University High School students Dana Choi, Kamar Alajeely and Nodoka Honda sign letters of intent in November 2018.

5 tips to find the right college

by TOMOYA SHIMURA

Students throughout Irvine Unified School District are beginning their search for a university that is right for them. Each year, about 85 percent of the district’s senior class successfully enroll in colleges throughout America.

 The Irvine Standard spoke with several experts and assembled five tips for finding the university that’s the right fit.

 1. Get a jump start.

Take advantage of college representatives’ visits on your campus, and tour some local colleges to get a feel for how each campus has its own unique culture. (Connie Jacobs, IUSD Counselor)

 2. This is a major deal.

Consider what you want to study. Schools like UC Irvine or Virginia Tech have strong programs in the sciences. A future mechanical engineer might consider MIT. Ask yourself, ‘How does this college rank in the major I want to study?’ (Peter Van Buskirk, former dean of admissions at Franklin & Marshall College)

 3. Seriously, can I ask you a question?

Irvine is a highly educated city, with 72% of residents holding a bachelor’s degree or higher. Ask friends and family for recommendations and advice. Many have attended America’s top institutions and can help in your decision-making. (Gen and Kelly Tanabe, Founders of SuperCollege and authors of 13 books on college planning)

 4. Beat the clock.

Begin working on personal statements, requesting letters of recommendation, and completing your application itself well in advance of the deadline. Don’t miss out because you missed a deadline.(Connie Jacobs, IUSD Counselor)

 5. How to pay for it.

We encourage families to apply for scholarships and financial aid. Some families feel they won’t qualify for financial aid for college, so they don’t submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or Dream Act application. (Connie Jacobs, IUSD Counselor).