College Considerations

3 Things to Think About Before You Choose a College

It’s never too early to start thinking about selecting a college, or even going on a college visit or two.

Visiting a college or university campus can help you visualize your future. The type of college you choose will depend on three primary factors:
  1. Comfort level
  2. What you can afford
  3. The best fit for your program of study

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Here are some things to consider when thinking about continuing your education after high school.

Type of School. Vocational-technical schools offer career-oriented programs that can last from a few months to a few years, awarding a certification or license in a specific field. Community colleges offer two-year programs leading to an associate’s degree and transfer programs that are similar to freshman and sophomore classes at four-year colleges and universities. Colleges offer academic programs leading to four-year bachelor’s degrees. Universities offer four-year and graduate programs in liberal arts, business, engineering, education, medicine, and other fields.

Two-Year or Four-Year. Some students choose to start out at a two-year community or technical college. They’re often closer to home and more affordable, and they award two-year associate’s degrees, which is all that’s required in some careers.However, many careers require the four-year degrees offered by colleges and universities. Research some careers to find out which is the best path for you.

Private vs. Public. If you choose the four-year college route, you’ll need to decide between a publicly or privately funded college or university. Private colleges and universities are often smaller, with fewer students, more access to faculty, and better chances of getting into programs and classes. They’re also, typically, more expensive. Public colleges often have a wider range of degree options, but it can be more difficult to get into major programs. However, both kinds of colleges strive to work with students to help them achieve their goals.

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