Is college right for me?
Basic Enrollment Options
The common question one might ask as they approach their high school graduation: Is college right for me? That is a double barreled question and deserves some explanation.
Primarily, college is an exciting opportunity which allows you to grow into a responsible adult. By promoting your educational attainment, you are increasing your net worth, and moreover, increasing your chances of landing a career that you enjoy and that pays well. However, there are lessons to be learned, and not just from the textbooks.
College is expensive and requires dedication.
College is an opportunity for personal and academic growth.
College advances your knowledge-base and your peer support system.
But college is not for everyone, and that is ok. There is something to be said, and in great light, of those who are skilled in trade or handiwork. Consider the aspect of technical school for a program certificate if you find interest in working in industry, such as welding, automotive, or computer repair. Additionally, there are scores of programs available at the community college level that requires little classroom learning and provides excellent hands-on learning. Always talk to your parents, a friend, or a person you look up to when considering a decision like college. You'll need a strong support system for the next 2 to 4 years!
If you are still unsure of whether you should attend college, try taking this online quiz to gain a little more insight.
The first things you'll want to do after you decide to attend college is look at what colleges are available and what you can afford.
Here are a few steps to consider:
1. Schedule campus tours for the colleges you are interested in attending. Keep in mind that you will either commute to class each day, or live on campus.
2. Try to speak with some of the students on campus about what they like and dislike about their college. While some may be less giving in their opinions, others are more than willing to provide you with some basic info.
3. Consider your budget. You do not want to go broke trying to get an education. But you also must recognize that a good education is going to quite costly. Consider campuses that have in-house scholarships, and those which offer work study (after your first year). Also consider possible employment opportunities near the campus. You may or may not have a vehicle, and transportation across town for a part-time job may not be conducive to your being at that particular college.
4. Find out about tuition costs per credit hour, as well as meal plans and other perks, such as student discounts at local businesses.
5. After you have narrowed down the colleges you'd consider and could afford to go to, apply to them. Most have an online application process. Many two year colleges do not require an application fee, but be sure to check with admissions prior to sending in your application, should a fee be required.
6. Complete your FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). This is also known as a Pell Grant. (See Grants, Scholarships, and Student Loans below).
As with any application process, the steps and terms may vary. Write down any questions you may have and address them during your campus tour, or when you are speaking to an admissions clerk or finanical aid officer for the college.
Remember - anything new is going to be overwhelming at first. Keep a cool head, a calm disposition and embrace the next leg of your journey!