Preparing to Attend Checklist
1. Select your program based on your interests and career objectives.
What area of business interests you the most? What job would you like to have someday? What degree program will direct you toward this job? After graduation, it is likely you won't have the exact job you want, but if you choose a degree program that will give you the skills you need for your dream job, you will likely end up there some day.
2. Decide where you want to study.
Do you want to stay local or do I want to head off to college? If you are graduating high school, you will need to decide if you want to stay near your hometown or if you want to study away from home. If you are a community college transfer, you may be looking for a local university where you can complete your bachelor's degree. If you are returning to school after taking time off, you may be restricted by location due to family or employment situations. Either way, deciding where you want to study can be quite a process.
3. Determine your housing and transportation needs.
If you are like most high school students, this is your first chance to live independent from your parents. Having your own place is nice and exciting, but it can become expensive and even lonely once the newness wears off. Even if you've been living on your own, finding something affordable is tough.
As an undergraduate student, on-campus living is a popular option. It is convenient; can be paid for by student loans; most of the time includes food, electricity, and water usage; includes Internet access; and allows you to make new friends. There are always activities on campus and chances for you to study with those who are taking similar classes. Living on-campus is great for your first year or even two, however after that you will likely want to move off-campus to your own apartment.
For more information about living on-campus, contact the university's housing office.
If you are not a high school student entering college for the first time or just not interested in living on-campus, you will likely not want to live in the dorms. But, at least try to live near the campus. College classes are demanding and you will be making many trips to the campus at all hours of the day (and sometimes the night). Another reason to consider living near the campus is housing can be less expensive and sometimes managed by the university. Some large universities have shuttle or bus services to the campus from the local housing areas. Campus shuttles are a great way to save money on both fuel and parking (most schools charge for parking).
4. Assess your financial resources.
Before you apply to a school, you should think about how much the tuition costs and how you will pay for it. You will need to gather all of the financial resources you can. For example, your parents, your employer, scholarships, governmental aid and education benefits, and your own savings. Think of it as if you are raising money for your future. Be creative, you will be amazed how many programs and resources are available.
5. Decide whether to work full-time or part-time.
An increasing number of undergraduate students are working full-time jobs. However, working 30 or more hours per week is very difficult with 45 classes per semester. In fact, it is more than difficult ... it takes an extreme amount of work, endless dedication, and a lot of long nights. It is important that you earn good grades. So, remember your classes come firstabove work and friends. For example, if you decide to attend graduate school, you must have good grades to get in. Or, you may interview for a job where the employer requests to see a copy of your grades. If you decide to take on a full load of classes with a 30+ hours per week job, be prepared to drop classes or reduce your working hours if it is obvious that you will not be able to make passing grades. (Be aware you need more than just passing grades.) Always try to set yourself up for success.
6. Prepare yourself for the admissions process.
There are several steps you should take to prepare yourself for success in the admissions process. The following page will explain some of the typical admissions requirements for undergraduate business programs.
Preparing by Grade
The University of Southern California (an AACSB-accredited school) provides detailed information on how to prepare for college in 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th grade.
Start Here, Go Further
A website by the U.S. Government providing resources on why you should go to college, how to go about applying, and how to pay for it.
Checklist for International Students
If you are planning on attending school in a country other than your home, the New York Times India Blog provides a helpful checklist to get started.