You’ve taken all the tests and made the grades, and now it’s the moment of truthdeciding where to go to school! With so many colleges to choose from, it could take forever to find the perfect one for you.
Non-federal financial assistance programs and requirements often vary from school to school. Always check with your school before applying for financial aid.
The first step to finding the right program and type of school for you is to evaluate your interests. A self-assessment will help you examine your interests and goals, and offers ideas on fields of study and careers that might be right for you.
Things to Consider
There are hundreds of things to consider while you are making decisions about what to do after high school. We urge you to find out more about the schools you are interested in attending such as retention and graduation rates and job placement. Here are a few points to take into account before you commit to a school.
Understanding the Costs
Most people believe that school is much more expensive than it really is. Although some are expensive, there is most likely a school near you that is within financial reach.
Types of Schools
Once you have an idea of what your interests are, it’s time to figure out what kinds of schools offer programs that match those interests. Whether you are considering 2-year, 4-year, vocational, or private career schools, make sure that the school is accredited and participates in the Federal Student Aid programs. If you are not sure, contact the school to find out.
Explore the campuses by browsing through the detailed profiles and key information of each college.
To see if the schools you are interested in participate in the Federal Student Aid programs, search for schools that are Title IV participating.
Lots of schools are experimenting with distance learning–whereby students access lectures or course materials via the Internet or through other electronic media rather than in person. Whether a distance learning course or degree is right for you is a matter of personal preference. You should note that not every distance learning course or degree is accredited and/or eligible for federal student aid. To find out whether you can receive federal student aid for your program, check with your school’s financial aid professional. For more information about distance learning, click Online Degrees.
George Jefferson is an Education Specialist with CompleteSchools.com (http://www.completeschools.com/). Complete Schools has Information on over 6,500 colleges and 120,000 public and private schools. Complete Schools also hosts a large resource section to help you achieve your educational goals. Resources include Student Loans.