Minnesota college trip helps students find their niche


Student at Macalester College on Nov. 3; students also visited Unversity of Minnesota Twin Cities, St. Olaf, and Carleton College. (Photo Courtesy of Ms. Bantz)

By Frank Rodriguez, Reporter

Thinking about college for high school students often triggers an influx of emotions: excitement, nervousness, stress, or all of the above.

To ease the decision process, students embarked on a two-day visit to tour Minnesota colleges on Nov. 2 and 3. According to the College and Career Center (CCC) website, the trip was for juniors and seniors. The fee for the trip was about $60.

The trip was based on responses to a survey sent out earlier in the year by the counseling department to gauge student interest levels of colleges in different regions. The survey sought information on what students looked for in a college, such as size and distance from home.

Students toured the University of Minnesota Twin Cities, Macalester, St. Olaf and Carleton College.

Ms. Bantz, counseling department chair, emphasized the importance of helping students discover their opportunities when exploring colleges.

“A lot of kids from Lane think, ‘I go to a big school, I want to go to a big college,’ and the difference between a big high school and a big college is you could be at Ohio State University which has 30,000 kids, and that is very different than a 4,000 student school,” Bantz said.

Counselor Ms. Constantine also reiterated the necessity of looking at a variety of different options in the search process.

Instead of looking for a big name school, Constantine said,We may even push students to do research into schools they may not have even heard of before, but that would be a good fit for them.”

Factors such as the size of a school, the environment around it and the academic rigor are just a few of the many things that go into a student’s decision on where to go to college, said Constantine.

Bantz said that trips such as the Minnesota visit are intended to get students on to different campuses and see what a school truly feels like.

Jacob Holstead, Div. 966, said that the trip changed his outlook on his decision of where to go to college.

“I had no interest in Minnesota schools; the University of Minnesota wouldn’t really stick out to me, but I actually really like the campus, and the whole environment was cool,” Holstead said.  

Omar Trujillo, Div. 986, also said the University of Minnesota was his favorite.

It was so beautiful, and the way the students talked, it seemed to be a really fun and interesting school,” Trujillo said.

According to Bantz, college trips such as the recent Minnesota visit focus on helping students find what works best for them, and discovering which types of schools they feel will fit their idea of what they want from a college.

Bantz also stressed the importance of making a personalized choice.

“I want kids to think about their own interests, and what they’re looking for in a school, not so much what their siblings or parents have done,” Bantz said.

To aid students in finding schools that will fit them, the counseling department wants to ensure that a variety of schools are represented on the trips. In doing this, it allows students to build a list of potential schools that provides multiple options, said Constantine.

She said that the opportunity to see a campus first hand is an important tool in making an informed decision.

Holstead agreed, emphasizing the importance of feeling at home at a school, even if a school is prestigious.

“If they have a really good academic program but I don’t like the environment, I’m probably not going to learn that well,” Holstead said.

Bantz said that more college trips are still being planned for this year, including tentative plans for a possible Ohio trip or a day trip to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

The CCC has also released information on their website about a trip to the Boston area from Feb. 28 to March 2.