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Is better to go for a high-end college and do alright or go for an alright college and do great?

Depending on the ACT and SAT scores, I don't know if I would go to one with a higher score than average or not.

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Subject: Career question for you

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Michelle’s Answer

Hello, Corbin !

I don't think that anyone should choose a college that way because it puts the aim and intent in a place that will not be focused on career success. But if you're wondering which path out of the two would possibly present more educational and career success, I could give you my opinion.

I would opt for a non-high end, non-famous name, non-Ivy League college where the possibilities of doing great would be the outcome. One of the factors that makes me think that is the better of the two is that famous name colleges have very low acceptance rates. You'd have to keep applying or wait on a waiting list. When you want to enroll in college, the last thing you'd want is for an institution to say sorry, you will have to wait or reapply. And reapplying costs money and they still can not accept you. You want and need to enroll as soon as possible and get your education started.

Many colleges outside of the Ivy League institutions are very good colleges offering an outstanding education and great student services and events. Many campuses are very beautiful, too. So just because someone hasn't heard of the college doesn't invalidate it. You do have some noted colleges in your state but also consider the tuition as well as the acceptance rate.

The first advice I have is to go to a college that is in your favor to be accepted. You need that as a start. Once you get a degree, the employers look at your education and qualifications but lots of other things on your resume, too. They don't expect everyone to have gone to Harvard or Yale, especially if it's not in a field of work those schools specialize in.

If you are unsure of a college, get the feel and orientation of the campus to see if it is a place that you can feel at home at for four years. Experience the campus before you apply. Don't choose a college by tossing a coin, become familiar with it. Read a lot about the majors and degrees they offer. No one should make you wait for the educational opportunity that you deserve.

I hope this is helpful or inspirational and can be something to think about when choosing a college. It's a large commitment so much care needs to be given to your choice. I wish you all the best !

Michelle recommends the following next steps:

COLLEGES IN OHIO https://www.ohiosos.gov/profile-ohio/places/ohio-colleges-and-universities/
CHANCES OF GETTING INTO AN IVY LEAGUE COLLEGE https://www.crimsoneducation.org/us/blog/ivy-league-chances/
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Nathaniel P.’s Answer

Holding two distinct degrees and a variety of training certificates, my experience as a tutor during high school and college has taught me the importance of self-awareness. Reflect on your strengths and passions. What ignites your enthusiasm? What fuels your optimism? What causes are you willing to champion? What activities do you not only enjoy, but excel in? Could you envision doing this extensively as a career?

In the current times, attending a college or university is merely one of many options, not the sole path. My journey has repeatedly shown me that obtaining a certification can often be a more cost-effective and practical alternative to pursuing a degree. This doesn't diminish the value of a degree, but simply presents a less demanding and less intricate pathway. Certifications are available through various sources, including companies, colleges, and even local community centers, and the skills you acquire can be as valuable as those learned on a university campus.

That's the condensed version. The more comprehensive advice is to commit to doing your own research. Some colleges may be more affordable, but lack the courses you're interested in. Others may offer your desired courses, but require higher test scores, larger financial investments, or additional prerequisites. Depending on the subject, a certification might balance out some of these requirements. Connect with nearby colleges, consider auditing a class or inquire about what you can learn now to better equip you for the future.

Nathaniel P. recommends the following next steps:

Harvard offers FREE certification (to a certain extent).
Workforce/source locations in your or near your home town might be helpful
Ask your high school or other higher education campuses near by
Take notes, list what you want to learn and why it interests you
Patience; nothing in life that is worth having comes easily
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Maria’s Answer

Corbin,

It's March, so you should have applied to at least 3 colleges by now and completed the financial aid application: FASFA. Not having the SAT/ACT scores shouldn't hold you back from applying. If you depend on financial aid for your studies, them look at all the state and community colleges near you that offer what YOU want to have a career in. For example, a family friend want to be a teacher, so he went to a 2 year community college (free tuition). That college gas a transfer agreement with the state college, so he takes all basic courses in the community college, has an associates degree in education that allows him to work in a school as a teacher assistant if he wants to; transfers to the state college to finish the Bachelor degree and has preferred acceptance because of the agreement. His after college financial responsibilities are less, because of the 2 years in the community college.

On the other hand, my son's friend couldn't go to community college because they didn't give her access to a band ensemble and that is a huge part of the Music Education major, so she chose from a state universities nearby (she can drive) so she saves on dorming and food. She has a part-time job and McDonald's and they gave her a partial scholarship; she also got 2 other partial scholarships. The state college has a good Music Education program, they have connections with the high schools in the area so she can do her student teaching there; her financial obligations after college are much lower than if she would have gone to a private university.

So my advice is that you apply to at least 3 colleges that are "safe options " ASAP and complete your FASFA. You can also apply for any college of your interest (find out from your college counselor how many colleges you can send your FAFSA for free because there is a limit).

Public libraries usually have college events where you can speak directly to college staff about FASFA, scholarships, and college programs. If you're a junior or senior, your high school should have an advisor, so make an appointment ASAP.

There is guidance for you, so reach out and start advocating for your future.
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Jeff’s Answer

My suggestion would be to wait and make this decision after you get your acceptance letters. Do your best, apply where you want to apply, then when you get the results of your applications you can weigh pros and cons of the colleges you were accepted to.
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