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The Enrollment Lottery is now completed.
 We are continuing to accept Letters of Intent for all grades,
  and children will be added to wait lists, first come, first served.
Please visit the Enrollment Process page for more information.
Campus Safety & Student Engagement
College Visits
 Getting Started
College Planning Calendar    It's important to plan ahead so you can manage the work load of completing applications, meeting deadlines and balancing stress levels which will help you make good decisions AND enjoy senior year!!! 
A General Guide to College Admission Requirements   This chart will give you a general idea of admission requirements, ranging from the "Highly Selective Colleges" to those that are "Open Enrollment."
Understanding the Language     Use this glossary to help you understand the vocabulary used in the world of college admission.
College Fair Tips      If you've never been to a college fair, use these tips to learn how to make the most of this important opportunity.
Questions for College Reps   Be sure to have some questions for college reps, either when they come to MacLaren or at a college fair.  Use this guide to help you prioritize the information that is important for you to learn.
25 Common Myths About College   There are some misperceptions, often fed by various media, that are either downright false or tend to be gross generalizations.  Take a look at these myths and make sure you base your college search on finding the right matches for you!
ACM College Planner   The Associated Colleges of the Midwest created this wonderful little booklet to help you navigate the college process!

College Search
The College Search  This handout from the Junior Workshop series will give you some general criteria to consider as you begin to define what your priorities are.  
ollege Quest  As you begin to consider what your priorities are, use this exercise to explore useful websites related to researching college options.
Tips for College Research   You may need to fine tune your search, due to an unusual major or career interest.  Tapping into professional associations or accrediting organizations can give you more insight about programs to consider.

Finding your College "Match"
A veteran admission professional once said, "College is a match to be made, not a prize to be won," a concept that sometimes gets lost throughout this process.  While the choices you make will certainly have an impact on your future, try to avoid the mindset of finding the "best" college or "dream" college.  If you are planning on staying in-state, consider identifying and applying to three institutions that may vary in terms of size, type of location, as well as admission selectivity.  Students who are applying to out-of-state schools, which may include a mix of private colleges, should increase the number of institutions under consideration initially to a list of 10-12, and submit 6-8 applications, depending on the selectivity of the college and the student's profile. Keep in mind that this is a process, during which you will grow and change, hopefully reflecting about who you are as a person and who you want to become.  By keeping your options open by submitting multiple applications, you have a better chance of having the flexibility to weigh each offer of admissions and the accompanying financial aid package!  
       One of the most difficult pieces of this college puzzle is getting a sense of a college's culture.  In addition to possibly interacting with a school's social media presence (blogs, facebook, etc.), taking a look at what is included in the college newspaper (a student publication) might be helpful.  Be sure to read several editions however!  Check out these two sites:  NewsLink and World Newspapers

There are many excellent websites to use during your college search:
NACAC​  The National Association for College Admission Counseling is the premier resource for parents and students to gain free advice on College Preparation, College Search, Applying to College, Paying for College and Succeeding in College.
U.S. News and World Report College Personality quiz   This exercise might help you understand what "college personality" will be a good match for you, aside from the academic criteria.
Washington Monthly College Rankings   enlightened  Another ranking of colleges based on 
their contribution to the public good in three broad categories: Social Mobility (recruiting and graduating low-income students), Research (producing cutting-edge scholarship and PhDs), and Service (encouraging students to give something back to their country).​ You can view overall rankings of Liberal Arts colleges; Universities; "Best Bang for the Buck;" and "Affordable Elite College Rankings."
Money Magazine's College Rankings  enlightened    A new ranking that might be useful
Kiplinger's Best College Values   enlightened  Another ranking that involves cost, graduation rates, and much more!
 Also check out lists of colleges with strong financial aid under the Financial Aid category on the left.
College Navigator
Personal Inventory of College Styles
College Scorecard   College Scorecards makes it easier for you to search for a college that is a good fit for you. You can use the College Scorecard to find out more about a college’s affordability and value so you can make more informed decisions about which college to attend. 
Academic Programs    Check out these lists from U.S. News & World Report identifying colleges who offer a variety of programs that will add to your college experience and help prepare you for the world that awaits you after you graduate from college.  (Scroll down to "Academic Programs to Look For")
College Reality Check enlightenedHow much will you actually pay for your degree?  Will 
you graduate on time?  Will you make enough to repay your debt?  Find colleges and compare their stats on this site.  
College Noodle   
enlightenedYet another college search site but your search results will instantly share useful information about individual colleges such as "education quality, outcomes, environment" and lots more including virtual tours and anything else you'd want to learn about an institution!
 Lists   A wiki that is regularly updated with new lists to address every academic interest you can think of, along with lots of other obscure information!

Campus Safety and Student Engagement
The internet has given students and parents alike resources to get some sense of a campus culture.  All colleges that accept Federal Funds are required to report their Campus Security statistics which is limited to crimes committed on a college campus.  Typically, the most frequently reported incidents involve petty theft but reports of frequent brawls involving drunk students might be worth noting! Check out these websites to research colleges of interest:

Student engagement has been measured for the last few years by an organization that does a national survey each year in an attempt to document the learning and social environment on college campuses.  For more information and to use this as a tool in your college research, click here.

College Worksheets
If you're a "putting pencil to paper" kind of person, the following exercises/worksheets may be helpful in your "work in progress" college match or take a look at the booklet published by the Associated College of the Midwest, "The Pre-College Planner":
Identifying Puzzle Pieces
Getting Started on the Key Piece 
Fiske Survey
The Pre-College Planner

As you pace yourself, investigating colleges over a period of many months, stay organized and make notes about the important characteristics (to you) of each institution.  This chart can be a starting point:                   
College Comparison Chart
More food for thought as you review your "long" list of potential college matches:
Evaluating Your List of Colleges

College Visits
Visiting college campuses is one of the most important pieces of your college search.  Unfortunately, given that we live in Colorado, that can be a difficult task as well as time consuming and expensive.  If you can't visit all of your colleges, try to visit the ones at the top of your list.  At the very least, you can always visit the colleges/universities in our "backyard" ---- Colorado College, a small, private, liberal arts college with about 2000 students attending; UCCS, a public, mid-size university of around 10,000 students; and up to the north, there are several private colleges and public universities that will introduce you to a variety of characteristics you might be considering....Regis, University of Denver, CU-Boulder, CSU, and UNC.  Or, if visiting options are limited, try using one of the several "virtual" college tours available online on specific college websites or at this website.  
To help you make the most of your college visits, consider using the "guide" below.  Review the questions ahead of time and select the questions that are most important to you.  You might want to ask several students the same questions and include asking about what a typical weekend looks like and what are the issues that students seem to be talking about outside of class.  You might also ask students what they would change about their college if they had a magic wand!

Pocket Guide to Choosing a College:  Questions to ask on your college visit
Which college is Right for You?
Campus Visit Checklist
Review this before you visit to get the most out of your time on campus
Interview Tips     You might want to "practice" you interview abilities by first interviewing at schools that aren't as selective as the top ones on your list.  Or, you can ask to schedule a "mock" interview session with some of our faculty members.
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