COVID 19 has made the the college search much more difficult. For the most part, it is not possible to do in person college visits, tours or information sessions. So how can you make an informed decision when choosing a college? Many universities have been offering new ways to get information about their schools available to potential future students to help with the college search.
Virtual tours are one tool many colleges are using to visualize their campus. The virtual tours often include interactive maps and programs that give you a 360 degree view of different areas of the campus.
Some schools offer videos to provide a view of the campus, details of their programs as well as interviews with students about their experiences. Videos are great way to visualize a campus and get useful information about a college.
Virtual Information Sessions
Virtual information sessions are another tool colleges are using to get information out about their schools. These rage from large sessions over Zoom with an interactive chat available for questions to smaller Zoom sessions where the participants are encouraged to use their cameras and audio for questions. Colleges often offer general sessions as well as sessions for specific majors, for example the engineering department. Info sessions are not offered all the time and need to be reserved in advance on the college's website.
Virtual Class Trials
Many schools are also providing opportunities for prospective students to try one of their classes. These limited class sessions are often held online on common school holidays to give an idea of what a class at that college is like. These classes are run by actual professors in different subject areas and need to be reserved in advance on the college's website.
While it is more difficult to do a college search during a pandemic, colleges have been coming up with ways to explore their schools virtually. Provided are links to virtual tours and virtual information sessions at colleges with engineering programs.
How to pay for school is a big factor when looking for a college. Fortunately, there are many scholarships out there for engineering students. The scholarships may have requirements such as certain GPA's or national test scores, financial need, academic majors or essays. There are also scholarships that are more general. It is a good idea to look into engineering scholarships even if you do not have a demonstrated financial need, as there are many scholarships that are not need based. In addition, many universities also offer scholarships specifically for their engineering students.
Below are several websites that list scholarships for engineering students and also some specific scholarships for engineering students.
As a result of COVID-19, the college search for an engineering school has become more difficult. In person college visits, tours and information sessions can't occur in most cases. This is both challenging and frustrating for both high school seniors and the parents of them. As parents of a high school senior, we have been going through these frustrations ourselves. Every day things seem to be changing. So how can you make an informed decision when choosing a college for an engineering major? Many universities have been rising to the challenge by instituting new ways to get information about their schools available to potential future students. Virtual tours and virtual information sessions are two ways to visualize a college and learn more about them. Another great way to get more questions answered is to schedule virtual or phone interviews with college representatives. Signing up for info sessions and interviews does more than get you information. It shows demonstrated interest in the school. This is something many colleges look for when choosing who to accept. Check our links to colleges with engineering programs that offer virtual tours and virtual information sessions.
There are many courses that students should take in high school that will help them get accepted to a college engineering program. It is a good idea to take as many STEM courses as you can. These include math (calculus if possible), science (chemistry, physics and biology), computer programming and any engineering classes (such as Project Lead The Way) that may be offered at your high school. Engineering schools look for students with an interest and an aptitude in these areas. They also look to see if the student challenged themselves in the courses they took in high school, such as Advanced Placement (AP) courses. AP classes in the STEM field will provide a foundation for classes required in college engineering programs. In addition, AP classes might possibly get some courses out of the way before the student actually starts college.
It is surprising with the increased need for people to fill jobs in the STEM field, such as engineering disciplines and computer science, that there is very little information available to help students find the best colleges for them that offer these programs. All programs at all schools are not equal, and not all schools are right for all students. Most people are aware of the big tech schools for engineering such as MIT and CalTech. They may not be the right school for everyone, though. There are lots of schools that you probably haven't heard of such as Rose-Hulman, Rowan College or Colorado School of Mines that are excellent engineering schools and might provide a better engineering education. So the big question is where do you start?
The first step to finding the right engineering school is to figure out what the student is interested in. To start, which field of engineering do they want to study. Not all schools that have engineering programs have all engineering majors. For example, many schools have mechanical engineering programs, but only a few have civil engineering programs. After the major is determined, then other criteria needs to be factored in. These include, large or small school, preferred geographic location and of course the student's grades and test scores. Taking all of these factors into account will help to narrow down which colleges to start looking at. In short, all schools are not a perfect fit for all students, but considering your student's needs is the start to find the correct engineering college for them.