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15 Ways Choose It Right Helps You to Choose the Right College

15 Ways Choose It Right Helps You to Choose the Right College

Given that there are thousands of colleges and universities in the United States to choose from, you are likely asking yourself the following:  Where do I start the search process?  What resources are out there to help me narrow down my options?  What colleges are right for me based upon the major and course of study I am interested in?  And many more.

Here are 15 ways that Choose It Right can help you find the right college:

    1)    Saves you 100’s of hours of research – with the click of a button, you instantly receive your Smart College Report, which includes everything you need to know to make smart decisions about choosing the right college.  No longer are the days where you need to spend countless hours parsing through different college websites and brochures.  Now you have the Smart College Report, which does it all for you in minutes!

    2)    Helps you to gain valuable insight on how much you should actually pay for college and determine how much college is really worth to you.

    3)    Assists you in better understanding the current and future ramifications of taking out financial aid/student loan debt.

    4)    Gives you a return on your investment by providing you with an immediate and realistic view of your financial future upon graduation.

    5)    Helps you to narrow down your college choices and determine what’s really important, as choosing the right college is more than just liking its campus or wanting a good party school.

    6)    Matches you with colleges based upon your specific academic and/or sports-related preferences.

    7)    Enables you to search over 4000 private scholarship providers, and apply for private scholarships, grants, prizes, fellowships and forgivable loans.

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Key Factors to Consider When Choosing the Right College

When searching for and selecting the right college, there are a number of key factors to consider to ensure that you choose the right one that fits you and your family’s needs.  Here are a few important points:

    •   Academic reputation – academic reputation is one of the many things to look into when comparing colleges and their programs. For example, if a college is known for having a nationally recognized journalism program, it may be beneficial for you to take advantage of it since employers are likely familiar with the program and what it has to offer. This could ultimately lead to future job opportunities after graduation since employers may favor graduates who come out of a well-reputed program.

    •   Availability of majors – one of the most critical decisions you will make either before or during college is which major to pursue.  That is why it is important to choose a college that has a diverse number of available majors, especially if you are undecided or ambivalent about your current major of interest – as it will best support your long-term career objectives. How?  By having a large variety of majors, you will be afforded many programs to choose from if you are undecided or decide to change your major later on, meaning that you will not have to transfer to another college to find a major that best suits your interests.

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Reasons Why a Community College May be Right for You

Reasons Why a Community College May be Right for You

The traditional four-year college experience may not be right for everyone.  Specifically, right away some students may not be sure what course of study interests them.  Or, they may want a more affordable education.  If you’re considering attending a community college or are interested in learning more about its benefits, check out the following:

    1)    Transfer agreements – many community colleges have admission agreements with public colleges that allow qualified students to transfer their credits and gain admission to these schools after completing a two-year program.  This allows students to initially save money at a community college and then gain entry to public universities to complete a bachelor’s degree.

    2)    You save money – paying for college these days is a huge decision, and annual tuition rates have continued to soar into the tens of thousands of dollars each year.  With this in mind, many community colleges charge around $1000 or less for in-state tuition. You also may not have to pay for housing when attending a community college, enabling you to live at home and save money.   

    3)    They offer a flexible approach to education – attending a community college is a great way for students to ease their way into college rather than just jumping into a four-year program that they may not be prepared for.  Community colleges allow you to learn at your own pace, offering much more flexibility than a traditional four-year college.

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Alleviating Test Day Anxiety

Without a doubt, having to take a standardized test, whether it be the ACT or SAT, can be nerve-wracking.  Understandably, getting a good score on your standardized test is a crucial part of the admission process for most colleges.  Accordingly, there are some tips you can follow to help alleviate your anxiety and put you in the best position to succeed on test day.   These are as follows:

1)    Preparation is key – make sure you study as much as possible, as too often, stress comes from feeling a lack of control over a situation.  Meaning, sometimes people have anxiety on test day knowing that they are not fully prepared.  With that being said, the more prepared you are, the calmer and more ready you will feel on test day.

2)    Take a standardized test prep course – there are plenty of prep courses available to help prepare you for all aspects of the exam.  Taking a prep course is important because they give you invaluable tips on studying and they enable you to take several practice tests.   This way, you are fully prepared on test day and will likely experience less anxiety as a result.

3)    Take deep breaths – when you sit down to begin the exam, take a few deep breaths by inhaling and then exhaling slowly. Not only does this calm your system down, it also increases the flow of oxygen to your brain, allowing you to be more focused.

