Choosing a College
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Choosing a college can feel overwhelming. With so many options, the process can be intimidating. By spending time researching local state universities, online college options, and other types of colleges, prospective students can make an educated decision.
Remember that picking a college extends beyond four years. The choice can shape your career for decades. Earning a college degree benefits students in several important ways. College graduates earn higher salaries and face lower unemployment rates, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Many careers require a bachelor's degree for entry-level roles. As a result, attending college translates into more job opportunities.
If you are wondering how to choose a college, read on. This article provides tips, resources, and guides to help you choose the best college for your situation and goals.
Research Top Colleges in Your State
When it comes to how to pick a college, you can start by researching colleges in your state. In-state schools offer several benefits over out-of-state colleges. First, public or state universities offer significant tuition discounts for state residents. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, out-of-state tuition and fees topped $26,000 per year on average in 2018. In contrast, in-state tuition averages around $9,000 per year.
Second, in-state colleges appeal to working professionals who do not want to relocate to earn their degree. A shorter commute to college can help busy students balance school with other responsibilities.
Finally, students planning to pursue careers in their current area often benefit from attending a local school. Local colleges can offer an edge in terms of job placement and networking opportunities. Many schools build relationships with local employers to hire graduates.
Explore Online Colleges and Universities
Many degree-seekers find online college to be a better fit than local state universities. By choosing an online program, learners can attend a top program without relocating. LearnHowToBecome.org offers many resources to explore the best online and military-friendly colleges, including an online student success handbook.
Funding Your College Education
Taking advantage of financial aid can help to minimize both debt and stress. Filling out the Federal Application for Student Aid (FAFSA®) is a good start, but students can also look to special interest organizations to help ease the financial burden of higher education. Research financial aid opportunities using the financial aid toolkit below.
College Student Resources
Prospective students may be interested in checking out these resource pages to further tailor their college research. We’ve rounded up the best college resources for LGBTQ students, veterans and active military, and students with disabilities. With the added help from these resources, students can maximize their potential in the classroom and beyond.
Search and Compare Accredited Colleges
Prospective students can use this tool in their college search. Narrowing results by setting preferences for tuition, student population, degree type, and more is a great way to filter out colleges that do not hit the mark. The comparison feature gives a side-by-side analysis of up to four colleges with even more information on each school's key attributes.
Top Five Reasons to Attend College
Whether you attend an online college or enroll in one of the many state universities across the country, earning a degree brings many benefits. College graduates earn more money, face lower unemployment rates, and benefit from more job options than professionals without a degree. See below for five important reasons to attend college.
Three Steps to Choosing the Best College for You
The best college for one student might not be the best for another. Some people love big universities with active extracurricular programs, while others prefer smaller schools. So, how do you pick a college? Read on for three tips to help narrow down your options.
Use the Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs to find accredited schools and programs.
Fit can also come down to the campus itself. Do you prefer an urban campus or a more rural school? If you plan to live on campus, be sure to check out the dorms.
Applicants can also look for active student organizations when researching schools. Most colleges feature honor societies, faith-based groups, student government, intramural sports teams, and other student organizations.
LearnHowToBecome.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.
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