Some high school students don’t know if they want to attend college or not, and while they wait to make that choice they “run out of time”. This is a common pressure on many junior and senior year students. Some parents and guidance counselors encourage students in this situation to consider a “starter” school such as a local or state college or university.
This is an excellent plan for those unsure of their career path, or for those who don’t want to commit to a four year college or university until they know what they plan to do in their professional life. Many people begin their college search for a starter school by looking at those offering “undecided” programming options.
Generally a student who is undecided gets the chance to take the basic classes for any degree while trying to figure out a fixed direction to take. This means that for a full academic year, or longer, the student will acquire the credits any student needs in math, science, English and history. Most four-year degrees ask students to commit to a fully rounded education, not just the courses that apply to their field of study. Undecided students can take this time to analyze a career path for themselves, and then enter into their degree program.
When a student begins a college search for a starter school there are several factors to consider:
• Location, size and cost
• Campus life
• Fellow students
• Degrees and Majors
These are key facts to analyze, especially when a school is meant as a starting point. It is a good idea for a student to try to keep costs down and stay locally, but if they must travel to their school they should investigate enrolling in a college or university with a housing option.
By living on campus a student is really committing themselves to the school and this may not be the wisest choice if a student is not certain about their academic future. If however this is the only option, the campus life of students should be thoroughly examined for its benefits or any negative points. This means a student should review what they need such as appropriate housing, activities, clubs or sporting teams, and any fraternity or sorority opportunities.
Many undecided students will find that their fellow students may be on a career path of their own, and this is a great way for a student to hear about the future goals of other like minded people, and to experiment with a few courses or classes to see if these subjects are of interest.
Finally, a student doing a college search for a starter school should make sure the college or university offers flexibility in degrees, majors and admissions. This way a student who would like to transfer to a different school will have some solid academic credentials to take along with them, or if they decide to stay for the full four years they can enter into a degree program without additional expense or documentation.