For many high school students, attending college is the next logical step after graduation. According to the U.S. Department of Education, there are more than 2,300 institutions that grant 4-year degrees and around 1,500 community colleges. With so many options out there, making a decision can be quite difficult. If you want to make sure that you end up going to the right school, take the time to think about your future before you start shopping for schools then consider each option in depth, focusing on three categories in particular – academics, student life, and finances.
Before You Start Looking
Though many students look at it this way, college is not just something you do after high school – it is a wonderful opportunity to shape your future and it is an important choice that will affect the rest of your life. This being the case, you need to do some thinking and planning before you actually start shopping for schools so you have some idea what you are looking for. First, think about your professional goals for the future – what kind of job do you see yourself having ten years down the line? Next, take that idea and delve a little deeper into the industry – are there any requirements or certifications you will need and how stable is a job in that industry? Finally, think about where you want to go to school – do you want to stay close to home or take the chance to experience
If you are one of the millions of college graduates struggling with student loan debt, you might be considering an option to refinance. Even though community college is often more affordable than a traditional four-year university, school is never cheap. Depending how much debt you have and how much you are able to pay, you might be able to consolidate and/or refinance your loans to make your payments more affordable – keep reading to learn more.
Save Money by Refinancing Your Student Loans
Refinancing your loans means that you will be repaying your existing debt by taking on a new loan with new terms, often from a new creditor. Two of the most common options for refinancing your student loans are private loan refinancing and federal loan consolidation. Again, it depends on the type of loans you have and how much debt you have as well. If you are able to refinance through a private lender you might be able to get a lower interest rate while federal loan consolidation is usually a good option for people who are looking to simplify the repayment process by lumping multiple loans into a single payment plan. Loan consolidation may or may not give you a better interest rate.
If you’re thinking about refinancing your community college student loans, there are a few questions you should ask yourself first:
- Why are you refinancing?
- What are your options?
- What rate can I get?
The first question about why you are refinancing is very important – your goals will help you
Choosing a college is a major decision that will affect at least the next two to four years of your life, depending which school and which program you choose. Many students attend college right out of high school simply because it seems like the logical next step. With college tuition rising each year and millions of college graduates still struggling to start a career, however, it is important to think through this decision completely before you make your choice.
Keep reading to learn about the top ten questions to ask yourself before going to college as well as some important questions to ask when it comes to making your decision.
Ten Questions to Ask Yourself Before Going to College
Before you even decide to attend college, there are some important questions that you need to ask yourself. Your answers to these questions will help you to determining if the timing is right for you to attend college or if you might be better off waiting a few years. These questions will also help you to narrow down your choice for a major so you can choose the best college to fit your interests. Here are the top ten questions to ask yourself as you think about attending college:
- Do you know what you want to study? If you don’t already have some idea what you want to study in college, it might not be the right time to go. College is expensive and the last thing you want to do is waste your
Students who choose to attend community college over a traditional four-year university do so to save money or to have greater flexibility with their classes. Just because you choose a community college, however, doesn’t mean you have to miss out on a true college experience. Many community colleges are starting to offer their students the same benefits that more traditional colleges offer, including study abroad opportunities. If you are a community college student considering a study abroad program, take the time to learn the pros and cons before you make your choice.
Can Community College Students Study Abroad?
Unless you’ve already done some research, you may not know that study abroad is even an option for community college students. The fact of the matter is, however, that more community college students are taking advantage of study abroad programs than ever before. According to research, nearly 6,000 community college students participated in study abroad programs in the 2012 to 2013 school year. That was a 12% increase from the year before, and the number continues to rise. Even though there are more community college students studying abroad each year, they are still just a drop in the bucket. In terms of the total number of American students who study abroad each year, community college students only represent about 3% of the total.
What Are the Pros and Cons of Studying Abroad?
Before you decide to study abroad, there are many things you need to think about. It takes a
Community college offers a wonderful alternative to traditional four-year colleges and universities in many ways. Not only are community college degrees generally much more affordable, but the programs themselves are also very flexible. Many community colleges offer online classes which is particularly beneficial for non-traditional students, including parents and students who work a full-time job. Keep reading to learn more about non-traditional students in community college and tips for success.
What is a Non-Traditional Student?
College students come in all kinds of packages, but the majority of students fall into the same categories in terms of age and lifestyle. When it comes to community college versus four-year colleges and universities, however, there are some major differences among the student body. Community colleges tend to attract more “non-traditional” students, but what does that really mean? According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), there are seven characteristics that are commonly seen in students who qualify as “non-traditional” – here they are:
- Didn’t go to college right after graduating high school
- Attending college part-time instead of full-time
- Working a full-time job while in school
- Being financially independent of parents and family
- Having children or other dependents
- Being a single parent
- Having a GED rather than a high school diploma
Of course, not all non-traditional students fit all of these criteria, but you really only need one to be grouped in this category. You may be surprised to learn, however, just how common non-traditional students are at the undergraduate level as a whole – it is close to 75% of