Choosing a School

Choosing a School

What Type of College Should I Go To?

There are different types of colleges that fit the different goals of each person. Think about what your goals are, and weigh your options to find a college that best fits your needs.

Offers two-year degrees (associate degrees and certificates) at a low tuition rate. Associate degrees are needed for many jobs, and can also be an affordable way to earn credits that can transfer to a four-year college. These colleges usually don’t have on-campus housing.

Four-year colleges offer bachelor’s degrees. Often, these colleges also offer master’s and doctoral degrees. Many four-year colleges provide on-campus housing and are ideal for full-time students. Four-year colleges can be either private or public.

A college supported by state funding. For Indiana residents, Indiana public colleges have lower tuition than private colleges. Public colleges can be two or four-year institutions.

Nonprofit colleges usually have smaller enrollments than public institutions, and they offer mostly four-year bachelor’s degrees. Private colleges often charge higher tuition than public colleges.

A research college has professors who do research in their fields, as well as teach. Many four-year public colleges are also research institutions.

These colleges run as businesses, usually offering one- to two-year degrees in high-demand industries. Be sure to be careful around for-profit colleges that are not accredited, sound too good to be true or charge high tuition. More information on the dangers of these schools can be found here.

In today’s digital environment many colleges offer online classes, while some colleges now exist exclusively online. These colleges don’t have traditional campuses, but instead teach classes to students from around the world. Online courses are a good idea if you need a flexible schedule due to work or personal restrictions, because they often allow you to take your learning completely at your own pace without set class times. As always, look for accredited colleges to be sure the degree you earn will be valuable in the workforce.

Some colleges have specific focuses that may appeal to you. These focus areas include gender (male- or female-only) colleges, religion (including seminary), the arts (conservatories), military colleges and more.

How Should I Choose The Right College?

Choosing the right college for you is important. Not only does each career path require a unique kind of degree, some require specific majors. Plus, you’ll want to consider things like cost, how much independence you want, how big you want your school to be or the culture around extracurricular activities like collegiate sports.

You should visit the colleges you’re interested in to see how you like them. You can take a tour of the campus, talk to advisors and current students, and get a feel for the environment overall. Ask a professor if you can sit in on a class, or find a group of students to talk to about their experience there.

Learn more about what you can get out of campus tours with BigFuture’s Campus Visit Guide here, and virtually tour Indiana schools on the list below.

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