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College Life 101

Intro. to College Life 101

Intro to College Life 101

Thanks to Jean Baird, Devils Lake School Counselor

Classes and credits

  1. Choose a college with the major you intend to declare.
  2. Find that college’s website.
  3. Find the web page for your intended major.
  4. Look at the requirements for your major.
  5. Does your chosen occupation require a 4-year degree (or more) or could you be accepted for the same employment with a 2-year degree and on-the-job training? Would this option save you money in loans or will you lose future earned income without the higher degree? Could you work for a while and then go back for more education at a later date?
  6. Do they have it organized in a timeline sorting which classes should be taken during which semesters?
  7. What are the categories (and credit requirements for each) for required General Education Classes?
  8. What General Studies classes are required for your major?
  9. Have you taken (or will you take) any of these classes as dual credit classes in high school?
  10. Are there any classes that all Freshmen are required to take? (example: Technology class, Freshmen Success, etc.)
  11. Are you planning to pursue more than one undergraduate degree? If so, are they both from the same college or different colleges?
  12. Are you planning to pursue a graduate degree beyond your undergraduate degree? (Does your intended occupation require or suggest the advanced training?)
  13. Do you need to apply specifically to your program? (such as Nursing, Teaching, Physical Therapy, etc.) If so, how and when do you apply?
  14. Do you have to maintain a particular GPA to be allowed into your chosen program?
  15. Is there tutoring available? (at a cost or included in your tuition and fees?)
  16. Are your required classes offered every semester or only on a rotation? (Some classes may not be offered more than once every 2 or 3 years.)
  17. Does your college have a graduation guarantee? If so, what are the conditions to the guarantee?


Room & Board

  1. How much does your college charge for room and board?
  2. Do they have more than one meal contract available?
  3. Do they have optional cooking facilities available for students who want to cook their own meals?
  4. Are there restrictions about which dorms that Freshmen can choose from?
  5. Are Freshmen allowed to live off campus?
  6. Are you required to have a roommate?
  7. Do single rooms cost more than sharing a room?
  8. How big are the rooms?
  9. Can you loft your beds?
  10. Where are the dorms in relation to your classes?
  11. Is public transportation available in your college’s town?
  12. Are Freshmen allowed to have a car on campus?
  13. Are there scholarships for students who live on campus?
  14. Do they offer weekend meals?


Tuition & Fees

  1. What is the per credit tuition charge for your college?
  2. Is there a cap on the credit fees? (example: You pay for $150 per credit x a max of 15 credits…. After 15 credits, you don’t pay additional credit costs.)
  3. What is the fee charge per credit at your college? (for the fees, not the credits)
  4. What do the student fees go towards?
  5. Do they charge for a parking pass? (per semester or for the year?)
  6. Do you receive your additional financial aid money on a pass card or as a check to you? Or can you turn it back to the bank so you don’t have to pay interest?
  7. Are there scholarships mentioned in the website offered to students in your program?
  8. Are there extra class fees for students in your major?
  9. Can you find the process for accepting a loan and doing pre-loan counseling?



  1. Does your college have interest clubs and groups to enhance your education or just for fun? (Botany Club, Ski Club, Spelunking Club, Saddle & Sirloin Club, etc.)
  2. Are there volunteer organizations to become involved in?
  3. Does your college have fraternities or sororities? What does each focus upon? (academics, honor, social, volunteering, campus politics, all of the above?)
  4. Does your college have media and publications activities such as radio, tv, print media, etc?
  5. Does your college have activities boards which plan the events for the campus?
  6. Does your college have sports teams where you would like to participate?
  7. Do you like to attend the sporting events that your college offers?
  8. Does your activities pass allow you free entry into all events or are there exceptions?

Other considerations

  1. Will you have wireless access on campus?
  2. Can you print free on campus, or will they charge per page?
  3. Can you print from your own computer or do you have to log into the computers owned by the college?
  4. Can you get repairs done to your computer on campus or do you have to bring it to a repair store (like Best Buy) off campus?
  5. Do your fees cover a limited amount of copying from a central location or do you have to pay per copy?
  6. Are journal articles free to access or do they charge for the copying?
  7. Are there library fees?
  8. What kind of student organizations does your college have?  Which of these organizations interest you?
  9. Do they have a Wellness Center? Are you being charged fees automatically or when you use it?

    If there is a Wellness Center, what is offered in there besides exercise machines?