March is a rather unassuming month; nothing spectacular to note other than the arrival of spring (for most), still snow for others, and sometimes the osbservance of Easter and Passover. But for college basketball fans, it’s MARCH MADNESS!!
And to keep this enthusiasm in the perspective of higher education, it can also be a good time for college exploration. Look at this year’s bracket and see all the prospects among sixty-eight options.
If you remember my article last year, “March Madness…learn about colleges and have fun watching basketball,” I identified colleges in the bracket that were “newbies;” especially for my region. So now it’s time to explore the 2011 list of newcomers, hidden gems, and of course, the frequent flyers.
Some colleges in the bracket worthy of consideration for metro-DC students are University of Texas-San Antonio, Long Island University-Brooklyn, University of Northern Colorado, Morehead State University, St. Peter’s College, and University of North Carolina-Asheville. Participation in the tournament was a first time experience for several of the teams. Students have an opportunity to expand their college list with this group. It might be a good idea to review the list of attendees for the local 2011 NACAC College Fair in April, and see if these colleges will be represented.
A few institutions that deserve more attention from my region are Oakland University, University of Cincinnati, San Diego State University, University of Akron, Wofford College, Belmont University, Butler University, and Old Dominion University. I consider them to be hidden gems. Many students are familiar with these colleges due to friends, family members, college information resources, or sports. Extend your knowledge by visiting their website, planning college visits, and attending college fairs.
What can I add about the frequent-flyers, other than the fact that most students know these colleges quite well, due to their annual participation in NCAA brackets and their popularity as a first choice selection for college admissions. I don’t have to list them, because you already know who they are. Just remember, it’s not always wise to get preoccupied with a college’s name and popularity, rather than the value of a “good match or good fit.”
Suppose there is a “Cinderella team” among the group who wins the championship game? If you read my article, “Does athletic success influence college admission?,” the institution may have a higher yield of college applications at the admissions office in the Fall, and how could that affect your acceptance or rejection decision?
As you kick back and enjoy the games, remember there are 3000+ higher education institutions. March Madness only represents the NCAA D-1 athletic programs. Expand your horizons by researching the other college possibilities that are not listed in the bracket, and welcome to the wonderful world of college exploration.
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