Tuesday, August 6 2013, 03:31 PM MDT
Stacy Hughes, Director, External Affairs at Neumont University is talks about what high school students should be doing to prepare for college.
Summer is a great time for high school students to start getting serious about college. That means visiting colleges, attending open houses, saving up from that summer job, and even taking ACT prep classes so that you can perform better on those standardized tests.
1. During your college visits you should look for the following:
a. Ask about the academic rigor of the schools you are considering. Will you feel challenged? Will your education be considered rigorous? At Neumont, our students attend class year-round so they can complete the requirements of a full bachelor's degree in 2.5-3.0 years. Employers take notice, as they know they have been through a tough program. Do the math attending school full time, year round, is often the most cost effective way to get your degree (even if it means borrowing money for school).
b. Neumont University just moved to a new, downtown campus at 143 South Main Street. Itâs right down the street from the KUTV studios is having an Open House tomorrow - Wednesday, August 7, from 1 to 7 PM.
c. Does the school offer academic support services that you can easily use? Neumont offers small classes, one-on-one coaching, etc. We also assign every student an Advocate who looks after their progress and performance.
d. Most importantly ask about what kind of results you can expect â that means asking about graduation rates and employment rates upon graduation. At Neumont, we're proud of our 54% graduation rate which is the same as what the University of Utah and Utah State University have. Bear in mind that the graduation rate is much lower at most other colleges in Utah. Plus, Neumont graduates go on to work for Utah companies as well as national companies like IBM, Bosch, amazon.com, trip advisor and google.
e. Find out about scholarships and Financial Aid – There are scholarships based on academic merit, financial need, residency in the state of Utah, outside scholarships, transfer scholarships for students who have earned an Associate’s Degree. At Neumont, we offer all of these.
f. Should you live on campus or off? Often times students do better adjusting to the rigors of college when they live in student housing surrounded by other students – Neumont offers a Residence Life program designed to support a student’s social and academic success.
2. Start saving up for college. There are a lot of expenses in addition to tuition you’ll need to consider – books, transportation and parking, class fees, and living expenses. Neumont has an excellent Paying for College poster at Neumont.edu/financial aid that breaks all of the costs of college down into an easy to understand graphic. At least half of all students who begin college in Utah don’t graduate, working and going to school part time is one of the reasons for this. Do anything you can now to reduce the distractions you’ll face once you get to college.
3. Increase your GPA and standardized test scores: this can improve your odds of getting into the school you want, and it can mean better scholarship options. ACTStudent.org offers a number of test preparation service recommendations. Also, make sure you're ready for college. A recent study by the Utah Board of Regents has shown that remedial math is often the reason why students don't graduate in Utah.