These are some of the basic questions that I had when I started looking for colleges and universities. I was worried that I wouldn’t find the right place for me because there are so many places to look. I suddenly felt small among so many possibilities.

Something that helped me was having a list of things that I knew I was looking for in a college. I knew I wanted a smaller school because I wanted to be a person rather than a number. So, I started looking at smaller schools in Minnesota and beyond. Once I had an idea, I toured as many schools as possible.

I wanted all the information I could get from as many schools as possible as it helped me figure out what I liked and what I didn’t like. I learned that the more questions you ask, the better. No question is a bad question. Your questions help the admission staff personalize the experience, and they also help you with your likes and dislikes.

Touring is just one step in the process. I found that I liked to tour before applying because if I didn’t enjoy the school, I didn’t need to apply. After those tours, the applications varied from place to place. I found that I liked to apply for each school rather than use the Common App, where you can just use one application and send it to schools. Throughout my high school years, I have worked with my school counselors on how to craft an essay for my application. I wanted these essays to be personable yet eloquent, and I found that getting help and reaching out to others was the best thing to do.

There are scholarships out there waiting for you to find them. So many people and companies want to help you financially. To find them, I would search scholarships, reach out to the schools to see what they offered in terms of financial aid, and see what my high school and my church could do. I know money is a big factor when it comes to college, but don’t rule out schools because of cost before you really check into them. Follow through and apply for scholarships to see what the total financial aid award would be, and then go from there. It is important not to give up on your dream school!

After you take the steps to apply, and ultimately get accepted, visit again. Visiting more than once helps solidify the decision and can give you more information about the next steps.

This is the process I used and I couldn’t be happier with my decision. I have found a place where I feel at home, a strong community and great majors. Concordia is the place for me and I am so happy to be a Cobber!