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East Carolina University

QA &

on Choosing a College

How do I choose a college? This is one of the most important questions you face as you approach your senior year in high school. With some planning and hard work, you can find the answers to your questions. You should consider such things as academic programs offered, admissions requirements, school size, location, and cost. At East Carolina University, we are eager and willing to do all we can to answer your questions and help you learn more about our university.

What Are Some Terms I Need to Know as I Begin the College Selection Process? The world of college admissions is somewhat complex, and you will begin to see and hear words that you might not understand. To put you ahead of the game, we have prepared an admissions glossary of terms that are frequently used by colleges and universities and high school counselors. We want you to feel comfortable with the staff at East Carolina, so please be sure to ask us questions if you are unsure about anything. Decision-Date Admissions An admissions decision process through which applications are processed according to specific deadlines. Admission decisions are subsequently mailed to all students on the same date. Rolling Admission An admissions decision process through which applications are processed and students are accepted on a revolving, continuing schedule. FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) A need-analysis document that gathers financial information about family members and the number of family members in college for the current year. The form must be submitted yearly and is required before a student can be considered for federal and other financial aid programs.

MCR (Minimum Course Requirements) A college preparatory curriculum that lists minimum course requirements for high school graduates entering baccalaureate degree programs in the sixteen institutions of the University of North Carolina system. Merit-Based Scholarships Academic scholarships awarded to students based on their academic and extracurricular records. Financial need is not considered. Need-Based Financial Aid Financial assistance given to students who have a documented need based on family income, assets, and other criteria. Documentation of such need is through the FAFSA form (see FAFSA). PGA (Predicted Grade Point Average) A calculation, based on high school grades, class rank, and test scores, that predicts the probable GPA a new freshman will earn in the first year of college. This may be used as the main criterion for admissions at some universities, or it may be one of several criteria. What Will I Study? Some students already know what they want to study, but don’t worry if you don’t. Colleges offer career planning and academic counseling to help you decide. Most students don’t declare a major until their sophomore year, so you will have time to explore all of your options.

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At East Carolina University, a professional staff of General College advisors will work with you to determine the curriculum of study that’s right for you. We offer more than one hundred bachelor’s degree programs, and our academic advisors, personal counselors, and staff at the ECU Career Center are all willing to help you plan your future. How Much Does College Cost? College costs vary greatly. Generally, state schools cost less than private schools, and in-state tuition is less than out-of-state tuition. However, this is not always the case. Gather information and compare costs. Discuss your family’s budget and decide what cost range best suits your situation. Then work with your high school guidance counselor to learn about the financial aid and scholarship programs available to you. East Carolina University is a state-supported institution that offers a complete array of needbased financial aid, such as loans, grants, and work-study. Cooperative education and self-help job opportunities also are available. In addition, we offer a number of merit scholarships for new freshmen. If you are in the top 5 percent of your class, please contact us for more information.

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Is Location Important? Going away to college allows you to meet people from other places, share experiences, and learn about yourself. However, you want to be comfortable with the college environment and with the area in which it is located. Consider whether you prefer an urban or a rural atmosphere, while also thinking about distance away from home. East Carolina University is located in Greenville—a medium-sized college community in eastern North Carolina. Students attend ECU from all parts of North Carolina, from all fifty states, and from many countries around the world. Our students enjoy campus activities during the week as well as on the weekends. Our university is an excellent place for you to learn and grow. What Is the Right Size College? Large colleges and universities offer more options through a variety of majors and social experiences but sometimes are considered impersonal. Small colleges, considered by some to be more personal, might offer fewer academic programs and social opportunities. Finding the right mix between a school large enough to offer opportunities but small enough to be caring might be your greatest challenge.

