Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Choosing a School

Get advice on how to find the right school for you.

You've taken all the tests and made the grades, and now it's the moment of truth—deciding where to go to school! With so many schools to choose from, it could take forever to find the perfect one for you.
Non-federal financial assistance programs and requirements often vary from school to school. Always check with your school before applying for financial aid.

Assess Yourself

The first step to finding the right program and type of school for you is to evaluate your interests. A self-assessment will help you examine your interests and goals, and offers ideas on fields of study and careers that might be right for you.
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Things to Consider

There are hundreds of things to consider while you are making decisions about what to do after high school. We urge you to find out more about the schools you are interested in attending – such as retention and graduation rates and job placement. Here are a few points to take into account before you commit to a school.

Understanding the Costs

Most people believe that school is much more expensive than it really is. Although some are expensive, there is most likely a school near you that is within financial reach.

Types of Schools

Once you have an idea of what your interests are, it's time to figure out what kinds of schools offer programs that match those interests. Whether you are considering 2-year, 4-year, vocational, or private career schools, make sure that the school is accredited and participates in the Federal Student Aid programs. If you are not sure, contact the school to find out.

College Selection

Find the colleges right for you. Select criteria to match campuses from across the U.S. to your needs or if you already know the name of your college of choice, search by the name of the college.

Campus Tours

Explore the campuses by browsing through the detailed profiles and key information of each college.


To see if the schools you are interested in participate in the Federal Student Aid programs, search for schools that are Title IV participating.

Distance Learning

Lots of schools are experimenting with distance learning--whereby students access lectures or course materials via the Internet or through other electronic media rather than in person. Whether a distance learning course or degree is right for you is a matter of personal preference. You should note that not every distance learning course or degree is accreditedand/or eligible for federal student aid. To find out whether you can receive federal student aid for your program, check with your school's financial aid professional. For more information about distance learning, click here.

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