"The Road to Succe$$"

A College Search  WebQuest  for High School Seniors 

Searching  for Your College

Designed by C. Douglas Bunch & Odyssey Design

Ask this WebQuest's Author    

Now what?"The Road to Success" begins with a well-planned methodology of selecting, gathering data, analyzing your results, integrating other relevant information (spreadsheet provided to start your evaluation) on the colleges you have under consideration.  Hopefully, if going to college is your plan, you will  complete all of these suggested steps below in this WebQuest long before you reach your high school graduation day.  

Introduction | Task | Process | Resources | Evaluation | Conclusion | Credits  

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Introduction

Growing weary of the “drudgeries” of being a senior in high school?  Soon, very soon, you will have the opportunity to move on to that glorious phase of life that many refer to as “the best years of their lives.”  But before you can reach the ivy halls of learning, fraternity/sorority life, football homecomings, possibly becoming a campus activist… you must take the time to explore via the internet the various colleges and universities that may be of interest to you based on the college’s size, the major you plan to pursue, the money you have available or are willing to borrow, how far from home you want to be, the college’s reputation, and so on.  In short, your  goal is to find the  “perfect fit” for you.  To not do so may mean a wasted semester, a year, perhaps two at a college that was not suited to you and your needs.  Selecting the “right” college is no easy task.  It involves many factors beyond mere research.  Your values, wants, and needs must also be taken into consideration.  In the final analysis, it is your decision to make because it is you who will live with the results of your choice. 

                  
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Task

"By the end of this Webquest, you will have gathered enough pertinent information to make an “informed” decision as to which three colleges meet the criteria you have determined that will allow you to flourish in all aspects, not just academics.  Once you have completed your research and selected three schools, you will complete applications for each one. Finally you will make an appointment with your guidance counselor to discuss your future plans."  

It's later than you think !  Graduation will be here in the blink of an eye.  So, how do you get started with making this big decision?  Check out the PROCESS section below for all the details.

                   
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Process             

  1. Make an honest inventory of your strengths/weaknesses, likes/dislikes, personality, academic/vocational goals, and financial resources.  This information about yourself will undoubtedly prove helpful in guiding you in your selection of colleges to consider.  You might want to peruse these websites while doing so:  "College Data" and "Choosing the Right College".
  2. Ask yourself the question,  “Should I Go To College?”  Often times, students feel pressured to go to college because it is expected of them.  Make a list of reasons you are considering attending a institution of higher learning.  Be honest with yourself.  Do these warrant spending four to five years of your life attending school?  Can you justify spending up to a hundred thousand dollars to cover the costs of a bachelor’s degree.  Try using the following websites listed under "Resources" as a helpful tool for accomplishing this.
  3. Once you find the five schools you feel most closely match your needs complete an Evaluation Sheet on each school. Just print out this spreadsheet for manually compiling your data.  Using the following criteria that you have compiled, compare these five colleges you have selected for serious consideration.  The criteria will include location, size, cost (tuition/room & board/estimated living expenses), majors, public/private, co-ed/same sex, and campus life (i.e. - dorms available, fraternities/sororities, sports, intramurals, cultural).  Rate each criteria,  on a scale of 1-10. Click to see the spreadsheet provided to start your evaluation.
  4. Based on your ratings you will be able to rank the schools in the order of how closely they match up with your vision of the “ideal” college.  Narrow your choices to the three of the colleges.  Don’t ignore your gut feelings in making your choices.  List the three (3) key reasons that you are selecting these colleges.
  5. Download and print an application for each of the three (3) colleges you have selected.
  6. Complete each of the three applications.
  7. Share the required essay portion of your application with your English teacher so he/she can offer suggestions on how to improve your writing.
  8. Make an appointment with your counselor to share your decisions and to finalize the application process.  Be prepared to talk about how and why you made your choices. Ask your counselor for his/her thoughts regarding your selections.  Sometimes, a third party can add a different perspective that you may not have considered.

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Resources

  1. http://www.parent-teen.com/collegeprep/collegequiz.html  (College Prep)

  2. http://www.petersons.com  (Searching for a college)

  3. http://www.act.org  (Searching for a college)

  4. http://www.anycollege.com   (Searching for a college)

  5. http://www.collegenet.com  (Searching for a college/Financial aid/Scholarship search)

  6. http://www.smart.net/~pope/hbcu/hbculist.htm  (Black College Search)

  7. http://www.mycollegeguide.org/ (College search/Common Application for mostly liberal arts colleges)

  8. http://www.usnews.com/usnews/edu/college/rankings/rankindex_brief.php (Ratings of top colleges)

  9. http://www.studyabroad.com/  (Just what it says)

  10. http://apps.collegeboard.com/search/sidebyside.jsp

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Evaluation

Now that you have completed your journey… how do you feel about your choices?  Do you feel you covered all the relevant points you need to consider in making an informed decision?  Did you visit the campus?  If so, what were your impressions of the campus?  Are there other intangible factors you may not have considered?  Are you having second thoughts about your choices?  Your academic counselor will contact you at the end of your first year to see if you feel you made a wise decision in selecting a college.

                       
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Conclusion

Now that you have the monumental task of selecting and applying to the schools of your choice behind you, you can concentrate on enjoying the rest of your senior year with your classmates.  Time will pass quickly.  Once you have received your letters of acceptance you will once again have a decision to make.  Which school will you attend?  Making this decision may be somewhat difficult, but you have the peace of mind knowing you can retrace your steps, repeat any of the suggested processes in this WebQuest, and then finalize your selection.  Congratulations !  You have taken a major step toward making your dreams come true !

                       
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Credits & References

I would like to make mention of the fact that the following two websites are most helpful in the creation of other WebQuests....saving you a lot of time in the planning, organizing your content, and finally putting your all work and energy into a marketable tool!  These links are following:   The WebQuest Page and the Design Patterns page. 

We all benefit by being generous with our work. Permission is hereby granted for other educators to copy this WebQuest, update or otherwise modify it, and post it elsewhere provided that the original author's name is retained along with a link back to the original URL of this WebQuest. On the line after the original author's name, you may add Modified by (your name) on (date). If you do modify it, please let me know and provide the new URL.  I really appreciate your consideration.    C. Douglas Bunch 

                      
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