Ready to make a plan and take action towards your vision? Here you will find information on how to apply to the programs of your choice.
– William Ernest Henley, poet
In trying to find the right college for you, consider how different schools “match” with your grades and academic interests, and how they “fit” with your personal needs (like size, location, cost, etc.)
Considering personal fit, financial fit, academic match, and available completion supports will lead to what we call Quality Enrollment. Enrolling in a Quality Enrollment pathway or program means you will have found the best option for yourself based on the four most important factors, and that you will have more support on your chosen path.
Ask yourself these Personal Fit questions:
Does this pathway offer programs, opportunities, location, and other identity/aspiration options that interest me?
Would this option make me happy and set me up for my definition of success?
In thinking about personal fit, reflect on your values, professional aspirations, interests, and preferences to select the criteria that is important to you, like:
Ask yourself these Financial Fit questions:
Is this pathway affordable for me and my family? What is our definition of “affordable?” (for me and my family)
How much debt would I graduate with, and could I pay that off with the type of job I would get? Do I want to take that on?
Ask yourself these Academic Match questions:
Is this option an Academic Match for me?
Do I have a good mix of OverMatch, Match, UnderMatch?
Which option is the most selective, or hardest to get into?
Why does Academic Match Matter? Attending a Match or OverMatch program can increase your chances of completing your degree or credential. A Match school means that your GPA is within the range of what is typical for students who get admitted. Here is an easy way to think about it:
GPA Selectivity Index
The chart below shows where your GPA matches the selectivity range of colleges.
|Two-Year Colleges||Two-Year Colleges||Two-Year Colleges||Two-Year Colleges||Four-Year Eligible||Four-Year Eligible||Somewhat Selective||Somewhat Selective||Selective||Selective||Selective/ Very||Very Selective|
Click here for a list of suggested partner institutions to consider, organized by selectivity.
Ask yourself these Completion Supports questions:
Will this option support me on my path to completion/graduation?
What is the graduation rate?
Does this option have programs to support me (academically, socio-emotionally, financially, etc.)?
Why does the graduation rate matter?
Remember that the higher the graduation rate, the more the college is ready to support all students. Check out grad rates here at this link. Anything above 40% is worth consideration. Remember, you are looking for the underrepresented minority graduation rate and comparing it to the overall graduation rate. There should not be a large difference in the graduation rate of white students and Students of Color.
It’s important to note that a community college system grad rate is not perfectly comparable to a four year graduation rate. When attending a two-year institution, it will be more important to look at the specific program fit (is this a program that is aligned to your interests and career goals?) and make sure you have a thoughtful and robust plan that includes a high quality support program (such as One Million Degrees at the CCCs) and a proactive transfer plan upon completion of your Associate’s Degree.
Iman was a student who did not believe she could afford to go to college and, therefore, decided that she did not deserve to go. Watch Iman’s story to see how she evolved her thinking and empowered herself to take hold of the opportunities she deserves!
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Map from Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities of 569 HSIs in 28 States, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico (4/6/2021)
College of DuPage
Concordia University Chicago
Elgin Community College
Harold Washington College, City Colleges of Chicago
Joliet Junior College
National Louis University
North Park University
Northeastern Illinois University
Saint Xavier University
St. Augustine College
University of Illinois Chicago
Waubonsee Community College
Search colleges by interest, major, size, distance. You can use the College Board Search tool. Check under “College Type” to look up HBCUs and HSIs. Find institutions at or slightly above the selectivity level of your GPA, check their graduation rate, and visit their websites.
After exploring www.Careerpathways.net identify two to three programs that are currently accepting applications or;
After visiting apprenticeship.gov to select two to three programs that are currently accepting applications or;
Visit our applications page and search institutions still accepting applications to select two to three programs you are interested in.