Ch 2: What to Look for in a College

About This Chapter

Selecting a college where you'll spend the next four, or more, years of study takes careful consideration. The self-paced, short videos in this chapter provide guidance so that you know what to look for when choosing a college.

What to Look for in a College: Chapter Summary

There are several factors that can take precedence when looking for a college. Whether it's financial need, wanting to stay close to home or wanting to begin your studies at a community college, these areas of concern are valid and should be taken seriously. This chapter includes the discussion of:

Accredited schools

A college or university is granted accreditation after an independent academic review agency approves the school based on a criteria of quality standards. Choosing a school that is accredited is important because some employers won't recognize a degree from a non-accredited school. This chapter not only teaches more about the importance of this credential but also includes a review of the types of accreditation.

Private vs. public colleges

While both options are acceptable college experiences, factors such as financial aid, class size, support services and graduation rates can affect whether you'll decide to attend a private or public college.

Benefits of in-state public colleges

Choosing to enroll in college in your home state has its advantages. After reviewing this video lesson, you'll have a better understanding of some of the reasons why an in-state public college is something to consider, including the in-state tuition rate.

Determining the worth of a private college

Yes, the tuition to attend a private college is higher than for a public college, but this video lesson addresses some of the advantages of such a decision. Some positives to consider include smaller classes, more selective admission standards, increased academic options and postgraduate networking opportunities.

Small vs. large colleges

In looking for a college, the decision to attend a small or large school is really a personal one. For example, large schools typically offer more classes but you can likely get more personalized academic advising at a smaller college.

Community college pros and cons

You may have your heart set on attending a 4-year university, but you shouldn't dismiss the opportunity to apply for enrollment at a community college. After viewing this video lesson, you'll discover community college pros like lower tuition rates and the ability to transfer completed credits to a university. On the other hand, attending a community college may limit your extracurricular options due to the general decrease in tuition fees.

For-profit vs. non-profit colleges

When you research colleges, you'll encounter both for-profit and not-for-profit schools. Like the name states, for-profit schools focus on earning a return profit. The college experience may be different from a non-profit school in that you'll be able to earn a degree with little general education classes, unlike a non-profit where you'll take math, liberal arts and science prerequisites. Other pros and cons of these types of schools can be found in this video lesson.

Semester vs. quarter schedule

Most colleges use the semester schedule. The primary difference between a semester and quarter schedule is the pace of classes, beginning and ending of the school year, and the number of classes offered. Additional details are outlined in this chapter's video lesson.

8 Lessons in Chapter 2: What to Look for in a College
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
What is Accreditation?

1. What is Accreditation?

Choosing a college can have a lasting impact on a person's life. In this lesson, we'll examine accredited colleges, including why accreditation is important, the drawbacks of attending an unaccredited college, and the types of accreditation.

Tips for Comparing Public and Private Colleges

2. Tips for Comparing Public and Private Colleges

Students are often faced with the choice of whether to attend a private or a public university. How can you decide? Watch this lesson to find out more about how to compare private and public colleges and what resources they have.

The Benefits of In-State Public Colleges

3. The Benefits of In-State Public Colleges

For many students, choosing where to go to college is one of the biggest decisions they will make in their lives. Watch this video to find out what some of the benefits are to in-state public colleges and how they differ from out-of-state and private colleges.

When is a Private College Worth the Tuition?

4. When is a Private College Worth the Tuition?

Private colleges usually cost more than public universities, but they can also provide several advantages. Watch this lesson to learn some of the benefits of private colleges and how to know when they are worth the price tag.

Comparing Large and Small Colleges

5. Comparing Large and Small Colleges

Choosing a college can feel overwhelming. There are many elements that you can use to evaluate colleges. In this lesson, we'll look at how the size of a college can influence its school culture, and how to know what size school is right for you.

The Pros and Cons of Attending Community College

6. The Pros and Cons of Attending Community College

This lesson is designed to give you a variety of information about the advantages and disadvantages of attending a community college as opposed to beginning your education at a four-year university.

For-Profit and Not-For-Profit Colleges

7. For-Profit and Not-For-Profit Colleges

Students have a lot of options when it comes to colleges. But which ones are the best choices? In this lesson, we'll examine the difference between for-profit and not-for-profit colleges and how to know which is the right choice for you.

Semester vs. Quarter Schedule: Pros and Cons

8. Semester vs. Quarter Schedule: Pros and Cons

This lesson will cover the quarter schedule and the semester schedule systems. Learn about the pros and cons of each in order to make a choice that matches your style.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
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Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
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