Choosing a college
Narrowing choices for college can be a daunting task. Here are some tips that will help you find a school that will fit your needs and take you where you want to go.
Accreditation is a sign that a college complies with rigorous standards and has a high commitment to quality. Choosing an accredited institution is important if you intend to transfer to another college or pursue additional degrees. Financial aid requires college accreditation.
Cost is usually a big consideration when you’re choosing a school, and it’s important to weigh the cost of your education with your potential salary. There are many forms of financial aid out there, including federal or state grants, institutional grants and scholarships, work study and student loans.
FLEXIBLE SCHEDULING OPTIONS
You may be balancing work, family and other obligations, making flexible scheduling a very important factor for you in your choice of a school. Look for evening, weekend and online options to make scheduling your classes easier.
State-of-the-art labs, computer centers, libraries and performance venues can enhance your education and provide valuable, hands-on experiences.
ACADEMIC SUPPORT RESOURCES
Many students seek assistance from the academic demands of higher education. The college you choose should offer tutoring, support centers and extra resources to help you succeed.
CAREERS AND INTERNSHIPS
A college should emphasize career-focused academic programs. Career advisors can help you evaluate your strengths and passions to suggest careers and their appropriate majors. A good college has resources to help you write a resume, get internships or job shadowing opportunities, prepare for interviews – in short, offer all the
services needed to prepare you for a career after college.
It’s valid to take into account whether a college is a good fit for you, both personally and socially. The institution should offer a wide variety of clubs, activities and student organizations.
Even if it’s a prestigious college, if it doesn’t offer the major you seek, it may not be the best choice. Programs, including curriculum, credit requirements and completion rates, are important. And it’s always a good idea for students to have multiple programs to choose from.
Location is critical. You may be leaving home, commuting, or running from work to campus, so consider how far the campus is to home and surrounding cities. Also, the proximity of nearby companies that are sources of internships and/or jobs should be a consideration.