3 Resources Your Top School Should Have
By: Brianna Bleiwas
When researching colleges to apply to, you’ll probably come across a school that you fall in love with. That school may become your top choice – that is, if accepted, you plan to go there. Most people know all about their top school’s academic programs and acceptance rates, but not everyone explores the different resources their school choices have to offer. While there are some resources that most schools have, not every school’s resources are equal. In other words, just because a school has a particular resource, doesn’t mean it’s high quality. Before accepting an admissions offer, make sure your top school not only has these resources, but that they’re actually going to be helpful for you.
- Disability Resource Center
If you have a physical disability, making sure your top school has decent disability services might seem like a no-brainer. If you have a mental illness, chronic illness, or a learning disability, you might overlook this incredibly useful resource. Disability services can provide students with extended time on tests, a quiet room to take exams, excused absences for inclement weather, and the ability to pick their classes before seniors. Picking classes ahead of everyone else can be a lifesaver for students who need classes on the first floor or classes with accommodating professors. However, not all disability resource centers offer the same services. Set up an appointment with your top school’s office for students with disabilities to see how they can accommodate you. Some schools will charge students for use of their disability services – make sure your top school isn’t one of those.
If you don’t think you can utilize a college’s disability services right now, see if they offer services for temporary impairments like broken limbs and sudden, severe illness. A broken arm may not be a permanent disability, but it would definitely impact the rest of your semester!
- Emergency Medical Services
What happens if you get injured or sick on campus and you need help – fast? Some schools have paid or volunteer EMTs who can stabilize you, evaluate you, and bring you to a hospital if need be. To find out if your top school has an emergency medical team, check out the college’s list of student organizations or their campus safety webpage. If your top school does have a team of EMTs or paramedics, make sure they are trained in CPR and other life-saving skills.
In addition, you’ll want to explore the nearby hospitals. Are they high quality? Are they far away? Would locals trust that hospital in the event of emergency? Know your options for emergency healthcare, including hospitals, urgent care clinics, and student health centers (bonus points if the health center is on campus!)
- Public Transportation
Not every university allows freshman and sophomores to have cars on campus. When they do, there can be limited parking spaces available. You’ll want to make sure you can get around your college town without a problem. Even more rural college towns may have a public transportation system. See if there are any city busses that make stops on campus. If you’re going to school in an urban setting, also look into subway systems that might be available to you. Some colleges offer bus passes to students – see if your school is one of them!
It’ll also be important to explore your options for returning home for school breaks. Check out long-distance travel options like Amtrak and Greyhound to see if they can take you from your college town back home.
There are plenty of other campus resources you’ll want to explore, such as tutoring services and organizations for diverse populations. You might not realize you can utilize a resource until you discover it, so look into what your top school has to offer!