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Choosing the Right College

happy kidsWhat college or university is right for you?  Selecting a college is ultimately a personal decision. Ask yourself which institution is right for you.

Consider location, cost, academic programs, selectiveness, and reputation. Look at the degree programs offered. Consider the availability of extracurricular activities. Would you prefer a large or small school? Urban, suburban, or rural? Do you want to live on or off campus?

Before you select a college, consider the following steps:

Establish your goals and interests. If you know what career interests you the most, find out what kind of education and training are required. If you are uncertain about what you want to do, visit your high school guidance counselor or explore the many helpful resources on the web.  Some are listed below.

Once you have decided on a career path, make sure that you are academically prepared for college and that you meet all of the admission requirements for the type of institution in which you are applying.

Familiarize yourself with the different types of institutions that offer degrees in your field.

Evaluate and compare the institutions in which you are interested.  Choose characteristics that are important to you.

Make a short list of the institutions that possess the characteristics you’re looking for and that best meet your goals and needs.

Request additional information from your choices including an application or admission, costs and financial aid. Plan to visit as many of these campuses are possible.

If you haven't done so already, begin saving for college.

Apply for admission to the four or six institutions that top your list.


For tips on finding the college or university that is right for you, try these useful sites:

Occupational Outlook Handbook by the U.S. Department of Labor. The Occupational Outlook Handbook is a nationally recognized source of career information, designed to provide valuable assistance to individuals making decisions about their future work lives.

The Career Key offers free online tools to help you in choosing a career, choosing a college major or training program, and in career planning.