Top things to consider when choosing a college or university

Top Things To Consider When Choosing A College or University

Choosing a College by College Advisor, Tuition Option or Public 4 Year Colleges

The top colleges and universities recommended by major publications; most American students can’t afford. Therefore you must consider several factors when choosing a college, to make the best choice possible. Those include the availability of a college advisor and tuition options. There are also the type of colleges to consider.

Research the different private colleges united states as well as public 4 year colleges. There are usually huge differences in tuition option between private and public colleges. Public colleges, because of the government subsidy are usually much more inexpensive.

Several national magazines publish the top colleges and universities in the U.S. yearly. All of the top colleges listed have one thing in common, extremely high cost. Because the cost is so high, most Americans cannot afford to attend these so-called “top colleges” unless they acquire an uncontrollable school loan debt or a full 4 year scholarship.

My number one consideration for choosing a top college or university, and what should be your number one consideration, is simply put, cost. Not considering cost, can cost you misery later in life, for years to come.

The Tuition Option for the Moderate-Income Student

If a poor or middle-income student chooses one of the private “top colleges”, their school loan balance after graduation would be outrageous. Because, even after amortizing it over 20 years, the monthly payment would not be possible with the vast majority of entry-level jobs in the U.S. You read that right, I said 20 years. Public 4 year colleges will be a better option when the cost is a consideration and student loans are kept low.

Many students find that they have to amortize their school loans over 20 years to get a somewhat manageable payment option. Many graduates have payments more like mortgages than school loan payments, but this does not have to be the case.

Furthermore, if one of these students chooses to defer school loans for graduate school, their existing outrageous balance could easily double. Interest payments are charged to the balance of the account even if the loan is in deferral.

With this being the case, what should you consider first in choosing a college for yourself or your child?

step by step car buying tips for women who weight all of their tuition options, including a car. The college advisor is important after starting school.

Tuition Options

If the school does not have reasonable and affordable tuition options for your income, don’t even think about attending, unless you can get a full scholarship. Keeping a full scholarship usually requires you to maintain a B+ grade point average.

Why burden yourself or your child with debt you or they can’t repay? The burden would be so high their life would be miserable trying to make the monthly payment. Figuring out the cost of a college includes a detailed analysis of tuition options (for in-state and out-of-state residents), room and board, books, registration fees, plane fare, or auto expenses to get to and from school 3 times a year.

Add an extra 2% to that total to cover hidden costs. Some students who choose schools they cannot afford, graduate with a college degree only to find their credit score fizzles so low they are no longer a candidate for employment, as a result of non-payment of school loans. Tuition options should not only include tuition, but also room and board, books, and incidentals.

Most financial aid packages include a combination of large school loans, small grants, work-study, and parents’ or students contributions. The financial aid package usually includes only about 70-80% of the total cost for the poorest students, unless you are lucky enough to get one of the rare full scholarships. To avoid or keep student loans low, calculate all of the tuition options.

Choosing a college without the consideration of debt can cause you and your child a lifelong drama of financial misery and unbearable stress. Don’t burden yourself with unsustainable debt and a low credit score, to get a college education.

College Advisor and College Culture

Look at the college advisor program at the college or university. The college advisor is a great link between the culture and your options for classes, clubs, extracurricular activities, and job resources.

Is the culture conducive to your upbringing? If not, can you assimilate into the culture? This is where the college advisor will be helpful. The culture includes kids from similar communities, things to do that you enjoy, your religious facilities to attend, and acclimating to severe weather you are not used to. Some straight-A students attend colleges that are so culturally different from their upbringing that they have a difficult time adjusting, hence, their grades suffer as a result.

Also, research every single type of activity and major course of the student before choosing to apply to a college. Find out how the college advisor helps students at the college.

Know all tuition options before choosing a college and keep student loans low or no -MsFinancialsavvy

Academic Standing; Private Colleges United States versus Public 4 Year Colleges

If parents have an unlimited budget it probably doesn’t matter where the student attends. But, if a student wants to keep student loans low or none at all, the college matters. There are many private colleges United States has to offer. There are many equally great public 4 year colleges. Public 4 year colleges are a better tuition option. The costs are much lower.

Is the school certified by the local, state, and federal academic boards? This can easily be verified by school counselors, or the school bulletins online.

Major Fields of Study

Does the school have a large variety of major fields, so you can choose a second or third choice if you discover you don’t like your first choice? Some students find themselves having to transfer mid-stream because the major field they finally choose is not offered.

Online catalogs will give tuition options, fields of study, extracurricular activities, college advisor help, and more.

Type of School

Understand the different types of schools available. Is your school choice an in-state public college, a private college, or a for-profit college? The least expensive to the most expensive are public 4 year colleges, then a toss-up between private colleges united states and for-profit colleges. Some for-profit colleges only exist only online. Also, some colleges have an online-only division, which is different than the college building and more inexpensive.

The best value for your education is an in-state public college, attending in person. Public schools are subsidized by taxpayers’ dollars so children within the state can get a quality education at an affordable cost. Out-of-state students usually pay extra since their parents are not tax-paying residents in the state.

Private colleges and universities are usually owned by organizations and churches. For-profit colleges and universities are usually owned by corporations. Both of these choices can be outrageously expensive with a lot of hidden costs. Do your research well before you consider a college or university.

Understand that most colleges have tuition increases each year, this must be figured into the ongoing yearly cost. Because school cost is being subsidized with school loans for many students, getting the lowest loan amount is imperative. Your income right out of college is not guaranteed, and neither is a job. Because of this, it is wise to focus on low or no school loan debt for college or trade school. The debt must be repaid, the lower your debt the better your chance of repaying your debt easily and on time.

SUMMARY OF Top Things To Consider When Choosing A College or University

Tuition options are most important in order to keep student loans very low. Tuition options include tuition and fees, room and board, books, and incidentals. For those who have to travel, including plane tickets. Understand all aspects of student aid at the United States Student Aid federal government website.

Study the difference between private colleges united states and public 4-year colleges. The overall cost is much lower with state-funded public schools.  Current student loan deferral options.

Look into the college advisor program, a great college advisor will take students in the right direction.

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22 Responses

  1. This is something that is on our minds as my daughter is in 10th grade and trying to figure out where she wants to music school. These are good points to think about.

  2. LisaLisa

    Great post! We did a lot of research before my kids went to college and it really did help them to make the right choices on deciding which college to attend.

  3. I personally recommend that kids go to a community college and get their basics out of the way. Classes are so much cheaper than at a 4 year school unless you get a huge scholarship.

  4. I completely agree with your advice — we’ve encouraged our kids to look at good, solid schools that are offering what they want to pursue, but that are also within our budget. And ideally ones that won’t require a loan. We’re happy to help, but we’re not made of money, and we certainly don’t want our kids paying for it for the next 20 years!

  5. Rosey

    I chose the one where my tuititon was paid because I worked there. I took out student loand for the higher degrees. I wish I hand’t since I’m not using them anyway to teach.

  6. Your article on the top things to consider when choosing a college or university is an invaluable guide for prospective students. The comprehensive list you provide covers crucial aspects that can greatly impact one’s educational journey. From academic programs and campus culture to location and financial considerations, you address the key factors that shape the college experience. Your insights and recommendations offer valuable guidance to help students make informed decisions. Well-written and informative, this article is a must-read for anyone embarking on the college selection process.

  7. Catalina

    These are great advice. It’s important to understand what are you looking for when choosing the right college!

  8. these are great tips,and we certainly did use many of these when my son went off to college a couple of years ago. this is a great refresher for me to use now that we have to start this process for my daughter in the fall

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