As I encounter people who have worked in the university setting, I ask them for advice for the College Savvy Community. Recently, I had the pleasure of meeting a former college official who was kind enough to share some insight.
Dr. Tara Scales Williams is a former faculty member and administrator at Pennsylvania State University where she spent many years helping college students. When I asked her about her “best advice for college-bound students”, she provided several pearls of wisdom:
- Students should know that the admissions process is different from the financial aid process. With this in mind, students should make an informed choice on where to enroll based on all of the factors involved (academic, college culture, financial, etc.), not just based on an offer of admission.
- Students should know what funding is available for their sophomore, junior and senior years. Often students enroll at a university based on promised funds for freshman year and are shocked when they are not eligible for many scholarship and grants as they become upperclassmen.
- Students should look for a mentor on campus. The benefits of finding someone who can help to navigate campus culture are infinite. It is imperative that students seek someone who can help with the numerous unwritten rules of a particular university in an effort to ensure a smooth transition.