The Teen Appeal

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What you need to know about Colleges and Admissions…

Here is a little guide for you to let you know about the types of Colleges you can apply to, college degrees, admission decision options and how to fund your education! We hope you find this useful, let us know if this helped you by commenting.


Private colleges and universities are funded through tuition, fees, private gifts, corporate contributions and endowments. Private schools are typically more expensive than publicly funded institutions but they often provide better financial aid.

Public colleges are partially funded by tax dollars; typically they cost quite less than private schools. This is especially true for students living in that state. However, they may not provide as much financial aid.

Liberal Arts Colleges focus on the education of undergraduate students. Classes are generally taught by professors who see teaching as their primary responsibility. Students who attend liberal arts colleges are exposed to a broad sampling of classes. In addition, they select at least one are of in-depth study that is their college ‘major’. One of the benefits is that graduates of liberal arts programs are perceived as more ‘well-rounded’ individuals.

Universities are generally larger and included a liberal arts college, as well as colleges focused on  preparation for a specific career, like nursing or education. Universities offer a greater range of academic choices than liberal arts colleges, but often come with classes that are quite large.

Technical Institutes and Professional Schools enroll students who have made clear decisions about what they want to study and emphasize preparation for specific careers, for example in music or fine arts, engineering or technical sciences. You will want to be quite sure of your future education direction before selecting one of these options.

Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) find their origins in the time when African-American students were systematically denied access to most other colleges and universities. Students at HBCUs have a unique opportunity to experience an educational community in which they are a part of the majority. They find committed faculty mentors who encourage their expectations of success.

Tribal Colleges are similar to HBCUs in focusing on the needs and education of American-Indian students.

Hispanic Serving Institutes (HSIs) is a term used for a Federal program designed to assist colleges or universities in the United States that attempt to assist first generation, majority low-income Hispanic students.

Women’s Colleges are attended by women only and have a larger number of female faculty and administrators, offering women confidence-building role models, greater opportunities to serve in a full range of student leadership positions and a heightened awareness of career possibilities for women. Women’s college graduate a high number of science majors, as well as students who continue on to graduate school and/or professional studies.

Men’s Colleges are undergraduate, bachelor’s degree-granting institutions whose students are exclusively men. Many are liberal arts colleges.

Community or Junior Colleges generally offer the first two years of a liberal arts education, in addition to specialized occupational preparation. An associate degree is awarded at the end of a two-year program of studies, following which many students continue their education at a four-year institution.

Proprietary Institutions are considered for-profit companies that operate under the demands of investors and stockholders. They attract adult learners and part-time students in search of narrowly-focused professional training opportunities. These programs usually offer a non-traditional format; many for-profits also have classes solely available online.


Two year (Associates’ Degree). Community or junior colleges give these degrees for two years of full-time college study.

Four year (Bachelor’s Degree). Colleges and universities give these for four years of full-time college study. This degree is also known as a baccalaureate degree. Some students pursue their Bachelor’s degree after completing their Associate’s degree.


Early Decision is a commitment-based plane offered for the student who has firmly determined their top choice of college by the Fall of their senior year. A student submits an application by an early deadline, usually in October or November, and the college gives the student a decision on admission by December. The college can accept, defer or reject the student. If deferred, the application is placed with the regular pool for consideration in the Spring. If accepted, the student is ethically bound to attend the institution and must withdraw any other application immediately. If it will be important for you to secure financial assistance for college, early decision may not be the way to go. Applying to several colleges under regular decision plans will enable a family to better compare a range of financial options.

Early Action resembles the early decision plan in most aspects, except that it is non-binding. A student accepted under early action is not required to make a commitment until May 1, the national Candidate’s Reply Date. This option allows students to express interest in a college and to receive an earlier admission response while also exploring other college options. Students are often either admitted or denied under early action, but they may also be deferred to the regular decision cycle.

Regular Decision is a plan followed by most students, in which they file their applications in the Fall or early Winter of senior year and are notified of admission decision in March or April. Application deadlines generally fall in January or February, and, if admitted a student must submit and enrollment deposit by May 1st.

Rolling Admission is when some institutions review applications as they are received and releases a decision within a few weeks of receiving the application. The earlier you apply, the earlier you are notified AND the more likely you may be to find a space. Spaces do fill up, so apply early, no mater what the deadline.

Waiting Lists decisions mean that a college has neither accepted nor rejected a student, but holds out the possibility for admission should space in the class become available. Lists vary from school to school, and a student can expect to hear about the availability of space as early as the beginning of May or as late as August 1st. When placed on a wait list, you will be asked by the college to inform them whether or not you wish to remain on the list.


Grants: Money is given to students based upon family income. Grants come either from the federal government or from the college’s own funds.

Scholarships: are awards based upon school performance, test scores, or special talents (like sports or music).

Work-Study: wages supplied by the college that you earn from a job (typically on-campus). Work-study wages are not ‘taxed’ by the college when deciding on the next year’s financial aid.

Loans: there are several different types of loans by typically it is money that you borrow and it is subsidized by the government.

One comment on “What you need to know about Colleges and Admissions…

  1. Pingback: Picking a college | The Teen Appeal

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