Selecting a College
There are many choices when it
comes to study after high school. Students should consider the
differences between a two-year community college a large public
university, and a small private University. There are benefits
associated with every college option. Students should also consider
many different factors in this decision including geographic
area, location, campus diversity, size of the institution, professional
goals, and financial cost.
Types of Schools
Public and Private Colleges and Universities
State sponsored ¡V
Primarily funded by state and government agencies
Subsidized by the state
Resident vs. non-resident
Generally lower cost
- Examples: UC Berkeley, UCLA, UT
Austin, Univ. of Virginia, Univ. of Michigan, etc.
Funded by endowments,
Either Independent or
religiously affiliated ¡V primarily funded by private
donations or from religious or other organizations and
Private institutions are
usually governed by a board of trustees.
Usually cost more (also
give out more Financial Aid)
Usually offer smaller
- You need to consider at what you
want in a school and need a school to have and which
institution can provide that
- Examples: Harvard, Yale,
Stanford, NYU, Duke, etc.
- In general, both public and
private colleges and universities offer:
(Graduate and Professional Degrees)
Broader curriculum with
more areas of study
Different kinds of
schools offer variety of experiences
- Differences between a college
and a university:
Colleges are usually
smaller, but not always
Distinctions between the
two are getting smaller and smaller. It used to be
simpler to tell the difference, usually a college was
either ¡§liberal arts¡¨ or a ¡§teaching college¡¨ focusing
on undergraduate degrees where as a university supported
¡§research¡¨ and therefore graduate and professional
Often a public system
would have both colleges and a university, but the
distinctions are getting harder to tell
Students need to look at
each college or university on a case to case basis to
decide if it meets their academics and personal needs.
Also known as "two-year colleges" or "junior colleges",
offer two years of study leading to an Associates degree and
are designed to transfer students to four-year colleges.
Community Colleges offer specialized training similar to a
technical college or vocational school; in other words
studies focus on preparing for the workforce.
What You Get: What You don¡¦t Get:
Open enrollment Campus life
Economical College experience
Part-time option Less focus on academics
Smaller Classes University environment
Build remedial skills Less prestige
Less pressure More outside distractions
Teachers likely to be skilled teachers
are Privately owned and operated. They offer short course
length/(5-12 months. Some are longer (court reporting ¡V 2
years). The curriculum generally has a job training focus.
Examples of types of careers:
Cosmetology, Mechanical repair, Court reporting, Paralegal
services, Travel services, Secretarial, Medical assistant.
award Associate degrees in: General education and elective
courses. It prepares students for technical occupations.
(Examples: Accounting, Dental hygienist, Computer
programmer/analyst). These schools also award Technical
Technical Diploma: Usually offered to meet needs of
businesses (Examples: Automotive maintenance, Accounting
assistant, Pharmacy technician
Apprenticeship: Industrial or service trade
Certificate programs: Demonstrate completed
coursework in focused study area (Examples: Advanced
organizational leadership, Customer service, Landscape
What You Get: What You Don¡¦t Get:
Specific training General education
Defined career path Bachelor¡¦s Degree
Complete quickly Prestige
Narrow focus Broad focus
Less job opportunities
Less opportunity for advancement
Factors to Consider
Choosing the right place to study after high school is very
- There are many factors to
Is it a challenge?
Is it a new experience?
What kind of environment
and people do I want to be around?
What kind of setting do
you want to study?
Do you want to stay some
where close enough to go home on the weekends?
Do you want to live at
One thing to keep in mind is
that there is no ¡§right¡¨ answer¡K there are many factors to
take under consideration, the best school for you might not
be best school for your best friend; your top choice might
not be your parents¡¦ top choice.
Choosing the ¡§right¡¨ school means choosing a range of
schools ¡K then the admission¡¦s department at those schools
will decide whether or not you are the ¡§right¡¨ student for
Access to public
transportation (easy to get around)
Diverse student body
Small Town/Big City
Downtown/Out in the
Distance from home
Emphasis on research or
Single gender (all
women¡¦s or all men¡¦s)
Coed (Men and Women)
Specialized (known for
Course offerings/Areas of
Whether or not you think
you¡¦ll get in, remember you need a range of schools
Find out what each school
is looking for
What is the average GPA?
What is the average SAT?
How many letters of
recommendation do you need and from whom?
What type and how many
personal statements/essays does the school require?
Cost of Tuition
What type of financial
aid available is through the school?
What do they do about
How hard is it?
What is the core
What kind of services do
they offer to students? Summer programs? Centers?
Renowned Faculty ¡V What
is the schools ability to attract respected faculty?
Military Academies are
funded by the federal government, that means that they
are FREE; you need a letter from a congressperson to
¡§nominate¡¨ you for admissions, which is not that
difficult to get if you are a good student
Is ROTC available?
Does the school have one?
What kind of services are
Does the school have
clubs that interest you or that you have always wanted
What sort of competitive
teams or club sports are offered?
Are there things you like
to do on-campus or nearby off-campus?
What the campus looks
What condition are the
Housing - is it offered
and/or available to students or is off-campus housing
Are athletic facilities
available to non-athletes?
Are there places to study
that work for you?
Visit the campus if
possible, especially the Student Union or Student Center
students from your area or recent graduates ¡V admissions
offices and alumni associations can often help you get
in touch with these people in your community. You have
time to do this!!
What is the reputation of
the school? Is it known to be progressive, preppy,
Where might you feel
- What is the ethnic breakdown
of the student body?
HBCUs ¡V Historically
Black Colleges and Universities
HSIs ¡V Hispanic
What is the male/female
What student support
services are offered/accessible?