What are high school students asking?
Our college admission experts hear a lot of questions from high school students — here are some that are frequently asked at college fairs and other admission-related events. And we’ve included some answers too.
How do I choose the right college?
Making a college choice is a hugely personal decision and should take into account several factors — including proximity to home, cost, feel of the campus, value and available academic programs and majors. From our strong academic programs and small class sizes to our sense of community and affordability, we believe that Minnesota’s Private Colleges offer the best value. Check out our College Finder tool to learn more about your options and to start to find the best fit.
How do I choose a major?
Keep in mind that a majority of students enter college unsure of their major or area of study and it is also not unusual to change majors one or more times. So high school student don’t need to have a firm answer on this.
So, how do you determine the best academic program for you? Talk with faculty. Learn their expectations, research options and even classroom styles. Talk with current students as well and hear their insights and perspective. Students can compare colleges based on majors and other extracurricular interests using the College Finder tool.
As you weigh majors and academic program choices, private college experts recommend that students should take into account that academic programs will have a variety of approaches. “When talking with students, I encourage them to meet with faculty members. Find out what goes on in the classroom. What is the average class size? Is it small group discussion or lecture halls?” said Dan Tomhave, vice president of admissions and enrollment at Bethany Lutheran College. “Explore the key requirements for each major and balance that with the academics and possible career choice. And remember, students change their mind all the time.”
Once in college, students are assigned faculty advisors who can help guide students through class choices and decisions about majors. You’ll want to consider your interests and goals after graduation.
What is the average class size?
Most classes have fewer than 20 students because our colleges’ emphasis is on teaching and giving students the personal attention they need to succeed. Professors take an active role in their students’ academic and personal lives — as research partners and mentors, club advisors and by simply making themselves available outside of class.
What is the percent of students who graduate in four years?
Our four-year graduation rate (65%) is the highest in the Midwest — higher than the region’s public systems including the University of Minnesota as well as other states’ nonprofit colleges. Nationally, our four-year graduation rate ranks third.
Our students are more likely to graduate in four years due to the personal attention they receive, faculty interaction, small class sizes and overall on-campus support available.
Even though our graduation rate is the highest, it is important to know what it is measuring — students who start and finish at the same institution four years later. One reason the percentage is not higher is because of the number of students who transfer or take a semester off, for example.
What do students do after graduation? Do graduates of your colleges find jobs?
When you graduate from one of our colleges, you will be ready to take the next steps in your life. Whether it is graduate school or starting a career, your educational experiences on and off campus will have made the difference.
Most students go on to a job in the field of their choice. For our 2013 grads, 84% were employed within one year of graduation and 20% went on to graduate school. (Yes, some are doing both!) And know that you are not alone as you make these big decisions. Private colleges support students through strong alumni networks and career services offices that provide information on internships, meetings with recruiters and even help you build up your résumé. The annual job and internship fair is an exciting way to meet employers and recruiters and gauge your own career interests.
When most people think of Minnesota’s private colleges, they often think of undergraduate degrees, yet 12 of the 17 institutions that are members of the Minnesota Private College Council also award graduate degrees.
What about pre-med? Can I attend a liberal arts college and still plan to attend medical school after I graduate?
Of course — our colleges provide a broad liberal arts education that includes a strong foundation in the natural sciences and students develop communications skills as well as critical thinking skills. Students interested in health-related careers requiring advanced degrees will need to declare a major as well as take specific courses required for admission to the professional graduate programs of their choice.
And keep in mind that it is perfectly acceptable to major outside of the sciences and still attend medical school. In fact, statistics show that humanities/social science majors are admitted at a slightly higher rate.