• What are the Costs of Attendance (Tuition, Room and Board, Books and Fees)?  How can I pay for College?

    Depending on your family’s circumstances, college costs can range from very little per year to over $50,000 per year at the most expensive private college campuses.  There are many questions that you and your family must answer.  Are you eligible for financial aid?  What kinds of merit aid are available?  Are you or your family willing to consider loans to help pay for college?  Are you willing to set aside the time to search and apply for scholarships?

    Admission to College

    For most Florida public universities, the application process is simply to fill out the application, send test scores and transcripts.  Most do not require letters of recommendation. 

    Many public and private 4-year universities are competitive and the sheer number of students applying means that each student needs to invest more time and energy in their application to help the admission committee have a complete picture of the student’s academics, activities, passions, goals and interest in the campus.

    To determine where you stand in the admissions process, view the previous freshmen profile admitted to the school.  One useful site is College Navigator  https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/

    What are Colleges looking for as they select students?

    Colleges admit students who care about academics, will succeed in their degree programs and go on to become responsible and contributing citizens.  They also desire students who will be able to handle the sudden independence that college requires.  They are not just looking for good grades but also maturity and the ability to make good decisions. 

    How will they find out if YOU will be this kind of student on their campus?

    They will make the best decision they can base on the information you provide them in your application.  When colleges receive your application, they have an overall picture of you.  Your academic transcript is the most important part of your application, so it is critical that you maintain a strong course load based on your interests and the best grade point average you can achieve.

    If you take the SAT or ACT exam, order the test scores sent directly from the testing organization directly to the colleges.  Some colleges may admit you based on your grade point average and SAT or ACT scores alone.  Some colleges may want more information. They may request letters of recommendation and an application essay.

    If you are applying to a special program, you may be admitted based on your athletic ability, your performance audition, or your art portfolio.  Requirements for admission will vary with each college and program.  Admissions officers will ask for some or all this information, so it is important to know the exact requirements of each.  College websites will list these requirements on their admissions page.

    Resources to help with college research

    • All colleges and universities have websites with information on course offerings, professor credentials and achievements, research grants and programs.
    • There are many useful websites for reviewing summary information on college, including College Board,
    • and various college search sites.
    • Virtual tours on each campus website and sites are designed to offer these tours.
    • Your college/career advisor and bookstores have many college guides available. Each guide has a different perspective.
    • College fairs occur in the Fall. Students can meet with representatives and ask questions.

    The Final List:  Variety and Number

    Compose a list of colleges that have as many of your priorities as possible from the questions you have answered about majors, cost location, size, and features. You should include a variety of colleges in terms of how competitive they may be.

    Throughout the process of deciding where you want to apply to college, remember that your school counselor and the college/career advisor are available to you.  Share your questions and concerns with them as you narrow your choices for your post-secondary destination.