We believe East Carolina University offers a unique blend of a small-college environment with big-school opportunities. We have a wide variety of degree programs, Division I athletics, and more than 250 student organizations. Although we are a large university, East Carolina maintains small class sizes and fosters personal student/faculty relationships. How Do I Prepare for Admission to College? Preparing for college must start long before your senior year. Check with the admissions offices of the colleges and universities you are considering to confirm that you are taking the required courses for admission. Then, review your course of study with your guidance counselor. Also, find the ranges of acceptable test scores and grade point averages for the schools that interest you. Take the PSAT in the fall of your junior year and the SAT in the spring of your junior year. Prepare for these tests by outside reading, SAT workshops, practice test booklets, or SAT preparatory computer programs. Go to college fairs in your community to get information from various schools, and build a file on each college. Review this material for application deadlines, costs, and availability of

degree programs. Write to additional schools for their application materials. After you narrow your list, be sure to visit each campus. Of course, East Carolina would be delighted to assist you through our admissions process. You can meet one of our representatives at a local college fair and inquire further about our admissions requirements, or you may visit us in Greenville. East Carolina does not require an admissions interview. How Can the Internet Help Me in Choosing the Right School? While nothing replaces the sights, sounds, and sensations you experience during on-campus visits, the Internet can be a valuable tool to help you in your college search. Use your favorite search engine to find the Web site of a college or university you’re interested in—the name of the school is usually all you need—and then take a look around. Be sure to check out East Carolina’s home page at Several Web sites also can help you narrow down your list by giving information about colleges and universities based your preferences. Type “college search” into your search engine, and check out your options.

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You’ll likely notice that many schools offer online applications. It’s an easy and quick alternative to the traditional printed applications you see in materials sent by colleges and universities. At East Carolina, you can apply online by visiting and clicking on the “Applications” link. The admissions page also has links to other areas of campus, so you can get a good taste of all that ECU has to offer. What Questions Should I Ask an Admissions Officer? When speaking with a college or university admissions officer, you have a valuable opportunity to learn specific information about that school. Make your time with this individual productive by bringing a set of questions with you. Always have paper and a pen to write their answers, as you might forget the facts later. In other words, be prepared prior to your meeting, and you will not only gather the information you want, you also will make a good impression. Questions to Ask • What are the requirements for admission? • What criteria do the admissions office take into consideration when admitting a student? • When is the application deadline? • How much do interviews count? • Which AP tests do you accept, and what scores do I need in order to receive credit? 4 •

• What majors do you have? Can I also have a minor? • Are freshmen required to live on campus? Can they bring a car? • What extracurricular activities and clubs are available to students? • What is the average class size? What is the ratio of students to faculty? • What are the costs for tuition, fees, and room and board? East Carolina University is excited about your interest in our school, and our staff is ready and willing to answer all of your questions. We hope to see you at a college fair in your area or on our campus for a visit. Don’t forget to bring those important questions with you! Can My Family and I Visit the Campus? Absolutely! You should begin by making a list of the colleges you are seriously considering and checking their locations. Contact the admissions offices of the schools to find out about tours, information sessions, and open houses. It is best to visit a college while classes are in session so that you can talk with the students and tour the facilities. Be sure to set up appointments so that you are expected.

Visit East Carolina East Carolina University has a beautiful campus and great facilities that we would like to show you. The university is in Greenville, North Carolina, about ninety miles east of Raleigh, the state capital, and well within a two-hour drive of many coastal recreational areas. Campus tours are available weekdays at 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Summer hours may vary. Tours begin from the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, Whichard Building. To arrange a tour, call 252-328-6641 or e-mail us at You may also visit the admissions home page at

Thank you for your interest in East Carolina University. We look forward to hearing from you in the near future and wish you the best of luck as you finish your high school education.

East Carolina University is committed to equality of educational opportunity and does not discriminate against applicants, students, or employees based on race, color, national origin, religion, gender, age, creed, sexual orientation, or disability. An equal opportunity/affirmative action university, which accommodates the needs of individuals with disabilities.

U.P. 07-242

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ECU Admissions Q&A Booklet  

Q&A reference for high schoolers to use during their college selection process.

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