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How do I choose the right college?

When I get ready to go to college I want to be able to afford it, like where it is located, and be able to get the degree I want at that school.

Thank you comment icon Hi Kiley! I rephrased the title to be in the form of a question. Thanks so much for posting! 馃檪 Alexandra Carpenter, Admin
Thank you comment icon Hi Kiley! I'd say first of all, considering what majors you might be interested in and research schools that specialize in this area. If you're undecided -- no worries!! -- I'd focus on bigger schools with lots of major options and think more about cost and location. Niche is a great resource for learning more about schools from students; and many schools also have Reddit pages where you can post questions and learn more about a school's culture. Altogether, I'd say create a spreadsheet comparing schools' pros and cons, and narrow down which ones suit your needs best overall. Marlowe

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Grisselda鈥檚 Answer

A few tips on choosing the right college for you us to keep in mind the academic opportunities available, money for cost of attendance, the values/morals of the college as well as the college community and school spirit. These are all factors that can help you determine what college is right for you.
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Ann鈥檚 Answer

Looks like your criteria is affordability, location, and degree:

For affordable, look for an in state school (parent's primary residence residence). Additionally, entry level university level college credit can be obtained through a more affordable class at a community college, so take it at the community college and transfer the credit.

For location, this is a personal preference as there are good colleges everywhere. I'll give you some things to think about: Do you want to be close to family? Do you like rural or urban areas? What can you afford and how comfortable are you with new things? What places have you visited that you like/don't like?

For degree, pick something that you would be good at. This might or might not be the same thing as a subject you like.
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Helen鈥檚 Answer

You have so many options! But that can also be very overwhelming. First thing you want to think about is what you want to do after college. If you're not sure yet that's ok! If you're not sure you want to look for colleges that may have a variety of options and strong programs that you can pivot to when you're more comfortable making decisions. Using resources like collegeboard.com gives you an opportunity to input the things that are important to you in a school and it will give you a list of schools that might meet those requirements. There are a lot of resources around financial aid, but you should be realistic about what your debt might be coming out of college if you go that route. There is a whole lot to consider, but if you do your research and make a list of things that you are looking for in a school you will certainly be able to narrow down the list. Good luck!
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Connor鈥檚 Answer

Hi Kiley!

I would say that there are a ton of options out there for you. Personally, I have divorced parents and the parent I lived with was not able to pay for my schooling. So, I qualified for the Pell Grant (or financial aid). That covered 99% of my schoolwork, if not more. Some schools also offer their own grants. Halfway through my schooling, my school offered their own grant on top of the financial aid I was receiving which wound up covering all of my schoolwork.

There are so many grants and scholarships out there, it is remarkable. Some have higher competition than others, but there are many that do not get any applicants. A quick Google search will reveal local scholarships/grants that often get forgotten about.

Another factor is the cost of schooling. While you may qualify for something like the Pell Grant, if they give you $3,500 a semester but your classes cost $4,000 then you have to make up the difference somehow.

The last recommendation I would make is do not be scared to take out subsidized loans. Subsidized loans do not start accruing interest until 6 months after you graduate. Do not go overboard as you will have to pay them back. Only take out what you need.

I wish you the best!
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Tiffanie鈥檚 Answer

There are many factors into choosing the right college for you.
First you should make sure that the college has the degree you seek to achieve. I would then consider the cost, location, etc. You would not want to attend a school that did not have your desired major! When I was choosing a university I decided on one that was less expensive but had lots and lots of majors, in case I changed my mind during school, which does happen.
You could also apply to a handful of schools with different things that attract you, good location, less cost, lots of degrees, etc. Make sure to look into scholarships, that might help you afford which ever college you choose.

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Liz鈥檚 Answer

Hi Ms. Kiley

I am proud of your College Goals and think that you are one step ahead of others. I would say that college can get expensive, although wit鈥檚 hard work and perseverance you can do it!!!!


Good luck!!!
Liz
Thank you comment icon Liz, thank you! Kiley
Thank you comment icon Your Welcome :) Liz Anderson RN, BSN, PHN
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Les鈥檚 Answer

Hi Kiley,
You may want to consider community and state colleges to get your general education courses completed. These colleges can be more affordable compared to private colleges and your course credits may transfer to other colleges (private). You will need to need to check with those private colleges to see how many course credits they will accept.

