Want to find the right college? If you are like most students, the quest to find the right college is at the top of your list. After all, you will be spending at least four years at your choice, and you will also be spending a considerable amount of money as well. This makes taking the time to properly research your college choice time that is very well spent.
One of the single biggest choices you will have to make is the decision between a private college and a public one. That decision may have been made for you already due to cost factors. The simple, but highly unfortunate, fact is that college costs are simply soaring and doing so at a rate that is far outstrips the pace of inflation. Going to college is becoming increasingly expensive and is putting more and more students under increasing levels of debt. This means that the first choice you will need to make is whether or not you want to take on this new, higher level of college debt.
With some private colleges now demanding in the neighborhood of $50,000 just for tuition alone, it is necessary to ask yourself, “just how much extra benefit will I gain from a far more expensive private college?” Many students are beginning to ask that question in earnest. However, there may be direct federal student loans and financial aid and grants available that could dramatically alter the financial picture for you.
Are you planning on attending graduate or professional school? If so, then realize that you will be attending college for many more years than your undergraduate peers. This means that you have no choice but to think long term about your student loan debt! If you are planning on being in college for six, seven or even ten years, then you might want to “go cheap” for your undergraduate education.
Ultimately, you will have to decide as to whether or not you are actually getting your money’s worth. This answer is, of course, completely dependent on your own situation, what you plan on studying, whether or not you plan on going on to graduate school and your chosen career path. The bottom line is that you shouldn’t necessary select an expensive private college or university just because you got in. Your pick needs to reflect your needs.
The value for your money and how well the given university or college will help your career goals need to be paramount in your decision. Other factors such as “X school has a great football team” should mean little to you unless you are playing on the team and are getting a scholarship.
Picking a college or university can be hard, but there are ways to make the process a bit easier. One of the first steps is to evaluate what factors are truly important and what factors are not. Once you have accomplished this, you are set to make a great decision that you are far less likely to regret.
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