College Searching Tips
By: Kristine Walker
School | Homeschool | Graduation
Your senior year in high school has all sorts of exciting events to look forward to: Attending your senior prom, preparing for graduation and all the parties that follow and, perhaps most importantly, picking a college that fits your needs. While choosing a college can be a lot of fun, it can also be a stressful time. Your choices range from four year state schools, four year private schools, two year junior colleges, and online universities. There are benefits to each of these choices but the most important thing is choosing one that matches your lifestyle and career goals. The following tips may help your search go a little smoother.
Tips for Finding a College or University that Best Meets Your Needs
So even though you’re busy picking out your senior Prom tux or gown, take some time to seriously consider your personal strengths, preferences, and career goals before selecting the perfect college to meet your needs
- Determine what level of degree you’re interested in earning. Are you interested in starting with a two year associate’s degree? Or do you prefer to earn a bachelor’s degree (which typically takes four years)? Junior colleges help you achieve an associate’s degree. There are also online colleges that offer associate’s degree programs, such as University of Phoenix. If you are interested in pursuing a bachelor’s degree you have your choice of a private or state four year school or an online degree program.
- Determine the field you would like to pursue. What skills come natural for you? Do you enjoy working with computers and solving problems? If so, an IT Degree may be a perfect match for you. Do you have effective communication skills coupled with creativity? If so, you may enjoy earning a Marketing Degree. Regardless of the type of degree you choose, you’ll be able to find an online or traditional school to earn a degree from.
- Are you planning on working full time while you earn your education? If so, an Online School may be a good choice for you, since you can earn your degree from the comfort of your own home (or any other location for that matter) and “attend” class on your schedule. After all, you’ll be hard pressed to find any traditional colleges that offer classes in the middle of the night, when it may be the best time for you to study with holding down a full time job. With an online school this is possible.
- Do you plan to expedite your education, earning your degree sooner than the typical duration? Online schools allow you to double up on classes and take class through the summers, helping speed up the timeframe it will take to earn your degree. While there are sometimes summer classes offered at traditional schools, you’re usually holding your breath to make sure it is the class you need, and it is not already full.
- Do you want to possibly join a sorority or fraternity? Typically only four year schools (both public and private) have Greek systems on campus.
- Are you interested in sports or extra-curricular clubs? Extra-curricular activities, such as Speech Club, Choir, Volleyball Team, Red Tassel Mortar Board, Public Relations Student Society of America, and Drama Team, are most readily available at four year schools. However, many junior colleges also offer these activities.