Also you may want to investigate looking at companies and organizations (local, non-profit) who offer scholarships in those specific fields.

Here are some helpful links:
studentaid.gov
collegeboard.org

Best of Luck


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Madi鈥檚 Answer

Hi Kiley,

Those college goals are absolutely attainable! I had similar desires when I was in the process of choosing my college and I found the perfect school for myself. It will take a bit of research and time to find your perfect school but it is 100% doable.
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Ojal鈥檚 Answer

Hey ! Hope you are doing well. This is a great question because there is no one size fits all when it comes to education. I think there are several factor to consider when you are considering going to college. For instance do you want to go to within the same state, at home, or in a different state / country. Each of these choices has an impact on the overall cost. I think the best way to make the most out of college is to have a general sense of experiences you want to have. Also having an academic plan and a general sense of what you want to do after graduation can really make things easier.

As far as expenses in college, it is slightly price. I would also recommend looking into part time jobs that give you experience and help pay bills when you are in college. This is doable because of the proximity of the job, and if choose the right position you can gain relevant experience in the field. I would recommend doing a through research and considering cost before choosing a college. A great way to know if a college is "right" for you is to tour the place and ask alumni about their experience at the school. This can help you get a batter sense of there college experience and whether you want to pursue that college.

Hopefully this helps !
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Gloria鈥檚 Answer

Hi Kiley,

The answer to your question is all about what your goals are and how you think about paying for college long term. The two initial considerations are: what do you want to major in and what you can afford.

Several majors are at most every university, such as English, Math, Liberal Arts. Others may be more specialized and limit your college choices. One thing that I would point out here. In my experience, where you go to college is not very important. It is about having a college diploma.

Cost is a big concern with college. It is expensive. And while I will say, college is worth it, huge expenses are not worth it. If I had to do college over again, I would start at a community college to work through the basic credits that all universities have in a particular state. Community college is normally cheaper and the learning experience is the same. Your challenge here is this - transfer of credits to a four-year university. Before you start, make sure that your community college credits will transfer to whatever four-year university you choose to complete your degree program. I would actually recommend applying for a lot of scholarships. While they may not pay for everything, they can reduce the price of your overall experience.

Gloria
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Natnael鈥檚 Answer

Kiley. Excellent question. I know college planning is a huge part of high school. The great news is there are plenty of choices for everyone. At the same time- that makes it even harder to choose. There are many metrics to measure college search. But everyone鈥檚 criteria Is different. Thus, I will concentrate on the information you gave us.

-Affordability
-Location
-Be able to get the right degree.

Affordability.
-This is big. Start now applying to scholarships. You can find scholarships as little as $500, $1000 to $10,000. You can start your search at places like www.Fastweb.com and apply to as much scholarships as you can.

-If possible, you can also save a lot of money by going to your local community college taking general courses first.
***-But be mindful, before you start community college determine which colleges you want to apply for after the first two years at community college. Then find the department you want to transfer to and find out the specific requirements for the major you will choose. Then take General education courses or any courses that will be transferable to your degree at the community college.***

- Search for local scholarships, service-based scholarships etc. 鈥.

Location.
-Will staying close to home matters to you? If so that will limit your choices.
-Do you want to work while in school. If you want abundance of jobs. You have to target midsize to bigger cities where there are more job opportunities. If you have technical skills. Great! You can work remotely from anywhere. Location will be based on what important to you. The weather, proximity to friends and family. Etc. 鈥. That will narrow down the choices for you.

Be Able to get the right Degree.
- This is crucial. Thus, it should be the number one priority. Most schools have the same programs or at least the same subject matter. But, If you want certain programs. You have to find the schools and go there. This will affect a lot of your criteria. Thus, writing all the important criteria鈥檚 down and deciding what is important to you is the best way to choose the right college.

Good Luck Kiley! All the best!

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Eleanor鈥檚 Answer

Another option is to start working after high school at a company that offers tuition assistance. It may take you longer than the customary 4 years, but you'll have the same degree at the end, be debt free and have years of work experience under your belt! There is more than one way to do college!
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