May 1 is a day when students across the country make a decision that will have a significant impact on their life. Where we spend college can lay the foundation for our future and College Signing Day also known as College Decision Day is a celebration of that important decision.
With thousands of institutions to choose from students often become overwhelmed with questions and pressure including if they’ll make the right choice, where their friends will be, if they’ll be able to make new friends, and if they will succeed. I believe choosing to pursue higher education is a great first step by understanding unique needs and wants and doing research to find a good fit, students can and will make the right choice. Its also important to remember:
Education is not limited to where you attend college or what you learn in your chosen institutions’s classrooms or campus.
No matter where you go you will learn and grow.
Although there are many factors to consider here are several that stand out that could help you make your decision or learn more about my alma mater and experience at Southeastern Louisiana University.
One of the most common questions I get in regard to my education is how I managed to graduate debt-free. I received several grants and scholarships, but the majority of my expenses were covered through the Taylor Opportunity Program for Students, most commonly known as TOPS. It is a program that offers merit-based, state scholarships for Louisiana residents planning to attend one of the following.
schools that are a part of the Louisiana Community and Technical College System or
institutions that are a part of the Louisiana Association of Independent Colleges and Universities
Although I knew I would attend college as early as middle school, my father, a single parent at the time, assured my three siblings and I that we could attend college and achieve success but would have to work hard and earn financial aid to cover the costs. He was honest about his inability to pay for a college education for four and TOPS made a college education attainable for me. Being a TOPS recipient, leads me to the next important factor of my decision.
Proximity to Home
Because of TOPS I knew I would pursue higher education in Louisiana. While that narrowed the pool of colleges significantly, there were still several to choose from. Dillard University and the University of Louisiana at Lafayette were some of my top choices, but being very family oriented and relying on my dad he used those qualities to his advantage in persuading me to attend the university 45 minutes from home. He knew I would attend Southeastern before I had even submitted my application. I think he wanted me closer to home as much as I wanted to be within a reasonable reach if I ever needed him. I was definitely able to experience a level of independence, but being able to call on him to rescue me when needed was incredible.
In addition to being the college most of my maternal and paternal family members graduated, Southeastern is where my parents met. That’s a legacy I’m proud to be apart of. Outside of that, knowing I wanted to be a “Career Communicator” I knew that I could join an academic legacy that had grown over more than 80 years and a college and department that was growing was awesome. I was not only able to learn from professors who had been seasoned practitioners but also leave my mark as a student.
Field of Study
The possibilities of careers and studies within the world of communication are endless. I knew I wanted to study and practice public relations and having the option to earn a concentration in public relations was important. It was also rewarding to be able to earn a concentration in organizational communication and minor in Spanish.
Five years since I crossed the stage in the University Center to earn my Bachelor of Arts in Communication I’m still happy with the decision I made. To all the high school seniors approaching graduation, congratulations. To those entering colleges across the country, I wish you the best; and to all my fellow Lions, LION UP!
What were major factors of your decision to pursue higher education and the institution you chose?
Share below. Got questions? Include those too.
Hugs & Handshakes,
Jasmine C. Tate