Volume 4, Number 11 - March 4, 2014

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Vanessa Soler

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Applying To College Doesn’t Have To Be That Stressful

By Vanessa Soler

As my transitioning out of Miami Dade College approaches, it is important to really consider “the next step” in transferring elsewhere. The U.S. has approximately 3,000 universities. Narrowing down your selection to a few can be difficult and extremely stressful.

Further, while everyone may have an opinion on what’s best for you, only you can determine the right choice.

There are numerous factors to consider when selecting a school. 

“Where do I want to go?”

“Should I stay in-state or out-of-state?”

“What’s the difference between a private university and a public university?”

“How important are college rankings and which one should matter?”

Fortunately, there are a number of great resources available to narrow down options.

If you are looking to remain in state, one truly useful website is the Florida Virtual College at www.flvc.org where information regarding degree programs, transfer of credit, and costs for different state universities is available as well as the ability to start applications.

It is crucial during the application process to verify you fulfill the major requirements for each school you are interested in. 

Senior Academic Bridge Advisor for FIU, Brittany Janes said, “I can’t tell you how many students get into a school but may not get into the specific major, because of GPA requirements, prerequisites, entrance exams, etc... Every single school and every single major is different, so research, research, research, at least one year or more in advance to transferring.”

In fact, if FIU is a potential candidate for you, you might like to visit their transfer website at transfer.fiu.edu FIU has an extremely valuable resource called “MDC Transfer Guides” that show students the required MDC courses needed for transferring into specific programs at FIU.

Also, know that the only true difference between private universities and public universities is funding. Public universities are partially subsidized by the state to help keep costs lower while private universities are not.

Oftentimes one might assume a private school is better than a public school, but this is not necessarily true.

There are plenty of highly ranked public institutions. It’s also important to refer to different rankings, as rankings vary by majors and sources.

Feedback from other alumni, friends and relatives on their experiences is also beneficial.

CollegeConfidential.com is one of the world’s largest online college forums on everything college related. Students can even ask a university dean a question via the site. Photos, videos, and visit reports on various schools from users are also available.

Other useful websites include studentsreview.com which grades schools based on various aspects, and YouTube, where students posts videos on their experiences at universities and offer helpful tips. 

All these tools can help you gain a better overall idea of the schools you are interested in.

Although transitioning is tough and stressful, you are not alone. With a little bit of planning and research there is no reason for you to not transfer to a school that’s the perfect fit for you.

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Miami Dade College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate and baccalaureate degrees.
Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Miami Dade College.
Miami Dade College is an equal access/equal opportunity institution and does not discriminate on the basis of gender, race, color, marital status, age, religion, national origin,
ethnicity, pregnancy, disability, veteran's status, sexual orientation, or genetic information.
Contact the Office of Director, Equal Opportunity Programs, ADA and Title IX Coordinator, at 305.237.2577 for assistance.