With more than 4,000 colleges and universities to choose from in the U.S., how do you know which is the right one for you? Try these helpful hints:
- Start at the beginning. Begin by asking yourself why you want to go to college. What are your educational goals? Career ambitions? You don’t need to have your whole life planned out in high school. But answering these questions will help determine which college is best for you.
- Get an up-to-date college directory. From campus size and tuition costs to how much the students like to party, books like “The Princeton Review Complete Book of Colleges” offer a wealth information about America’s colleges and universities
- Ask for recommendations. Talk to friends, family, teachers, and counselors about where they went to college and why. Their feedback can help you begin building a list of colleges to investigate.
- Consider the cost. College is expensive, and tuition keeps climbing. State universities generally charge cheaper tuition than private institutions. However, private schools often offer more generous financial aid.
- Consider the location. Are you looking to get far away from home, or would you rather stay close? Can you afford the cost of living on campus, which adds to the already high college tuition?
- Use the Internet. You can learn a lot about individual colleges by browsing their web sites. Pay close attention to each school’s course curriculum and their sections on incoming and new student resources.
One final word of advice – beware of taking on too much student debt in order to fund your college expenses. Depending on your degree and how much you expect to earn upon graduation, it may make more sense to attend a less expensive school, even if it’s not your first choice.