Creating a List of Colleges

Creating a college checklist will allow you to prioritize the criteria you have for getting into college and will help you define your decision-making process. There are three major considerations to choose from when deciding where to go to college:

Competition

Narrow down your list further by taking an honest look at your high school transcript. Many schools have a small application-to-admittance ratio, which means it’s more difficult to get accepted. College admissions are based on things like GPA, ACT and SAT test scores, so consider how you did on these standardized tests and research the minimum score that your desired colleges accept. Other factors that weigh an admissions decision include extracurricular activities, volunteer work, past work experience, and recomendations.

Tuition

It is no secret that tuition plays a big factor in every student's decision. Talk to your family, guidance counselor, and important stakeholders in your life to set a realistic budget for how much you can spend on your college education. Private schools are generally more expensive because they do not get governmental funding. A public college (four-year) can charge around $7,000 per year, while a private school may charge upwards of $26,000 per year. Sit down with your college checklist and thoroughly evaluate how much you can spend on college.

Before ruling out schools with remember that a lot will depend on accesibility to financial aid, scholarships, and loans. If you are a good student or have excelled in past academic or work programs, you may qualify for special scholarships. Federal loans and grants are also granted based on scholastic merit and financial need. Research as many financial assistance opportunities as possible.

Program Availability

As the workplace becomes more competitive, the need for specialized skills becomes more and more essential. "Undecided" majors are more and more rare, as the modern-day student has realized that they can minimize their time in school and increase their chances of post-graduation employment with a degree in an area that is in high demand. As you are searching for schools, try to narrow down your area of focus so you can select the school that has the programs that meet your future career goals.

 

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