Factors to Consider Before Enrolling in a College

Instructor: Tara Schofield

Tara received her MBA from Adams State University and is currently working on her DBA from California Southern University. She spent 11 years as a sales and marketing executive. She spent several years with Western Governor's University as a faculty member. Tara has been at for seven years.

Choosing a college is a decision that requires thought and research. In this lesson, discover the factors you should consider when making a decision about which college to attend.

The Factors Applicants Should Consider

If you have been accepted into multiple schools, selecting a college can be an exciting and overwhelming experience. Let's look closer at the factors to consider before enrolling in college so you can choose a school that is best for your goals.

Format of Education

As more and more schools offer online courses, colleges have more options in the format in which classes are offered. Many schools offer a combination of traditional, on-campus school and online formats.

You are excited to start school but are concerned about working around a full-time job. You decide you want to attend some classes in-person, but like the flexibility of being able to take come courses online. As a result, you applied to several schools, including an online school. When you received notification that you were accepted, you began to weigh the pros and cons of taking classes online.

Programs and Degrees

Each school offers a unique set of courses, degrees, and certifications. Knowing what type of degree you want, the subject you want to pursue, and the specialized education you want will help you in determining which college or university to choose.

Beyond the format, you know you want to get an elementary teaching degree. When making your decision about which college to attend, you look at the elementary education department of each school. You are interested in the courses, the faculty, and the employment rate of past teaching graduates.

Tuition and Fees

Money needs to be considered and factored into a decision. While a decision is often based on many factors, understanding how much an education will cost at various schools will influence which schools are feasible and within your budget.

After narrowing your options down to the schools that have the best education programs, you consider how much each college will cost. You find several small colleges offer a much lower tuition than a local university, a private college, or a top-tier school. Because you haven't made a final decision, you are not able to narrow your decision down to one or two schools yet. However, knowing the costs at each institution will help you make a more thorough decision while considering all of the other factors.

Scholarships, Grants and Financial Aid

Armed with the information about the costs of your preferred schools, you can inquire about what financial support is available. You ask about scholarships for grades or skills, available grants, and any financial aid or loans that exist. Understanding your financial options is critical when deciding which college is best for you.

You learn about several scholarships that are offered specifically to potential teachers at several different schools. You also find out that there are special government and corporate grants that are being offered at two of the colleges that sent you acceptance letters. You review the qualifications and find you are eligible for each of the grants. Finally, you learn you can also take out a student loan for any remaining amount, if necessary. This is encouraging because you know you will have the resources to attend the schools you are interested in.

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