Planning for College

It is never too early to start thinking about planning and paying for college and these articles can help you get on your way!

Choosing a College

Learn about the different types of colleges and view helpful tips on how to choose a college major in this section.

College Calculators

How much will college cost you? These calculators are available to assist you in planning and funding higher education.

Over 72,000 students attend college in New Hampshire. There are over 25 postsecondary institutions in New Hampshire and over 6,700 colleges in the United States and hundreds more in Canada and Europe. There are so many choices! No two schools are alike - just like no two students are alike. In other words, there is a college for everyone!

Most college students live in residence halls where they eat, study, and hang out with their friends. You can live with your friends, go to classes, eat meals, play sports and participate in any club you want, all in the same place. And, while some students may be from your hometown, there are always students from other states and other countries. Going to college gives you the opportunity to expand your world.

Living on campus in a residence hall room might be the first time you are away from home for a long period of time. While you will have a lot of freedom, you will also be responsible for scheduling your time. Your parent's won't be around to remind you about homework and studying. That means you decide when you go to class and which courses to take. College gives you the freedom to explore interests you might have never considered before.

To get the real deal about college life, you have to talk to college graduates! Your teachers, school counselors and family members will offer great advice and insight. A college education helps people to achieve personal, career, and life goals.

College Athletics

Many students ask the question, “What is it like to be a student-athlete?” Remember that even the best college athletes in the country are still attending college for one primary reason: academics. Playing a sport in college is very time consuming, no matter what level you are competing at. In New Hampshire, a student may be able to compete at Division I (most competitive) at the likes of the University of New Hampshire. Or possibly get recruited to play at a Division II school such as Southern NH University. Some athletes choose to compete at the Division III level at colleges such as Keene State or Plymouth State University. Students should always ask themselves this important question, before choosing which college to attend: “If I were not playing a sport here, would I still choose this college?” If the answer is no, the student may want to re-examine his/her goals. While a sport takes up a lot of your time, academics and social life are still very important. Too much of one thing makes for an unbalanced and unhealthy life style.

Being a college athlete brings a lot of responsibility. You not only wear the school's name and mascot on your chest, but you also represent the college on and off-campus. College athletes take pride in representing their school with sportsmanship, leadership and honor. Playing college athletics makes you feel like you're part of something bigger. You are not only playing for yourself or for the team, you are representing the college, the community and the neighboring towns the school is located in. It's an experience, you'll never forget.

College Activities

College students looking for a good time usually head to the Office of Student Activities. The mission of the college's student activities office is to create programs and events that are of interest to a broad range of students. When college students first arrive on campus, there is usually a student activity fair where every student organization will have an information table promoting their program and recruiting new members. You wouldn't believe all of the social, educational, cultural and recreational programs that colleges offer! Here are some diverse clubs and organizations at colleges across the country:

  • International Club: Provides students with the opportunity to discuss international politics
  • Gaming Club: Organizes and runs fantasy role playing games
  • Multicultural Students Club: Focuses on the topics of diversity, injustice and equality
  • Campus Ministry Club: Focuses on spiritual development of students and social justice issues
  • Dance Club: Provides interested students with an outlet for expression and education in dance
  • Political Club: Encourages students to vote and understand the political system
  • Ski and Snowboard Club: Provides the opportunity for college students to go on trips to local mountains and to learn from their peers about the sport of skiing and snowboarding

One of the most interesting things to know about student activities at college is that most clubs are actually started by students. So, if you get to college and have some ideas, you'll know where to go!

Fraternities & Sororities

Some college students decide to join a fraternity or sorority to meet new people and make new friends. As “brothers” and “sisters” of the club, they are bonded and often stay connected throughout their entire lives. And, when they travel they meet other members from other campus chapters.

Sometimes fraternities and sororities get a bad rap for being too rowdy, but most Greek organizations are founded on high standards of leadership and community involvement. Greek life isn't about the craziness sometimes seen in movies or on television. It is about building character, creating friendships, and developing leadership skills.

Study Abroad

Did you ever imagine yourself as an ambassador?

While attending a college or university in the United States, students have a unique and exciting opportunity to study in another country. Studying abroad is a tremendous adventure! Students explore new cultures or master a foreign language by studying in another part of the world. Generally, students will go for a semester (September to December, for example) and they will study and live at a campus in a foreign country. Most college students who go say it is among the best experiences of their lives! Students can earn credits toward their degree, too. And, even though students are in a foreign country, often the courses are taught in English. So, you don't necessarily have to be fluent in another language to go.

So you may be thinking, “What's really the benefit for me to study abroad?” Well, there are lots of reasons to go! Many college students ultimately decide to study abroad because they want to be able to travel and see a little bit of the world. Oftentimes students choose to study abroad in one country, but then spend their weekends and vacations visiting surrounding countries. You will also have the chance to be completely immersed in the country's culture. Through some programs you can live with a host family, eating the food, becoming familiar with the language (if different than English), and learning the cultural differences that make that particular country who they are. It can be a very rewarding and eye-opening experience.

So, what do you think? Will traveling internationally be part of your future college plans?!

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