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What 9th Graders Can Do to Plan for College

Believe it or not, it is never too early to start thinking about college, even as a 9th grader.  The good news is that the more you do now, the easier it will be later on during crunch time when you need to start applying for college, financial aid, and scholarships.  At this stage of the game, it is important to look at your steps during 9th grade as laying the foundation for your high school career and making choices that will help you to achieve your college and career goals.  These steps are as follows, per season:

Spring/Summer

    •    Add to your credentials – meaning, if there are additional activities, community service projects, or other things you can join, it would continue to help pad your high school resume and help maximize your chances of getting a scholarship.

    •    Start learning about college – spend perhaps a weekend during the spring and summer visiting college websites.  Learn more about the costs to attend each college, the types of majors they offer, and their statistics on post-graduate career placement, income levels, etc.

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Student Athletes – Basic Steps to Take When Choosing a College

For student-athletes, the process of choosing and applying to colleges requires a bit more effort.  Meaning, there are more hoops to jump through, so to speak, than is required for an average student applying to college.  Some of these are as follows:

•    Know which division you realistically can play – if you are looking to play a Division I sport, make sure you can compete at this level.  Speak with your coach to find out whether this may be an option for you. If not, there are plenty of other colleges, both at Division II and III levels, where you can achieve your college athletic goals, that may be a better fit.

•    Attend a summer sports camp at a college of interest – many colleges allow camps to rent out their athletic facilities during the summer.  This may be an ideal way for you to get on a coach’s radar, and get a better feel for the campus and its facilities.

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The Top Mistakes to Avoid When Choosing a College

The Top Mistakes to Avoid When Choosing a College

Concerned about making the wrong choice of college?  Don’t know where to turn next, or what is most important in terms of deciding where to attend college?  At Choose It Right, we totally get it.  Trying to find the right college and make the right decisions associated with this process can be downright stressful.  As such, we have put together some of the most common mistakes students make when choosing a college, which we encourage you to avoid at all costs:

    •    Rushing the process along too quickly – finding the right college fit takes time, effort, research, and oftentimes, lengthy applications.  Waiting until the last minute to start this process off can lead to hasty decision-making, which is never a good idea.  Since your college career is not just a 2 to 4-year decision, but rather a 20 to 40-year decision, we encourage you to start the research process off early and get off on the right foot.

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College Costs You Should be Aware of

College Costs You Should be Aware of

At Choose It Right, we come across people all the time who have student loan debt yet they don’t fully understand what they specifically paid for.  This is standard across the board – most people look at room and board, as well as the tuition, without truly knowing the breakdown of the costs (many colleges have ways of incorporating the “extras” into your bill).  Here is an in-depth view of a few additional costs you may not realize you may be on the hook for during college.

    Mandatory fees – many colleges list “fees” on your bill however, they don’t specify where the money specifically goes. This could include everything from costs for using the library, campus transportation, parking fees, class registration, use of athletic facilities, and printing. The good news is that you can seek out all of these items if you like, but you still have to pay for them whether you use them or not.

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The “Right” Reasons for Choosing a College

With a couple of million students who are just entering college each year, the statistics unfortunately suggest that many of them chose their college for the wrong reasons.  Whether it be because a school has a nice campus, has a big fraternity scene, or was the “best” school they could get into, it doesn’t matter because each of these choices alone may not be the most ideal for every student.  As such, consider the following “right” reasons for choosing a college, which may be different than what you think:

    1)    The college is affordable – many people do not choose their college based upon the finances.  In fact, a lot of students and their parents blindly fill out financial aid documents without knowing the true impacts of their decisions in this regard.  That is why at Choose It Right, we encourage students to consider their Post-College 1:1 Ratio.  This means that you should look at your intended career and how much you should borrow in light of what your first year earnings will be when you graduate from college.

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How to Avoid Getting Buried by Student Loan Debt

Undoubtedly, many people go into the college application process with blinders on.  Meaning, it isn’t just about asking yourself whether you can get into the college or colleges of your choice.  The main question should be – can I truly afford it?  Accordingly, the best thing you can do before you choose a certain school is to know exactly what you are getting into, and how your financial future will look in light of your decision.  With this in mind, consider the following tips to help avoid the financial pitfalls that have left many students with life-altering debt for years to come:

    1)    Know all your costs upfront – college is not just about tuition.  It also includes costs associated with campus life, books, supplies, room and board, transportation, entertainment and a whole lot more.  These things can get extremely expensive, and lead people to keep borrowing more and more just to afford them.  This is not a trap worth getting yourself into; knowing all your costs upfront is the best way to determine whether you can truly afford a college or not.

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©2020 Choose It Right, LLC

      


©2020 Choose It Right, LLC