More Than Location

Tips on How to Approach the College Search

After high school, students face the rough decision about that to do with the rest of their life. Whether that be joining one of the armed forces, get a job, or go to college, Riverbend works with students to find the right fit. Ms. Rahm, a guidance counselor said, “Aim to apply early to schools, so that stress is removed for senior year.”

One of the most important things when looking for a college is cost and whether or not a student is eligible for scholarships. On SCORE, there are daily Riverbend announcements regarding scholarships and academic opportunities for Juniors and Seniors. Students can also search their opportunities for scholarships on according to Ms. Haley, a guidance counselor.

Size and Location are also very important when searching for a college. There are a wide variety of colleges in the state of Virginia that range from large schools; Northern Virginia Community College, George Mason University and Virginia Tech, to small schools; Randolph College and Bluefield College, and everywhere in between; Bridgewater College, Longwood University, Regent University, and Germanna Community College. The only way to know what size school fits best, it to visit and take a tour when school is in session.  It is also best to visit multiple college campuses before applying. “A campus can appear vastly different and feel different when viewing it from a brochure and through a web site.  The students should go to the campus to see it for themselves, take a tour and speak with current students about their experiences there,” said Ms. Haley.

“From more technologically focused schools, to specific art schools, to more math and science geared schools.  Students can research a variety of schools off of Naviance,” said Ms. Haley. To log into Naviance, use your student ID number for both the username and the password. Naviance is a free resource provided to students to help during the college hunt from Riverbend.

It is never too early to start looking at colleges. Freshman Elizabeth Mueller said, “I have three older siblings so I’ve already begun looking. It gives me time to figure out where I want to go and what schools have the major I’m looking for.”

Colleges want students to feel as though the campus is a home away from home. When visiting a college, don’t be afraid to ask the students questions about how they honestly feel while at campus.