Written by Sanskriti Bimal Thursday, 19 December 2013 00:00
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world,” said Nelson Mandela, a global statesman and Nobel Peace Prize winner who recently passed away. So true. The importance of education cannot be stressed enough and now, more than ever, there’s a need to go to college.
The process of choosing a college can be intimidating. College, for many, is the place to discover one’s self and figure out what you’re going to possibly do for the rest of your life. It’s a place to gain new knowledge and expand your mind—if you haven’t already lost it trying to choose where to attend.
Nicole Silva, a senior at Mineola High School, is busy putting the pieces together in the college preparation jigsaw puzzle. “Because I already know what I’d like to do in my future, it was necessary for me to see if forensic science was a major that was offered. I don’t
want to be wasting my time and money on a school that wouldn’t help me for my future."
Felice Kobrick, of Kobrick College Consulting, LLC, in Roslyn, agrees with Silva. Kobrick feels that if you know what you want, go for it.
“If you know in advance that you absolutely want to pursue a certain profession, then you should target schools that offer a major that you’re interested in,” she said. “If you have your eyes set on a college that is not only perfect for your profession but for you as an individual as well, then definitely pitch for it.”
While shortlisting colleges and going through the grueling process, Mineola senior Matthew Diaz had “class size” among his top considerations. He wants smaller class sizes, for a one-on-one feel with his instructors.
“Small class sizes are important to me, as I truly believe that the smaller the class is, the more personal interaction the teacher can have with students, and that can be more beneficial to me in acquiring knowledge and skills,” Diaz said.
While Kobrick feels a student needs guidance when choosing a college, they know what’s best for their future.
“They may thrive in an atmosphere with few students and one instructor or a big lecture hall with five times as many kids,” she said. “Students should look into everything that is important to them, and if size is a consideration, then it should absolutely be a factor to review when applying and where they ultimately would like to go.”
For Emily Abrams, a junior in Mineola, there was excitement and apprehension when she started looking at colleges. She was overjoyed at the prospect of attending a top-tier university, but proximity to home is important.
“I like the idea of being close to home, but not too close—college is about learning to survive in the real world,” she said. “However, I know I will never want to live miles away from my family so I’m attracted to colleges along the East Coast.”
For many students, like Abrams, location tops their list of what they consider while applying. Dr. Ira K. Wolf, author of several leading books on test preparation and also founder and president of PowerPrep, Inc., a test prep business based in Roslyn Heights, thinks “students should apply to schools based on their interests and needs. I think a worst thing a student can do is apply to a college because it has a good reputation or because you think it has a high ranking.”