Understand the Process and Set Priorities
Choosing a college is a process that you focus on in your junior and senior years of high school. It is important to select a college based on your needs. The college should "fit" you intellectually, socially, and spiritually, as well as match your particular learning style.
When selecting a college, there are many factors to consider. It is important to first prioritize your needs by asking the right questions.
What kind of college do you want to attend?
There are a variety of types of schools available such as universities, private colleges, community colleges, trade schools, etc. Learn the difference between them and select the type that fits your educational requirements.
Liberal Arts Colleges emphasize undergraduate study and provide a broad education with a wide range of majors. At a liberal arts college, students focus on their major in the junior and senior years of college. While attending a liberal arts college, students are tought a variety of subjects and can be easily trained to go into many areas because of their broad education.
Universities are larger institutions that offer undergraduate and graduate levels of study and are comprised of liberal arts or sciences colleges. Universities offer coursework in a variety of subjects and generally have a more diverse student body. They also provide research facilities and additional resources to support students' educational needs.
Specialized Institutions focus on a specific area of study, such as business, engineering, or the arts.
Community Colleges are popular among many students who want a quality, low cost advanced education prior to transferring to a traditional 4-year university. Community colleges offer many advantages, including:
Where is the college located and how much will it cost?
Are you most comfortable staying close to home, or are you willing to travel far to get an education? How much debt, if any, are you willing to incur to further your education? These are very important questions to consider when choosing a college. There are many financial aid options available, so plan carefully and compare the financial aid programs at each of the colleges you are considering. Many independent colleges are offering more scholarships to meet the financial needs of their students.
What special programs does the college offer?
Consider your unique interests and expectations when choosing a college. Investigate special programs that will satisfy your personal needs and goals, such as:
In what environment will you succeed? Find a college environment that will suit your particular personality and learning style. To learn more about a college's environment, do the following:
Next: Explore Your Interests
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