a checklist that is created specifically for their school.
Stay organized, stay ahead of deadline and you’re sure to be on the right path for a great college experience!
If you’re thinking about attending Grand Canyon University you can find everything you’ll need at http://www.gcu.edu/Admissions.php.
Good luck with finishing those checklists, and we can’t wait to meet you, Class of 2016!
By Zane Ewton
First Year Experience (FYE) is a new initiative on campus to give incoming freshmen all the tools necessary for academic success, financial management, community involvement and spiritual growth.
According to GCU Community Life Director Joe Brooks, students can expect personalized instruction on topics that influence everyday life. FYE classes are every other week throughout the fall semester. There are also two “Big Sessions” as well as monthly sessions.
“The instruction in the FYE classes will serve two purposes,” says Brooks. “Equipping students to be successful in the classroom and giving students a one-stop shop for information on how to get involved with community on campus.”
The FYE course is UNV 120 and includes a Pass/Fail grade. Each FYE student will receive a textbook as well as online resources to help guide them through the sessions. For more information on FYE, contact Joe Brooks at 602.639.6284 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Foundations of the Faith – September 13, 2010 – 6 p.m. – North Gym
- Many individuals today who claim to be Christians may not understand some key principles of their faith. This course will help answer questions as well as build your existing relationship with God.
- Key topics for the evening are: What is worship? What is prayer? What is the word of God? What is witnessing?
Finances – November 8, 2010 – 6 p.m. – North Gym
- The evening will focus around one of the biggest struggles and by far the most stressful part of college: finances. Learn how to appropriately manage your budget and get tips for overcoming and staying out of debt.
Learning Center – September
Now that you have made the transition to college life, you will need to fine-tune your academic skills. With the help of the Learning and Advancement team, you will learn how to take notes, use APA formatting and rediscover how to study.
Time Management – October
Many college students have to relearn how to use their time wisely. Gone are the scripted days of high school. Time-management skills are crucial to the transition to college and then again on to the workplace.
Community – November
Now that you are in college, you’ll face diverse situations that will force you to rely on the community around you. You will have a chance to grow. Campus Life wants you to know everything that the GCU community has to offer you.
Becoming Independent – December
Your parents are gone, and now you have freedom you have been anticipating for years. But what about that laundry, what about the bills and what about the late-night choices you are making instead of studying for that final? What about when you head home for the semester and have to live back under the same rules you just left? Get some tips on making wise decisions while enjoying that freedom.
Contact Zane Ewton at 602.639.7086 or email@example.com.
Senior year of high school is crunch time for students looking for the right college to attend. If you have only just begun to research schools, it is not too late. Summer is a great time to explore the colleges and universities you are most interested in.
Here are four important questions to ask yourself as you research schools:
- What is your ideal college?
Envision your ideal college experience. Are you living on campus or commuting from home? Is the campus in your hometown, the same state, or all the way across the country? Are there many students on campus or is it a smaller community? Are there many athletic teams and other student events or are you responsible for making your own social scene?
Write down all the characteristics you imagined your ideal college should have. Use these criteria to guide your research for colleges that are the right fit for you.
- How big is your ideal college?
College size is a serious consideration for your learning style and social preferences. A small campus will offer intimate class sizes — averaging 30 students in a class — and a close-knit, community-oriented student body. A large university campus may have class sizes with 300 students or more. Large universities often have communities within them, like Greek systems, where you can find your niche among a smaller group of people.
Visit universities in your area – even if they are not your top schools — walk around to get a feel for atmosphere of a campus. Even though it is summertime, and many students are off campus for the summer, it will still give you a good feel for how comfortable you are on each type of campus.
- Is a faith-based school right for you?
Many universities have a religious heritage. There are 28 Jesuit schools across the country and 51 Southern Baptist colleges and universities. The Arizona Southern Baptist Convention founded Grand Canyon University, but today GCU is a non-denominational Christian university in Arizona. Some faith-based schools are particularly devout, requiring religious study and mandatory attendance at regular services. Other universities may require classes in religious studies but do not require attendance at services. GCU requires that all students take a class called Christian World View, which teaches the basic tenants of the Christian heritage and helps students understand the Christian faith’s impact on the world as we know it.
- What do you think? Seek opinions from reliable sources.
After brainstorming lists of desired college qualities and options, narrow your research down to schools that fit your specifications. Talk to friends, friends of your parents, current college students and trusted resources such as classmates, teachers or youth pastors. Ask why they chose their college, if they would change their decision and why.
Once you have narrowed your decision down, set up campus visits. Colleges are already booking visits for the fall. Contact their enrollment centers to make a reservation to participate in visitation days. Phoenix’ Grand Canyon University hosts Discover GCU events throughout the year to let high school seniors get a taste of campus life and hear about the various programs of study offered.
Come back to blogs.gcu.edu throughout the summer for more ideas on how to make the most of your summertime search for a university and for lots of other info about GCU’s colleges, campus and community.
If you need more guidance, please contact the GCU Enrollment center at 602-639-6441 or 602-639-6737. The enrollment staff at GCU’s entire purpose is to help you find yours!