NC Wesleyan College helps potential students find the right ‘Fit’
It’s the season for celebrating the holidays…and for college-bound high school seniors to make a commitment for fall enrollment. Many factors feed into this decision and there are many schools from which to choose. So, how can a student find the ‘right’ college?
At NC Wesleyan College, a team of admissions counselors stands ready to assist the traditional student coming right out of high school, those wanting to transfer from another college, or the adult choosing to pursue a degree a little later in life. The counselors have the background and training to help students determine if this college is going to meet their needs. And once the decision is made, counselors can assist with the admissions process and procedures for securing financial resources that may be needed.
Martha O’Connell is the executive director of an organization called Colleges that Change Lives. The information below includes some of her advice for uncertain students derived from an article prepared for National Public Radio titled, “How to Choose a College That’s Right for You.”
Determine who you are and why you want to go to college. Consider your reasons for wanting to attend as well as your strengths and weaknesses, both academically and socially. What kind of support will be needed for you to succeed in the classroom and to feel comfortable on campus?
Size does matter. O’Connell said, “Your college does not have to be bigger than your high school. Most good liberal arts colleges have a population of fewer than 4,000 for a reason; college is a time to explore, and a smaller community is more conducive to internal exploration. It is not the number of people, but the people themselves and the kind of community in which you will learn that really matters.”
A big-name college is no guarantee of success. College experiences and opportunities combined with personal qualities and traits to develop outstanding marketable skills are better indicators for future success. Many highly-successful people were nurtured and launched their careers from the strong foundation provided in a small college.
Don’t be afraid. Contrary to some headlines that make admission chances sound hopeless, most colleges and universities are admitting more students than ever before. Students should be aware of their personal academic profile and compare it to the recent admissions of the schools they would like to attend. High school and college admissions counselors are great resources for advice and guidance through the application process.
Financial support is available. Some students shy away from applying to a private school like NC Wesleyan because they are concerned about the costs as compared to a public college or university. According to O’Connell, “If you make the assumption that you cannot afford college based on the sticker price of tuition, you will miss out. It is difficult to talk about money, but if you investigate all the options and ask for help and advice, you will find affordable choices.” As an example, the vast majority of Wesleyan’s 1,450 students receive some kind of financial support toward the cost of their education.
It’s never too late. The saying, “Timing is everything” holds true for making the commitment to attend college. Starting right after high school works very well for many; however, others may choose to travel, work or manage family responsibilities before pursuing a degree. While NC Wesleyan eagerly embraces traditional full-time students, this college and others are seeing a rapid growth in the number of older students enrolling in adult degree programs. The Wesleyan ASPIRE program is designed to accommodate the needs of the adult learner.
‘Fit’ is the most important factor. NC Wesleyan encourages all potential students to contact the admissions office to learn about the school and plan a visit the campus. Walking across the grounds, peeking into a classroom, sitting in the lobby of a dorm, and talking with faculty and current students can help a student determine if the school is a good ‘fit’. O’Connell agrees with that approach. She said, “Choosing a college because your friends are going there or because of where it ranks on a list does not take into account who you are and who you will become. College is a match to be made, not a prize to be won. Finding a good fit requires time and thoughtfulness.”
Information about NC Wesleyan College can be found online at www.ncwc.edu or by calling 800-488-NCWC (6292) or 252-985-5200. The campus is located at 3400 N. Wesleyan Boulevard in Rocky Mount, NC.