Last month, we started a conversation regarding what questions your kids won’t know to ask during their college application process. You can find part one of this series here. Today, we are continuing to focus on building out that list. As adults, we know a lot about the world our kids are going to enter. There are undoubtedly several things we wish we knew when we were younger. This is why it is imperative we stand by their side during this complicated process and ensure they are asking the right questions and gathering the right information. Here are three more questions that your child may not think to ask.
When Do I Have To Declare A Major
Most schools do not require incoming first-year students to declare a major on day one. For some students, this is an opportunity to keep their options open and learn more about the majors they are considering. On the other hand, some students know exactly what major they want to choose, and they are eager to get started. Regardless, once they begin classes, things might begin to change.
As adults, we know this happens in all phases of life. We take a job or sign up for a class, and it’s not what we thought it would be. This type of knowledge comes from experiencing different situations over time. For a high school student, they are blissfully unaware that these types of scenarios unfortunately exist. Therefore, it is important they understand the school’s rules about declaring or switching a major.
For example, if the deadline is the end of freshman year, the student can take that time to understand the various options open to them. They can research what classes to take and what career paths are open to them. By assigning a due date, you are creating a sense of urgency. For students who have declared a major, it’s still essential they know the deadline to switch. They should still be using that time to confirm this is what they want to pursue. If they change their mind, they can avoid the nightmare scenario of missing the deadline and being stuck taking courses they don’t like heading for a career that is no longer their aim.
The College Finder section on the MyKlovr app can come in handy when asking questions like this. This service will provide the answers you are looking for regarding which schools require students to declare a major and when. If your student feels they may change their mind after starting courses, then you can find schools that allow them to switch majors during or after their sophomore year. This will enable you to focus on specific schools and skip the ones that do not fit your needs.
Is Housing Guaranteed All Four Years?
The idea of living on your own is thrilling for any high school-aged student. Their mind races with ideas of how to decorate the dorm room and what their future roommate might be like. When on tour, the guide will undoubtedly show you the freshman dorms. Yet, not every school guarantees campus housing for all four years. Some schools will tell you flat out that they do not have room for juniors and seniors to live on campus. This is something that many graduates have told me surprised them after they started their freshman year.
This is an important question you should encourage your student to ask. If the answer is no, and you will need to start finding housing starting your junior year, you will want to explore the surrounding area and ensure it is somewhere they will want to live. An excellent follow-up question would be, what role does the school play in finding your housing? Do they have relationships with local apartment companies, or is it every student for themselves? This is a factor to take into consideration when comparing your options and preparing to choose a school.
On this topic, the Custom Recommendations section can produce the information you are looking for. If you only want to look at schools that guarantee housing for at least three years, then this service will provide a list to fit those criteria. As long as your student understands the importance of this question and the answer, the myKlovr app can ensure you spend time looking at schools that will fit this need.
What Is Your Internship Process?
The number one thing employers look for experience. Hiring someone fresh out of school is a gamble for any company. The graduate has never worked full time and does not yet have a proven track record of being a valuable employee. Furthermore, entry-level jobs see hundreds of applicants at once. For hiring managers, they have to sift through all of these resumes that often look very similar. These applicants come from similar schools and have the same degrees. How does a student stand out and win that first job?
The key is internships. Being an intern means you are getting that real-world experience that companies are looking for. It is an opportunity to learn how to act in a workplace and ask questions about how to be a valuable employee and team contributor. Internships can also help your resume stand out. If a hiring manager sees you have already done some of the things that the role in question requires of you, they are much more likely to bring you in for an interview.
Every college will claim they can help you get an internship. However, you deserve to know what the exact process is. Will the career center sit down with you and help you find internships that will be beneficial? Is there a portal that you can log into and review the different open internships? How many companies does the college partner with and routinely send interns to? There has to be a reliable process in place, or your chances of landing a quality internship will diminish. Colleges that can lay out out a plan to help you achieve a quality internship should be ranked significantly higher than the ones that can’t.
When it comes to college, your child will be both excited and overwhelmed. They will also be without the knowledge that comes with getting older and living through various life experiences. You owe it to your kids to ask the questions they won’t think about asking. This is crucial information they are going to be happy they had as they choose a college and move forward in life.
Kyle Grappone is the founder of To The Next Step, an educational coaching and services company designed to prepare students for the next steps in life, including college, entering the workforce, and the real world. He offers several student-focused services including one on one coaching and on-demand courses. You can learn all about it at www.ToTheNextStep.org or by emailing him directly at Kyle@ToTheNextStep.org.