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Winning Ways in the College Selection Process
[FINAL Edition]
The Washington Post - Washington, D.C.
Subjects: Colleges & universities; Secondary school students
Author: Paterson, Jim
Date: May 24, 2001
Start Page: C.04
Section: STYLE

"Sometimes it's just a matter of personality -- the school's and the kid's," says Mark Kuranz, head of the American School Counselors Association and a high school counselor in Racine, Wis. Kuranz says that while it is important to consider things like the size of the school, its distance from home, whether it is in a rural or urban setting and its academic rigor, other less-tangible considerations are just as important.

When they are trying to get a sense of how comfortable they will be on the campus, visiting students should study the enrolled students and see if they feel like they would fit in. They should spend enough time that they can see how the campus feels -- attend a class, visit a dormitory and eat on campus.

If they talk to enrolled students, according to [Jean-Marie Hansen], they should ask questions that the school might not immediately answer: how easy it is to get the class they want; how often classes are taught by teaching assistants or how accessible counselors are. They may also want to ask about the social life (is it a "suitcase campus," for instance, where all the students go home on weekends, or a "Greek campus," where membership in fraternities and sororities is a high priority) and things like the availability of computers and the effectiveness of security.

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