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How to find the perfect college?

How to research and find things to look for like tuition and financial aid.

Thank you comment icon I figure most other folks will give you the how to answers better than I can so I'm going to hit you with some truth that may help you make your final decision on what schools to apply for. A few careers out there, like Supreme Court Justice, pretty much require you to graduate from an Ivy league school just to get your foot in the door. Nobody cares what college you went to for 99.999999999% of the rest of the jobs out there. Certain professional jobs out there like Engineer or Brain Surgeon, you have to get good grades in a specific major. For a lot of other jobs, nobody cares what you majored in or what your GPA was. Don't put a lot of pressure on yourself to find the perfect school because odds are wherever you end up going will be fine. Finally, don't rule out Junior College! JCs are relatively inexpensive and most have transfer programs setup for four year institutions. Joseph Flores

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Subject: Career question for you

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Chirayu’s Answer

Finding the perfect college can be a challenging and time-consuming process, but with the right research and preparation, you can find a school that fits your needs and goals. Here are some tips on how to research and find the perfect college: Before you start researching colleges, make a list of what's important to you. Consider factors such as location, size, academic programs, extracurricular activities, and campus culture. Once you have a list of priorities, start researching colleges that meet your criteria. You can use college search websites like College Board or Niche to search for colleges by location, major, size, and other factors. As you research colleges, be sure to consider the cost of tuition and other expenses. Look for colleges that offer financial aid and scholarships that can help offset the cost of attendance. You can also use online calculators to estimate the cost of attending a particular college. If possible, schedule visits to the colleges on your list to get a feel for the campus culture and see if it's a good fit for you. While on campus, talk to current students and faculty members to get a sense of what it's like to attend the school. Ultimately, the "perfect" college is one that is a good fit for you in terms of your academic goals, personality, and interests. Trust your gut instincts and choose a college where you feel comfortable and excited to learn and grow. Remember that finding the perfect college takes time and effort, but by doing your research and considering your priorities, you can find a school that will help you achieve your goals and set you on a path to success.
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Avishek’s Answer

Great Question! Few things to consider -

1. Talk to the professors of some of the colleges that you're interested in and get their insights. If you're interested in Computer science, explore different avenues and come up with a series of questions that you'll ask to the professors. You may be surprised to know that even computer science has different avenues, like data science or researcher in a certain technical topics. This will help you decide what can be your future steps. Same thing applies for other fields like medicine or automobile industries.
2. Please don't run around the name & fame of the college, as many of the folks already mentioned, in the end how you perform in interview matters and how quickly do you learn the skills matter.
3.Build/Join the network who're already working in your interested sector. Get some insights from them too.
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Todd’s Answer

Theis is truly a subjective answer. Each person will have a different answer. What is perfect to me and what is perfect to you can be two totally different things. First you must define perfect, what is perfect to you? Location, tuition, research interests, specialty majors, housing, sports, various academic concerns, available grants & scholarships, etc. Once you decide what is perfect for you, then you can narrow down your search to find what that institution might be.
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Devin’s Answer

Think about what you want to study. If you are not sure yet that is OK too. If you are not sure you should consider junior college or local community college. The cost is significantly lower than a university, and you can get your general education requirements completed while you figure out your goals. After that you can move on to a university for a more specialized field. I would also suggest looking into an online program. You will not get the full 'college experience' but you also wont get as much student load debt and in many schools the degree is the same as the brick and mortar school they are associated with.
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Rebecca’s Answer

Thank you for your question. I believe you have to identify the college that suitable to you before looking for financial aid. If the college offers the financial aid but it does not offer your interest subjects, it is not suitable to you.
Have you thought about what career you would like to pursue?
Below are my suggestions :
1. Think about your interest or favorite subjects, etc. and identify the related careers
E.g. If you are interested in Maths, would you like to be an accountant, banker, engineering, financial analyst, maths teacher, etc.
If you are interested in Music, would you like to a singer, musician, music composer, music producer, music teacher, etc.
2. Explore more on these subjects and identify what you have interest
3. Speak to someone who are working in these careers. Seek guidance from your mentor, school career counsellor, your parents, etc.
4. Shortlist 1-2 careers you would like to pursue
5. Explore the college that offering the relevant subjects and their financial aids arrangement. You can find out the entry criteria of these colleges.
Hope this helps! Good Luck!
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Bill’s Answer

Hi Jamaiyah!

I would recommend using the US Department of Education's College Scorecard website. Please see the website address below:

collegescorecard.ed.gov

This website can tell you a lot about a school – from its graduation rate and the earnings of former students, to how much debt you can expect to take on. The scorecard lets you compare schools based on graduates' earnings, then see how those earnings compare to workers without a degree. It even shows how well a school serves its low-income students. The scorecard shines a spotlight on affordability, inclusivity, and outcomes, over exclusivity and colleges that leave students without good jobs and with mountains of debt

Please also see this article by NPR that details how to navigate and use the scorecard:

https://www.npr.org/2022/02/15/1080773523/student-loans-financial-aid-tool-college-scorecard


I hope this helps!
Thank you comment icon Hi Bill: Your comments and links are very insightful. Thank you for sharing. Sheila Jordan
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