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What is college about?

Why are colleges so picky and expensive? How do college classes and credits work to graduate?

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Subject: Career question for you

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Aisha’s Answer

Hi Brandon,

Over the last 30 years, tuition costs have soared for a variety of reasons. State funding cuts, expanding administrative staffs, and increased construction and facility costs all play a role. As a result, the average student debt among college graduates is now close to $28,000.

College is important for many reasons, including increased career stability and satisfaction, and the ability to make an impact on your community. With more and more careers requiring advanced education, a college degree can be critical to your success in today's workforce.

Most bachelor's degree programs require 120 college credits. At a four-year institution granting an average of three credits per class, that's five classes per semester. Many institutions require more than 120 credit hours to graduate, with some programs exceeding 140 total credit hours
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Courtney’s Answer

College classes ultimately are intended to further your education in any given area and give you the knowledge to be the best you can in your chosen field. For some, the higher the education/degree, the more money you could make. Having higher education qualifies you for top positions that you may not qualify just having a high school diploma.

Now, why it's so expensive? I don't think anyone can honestly answer that one, I know I can't. I would absolutely recommend looking for scholarships and grants early though. There's a lot of money available for scholarships that sometimes go unused because people don't know about them or people just don't apply for them. Look for as many scholarships as you can and apply, apply, apply.

Good Luck!
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Kimanu’s Answer

That's a tough one. I'll say this the best thing to do is try to visit or setup a tour schedule when you have free time. Visiting a few college campuses in your tri-state area when you have the time could make a world.of difference in your decision making. Classes range in credit form. It depends whether you want to be part-time or full-time. You carry a certain amount.of credits which is the point system for the classes that you will be taking. If you are still in school speak with your counselor see if they have visits or Q&A available with some colleges to get the information you need. It is vital to get the process started so you I u can make a smooth transition.
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Derek’s Answer

Hi Brandon -

I can't say why colleges are so picky and expensive but there are ways around those costs such as working part time for a company that offers tuition assistance (Starbucks). Credits are based on a class, for example every class equals 3 credits which is added to your total that will reach your graduation goal of 100 per say. Once you reach the total credits needed you earn your degree, oddly schools should remove the whole credits system since you need X classes to graduate with that degree so you should simply just need to complete those classes and you're good. My advice is to really research what you want to do and select the your school based on those wants to eliminate the cost of switching majors so often. Second, see if it's possible to work while attending college for a company with a good assistance program.

Derek
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Briana’s Answer

It's good to remember that education after high school can mean many things and that individual schools can come with their own pros and cons. To break it down you have: certifications, trade school, community/2 year-college, university/4-year college, and post-secondary education (graduate school, law school, medical school, etc.).

These all vary in price, acceptance rate, and time commitment. For example, a certification is often a one-time fee and can be completed anywhere between a few week and a few months. Many certification programs ask for a background in a certain field but otherwise "accept" everyone into the program. Community colleges and trade schools are also comparatively cheaper than a 4-year college, with some states even covering some-all of the cost with federal aid funding if you do not yet have a degree. They also have relatively lax acceptance rates compared to 4-year universities. As for those 4-year colleges, the cost an acceptance rate varies widely based on academic prestige, if it is a public or private university, whether you are applying to a school in your state or in a separate state, and what financial aid is available. Most 4-year universities offer grants, need based scholarships, and merit based scholarships in addition to accepting outside scholarships and FAFSA (federal student aid) funds. There are, of course, student loans, which I advise trying to avoid as much as possible, but if you can find a student loan that doesn't charge ridiculous interest, it is a viable option. Many people take their general education courses in the much cheaper community college before transferring to a 4 year university in order to save money. In short, college doesn't necessarily HAVE to be expensive or difficult to get into, though you have to really know your options in order to get the most bang for your buck.

If you attend a community college or 4-year college, you'll be working toward a major. This is your area of focus that you ideally get a job in. At the community college level, you can work towards a two year associates degree. At a 4-year college,you work towards a bachelors of science (BS) or Bachelor's of art (BA) degree. These degrees are earned by taking classes that give you credit hours in a certain field. Once you reach a certain number of credit hours in a) general education classes and b) classes in your chosen major, that is when you graduate with a degree. For example, if someone wanted to major in Biology, they would take their general distribution classes (things like intro Bio, statistics, intro history, and a writing course), then they could focus on classes that counted towards a Biology credit. They could then graduate with a Bachelors of Science in Biology.
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