Insider tips for applying to college, including a grade-by-grade timeline for high schoolers (and their parents).

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Whether you’re a high school sophomore, a parent of a student who hasn’t decided on a major, or a middle-age professional looking for more education, the process of choosing the college that matches your needs can be a challenge.

The most important — and difficult — part of the decision is knowing where to look for information.

On Course provides guidance from school counselors, education consultants, students and colleges to help lead you through one of life’s biggest decisions.

Keep scrolling to view the wealth of stories included in the Fall 2018 edition of On Course.

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The strength of your personal essay can often mean the difference between getting accepted — or rejected — by the school of your choice.

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Long-term goals are a consideration, as are day-to-day concerns, like transportation.

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A Cliff’sNotes version of the process, so parents and teens can both survive the experience with minimal emotional scarring.

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WSU senior Lysandra Per

Participating in faculty-mentored research is an experience that can benefit any motivated student.

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Dropping off your precious freshmen at colleges is an emotional time. However ...

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To make a smooth transition, know what to expect and what is expected.

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For 18-year-old Liza Miezejeski, choosing the right college meant balancing her desire for adventure and her fear of debt.

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Co-op education programs alternate semesters or trimesters and full-time paid employment.

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Don’t dismiss safer-bet colleges as lower in quality or places where a student won’t be challenged.

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Palouse Restoration’s ‘living, learning laboratory’ is a natural fit with STEM program.

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Let’s rethink some well-meaning expert advice on touring colleges.

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Getting a taste of the complexities of a variety of disciplines encourages new skills.

Mekenna Hooper and her dog, Max, at Johnson & Wales University’s Denver, Colorado, campus. Leaving for college involves some difficult changes, and one of them can be separation from a beloved pet. If it’s a high enough priority however you might be able to find a college that will let you bring your pet.(Johnson & Wales University via AP)

Animal house: At some colleges, there is no need to be separated from a beloved pet.

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Flexibility, resilience, adaptability are critical for the working artist, along with the ability to craft a press package, résumé and website.

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Contributions to the plan grow free from federal income tax, and withdrawals are tax-free when used for qualified expenses. It costs very little to get started and often can be done online.

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In Washington state, colleges offering virtual tours include Whitman College, Seattle University and Washington State University.

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A kidney transplant, and the surgeon who performed it, inspired a career choice.

Some families invest in outside help to guide students through the application process.

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Key skills like critical thinking, creative expression and the ability to collaborate with a variety of viewpoints create strong employees and leaders.