Deciding to go to college is a big decision in your life. Deciding to either stay in state or go out of state, go to a university or a community college and how you will pay for it. These are some things that come up when deciding what to do after high school, or going back to school in general.
The first thing you have to question is if college is the right choice for you. It is ok if school is not your thing there are other options, such as working right after school or joining the military. Do not feel ashamed if you did not go to college, as long as you are happy with your choice that is all that matters. If you decided that school is for you then decide if you want to get your associates or bachelors degree. If you want an associates degree, find a school that offers a great program for your major that is cost friendly, these are normally found at well-known community colleges. If you want a bachelor degree your best bet can be a four-year university.
My advice when deciding on a college is to apply to many. Apply to your dream school whether it is hard to get into or way too expensive. Then apply to a school or two that is hard to get into but you have a good chance to get accepted to. Next, apply to a couple of schools that you know you can afford and know you can get into; these are your safety school.
The next thing to look at is money. College is like a wormhole for money, so you basically need it. Look at your school’s tuition, housing, and the miscellaneous fee, some sites calculate and give you an estimate of how much money a semester or year may be. Once you narrow down your schools and the prices apply for FAFSA. This is like the hunger games of school, some will be blessed and others will be left in the dirt with no money in sight. Good luck! And while you’re applying for FAFSA look around for grants, the money you do not have to pay back and look for scholarships as well. In the end, if you get nothing you can look for loans (they are the worse).
Once everything is figured out, let your future school know that you are blessing them with your presence and check out everything you have to do before school starts, like a freshman orientation, testing etcetera. If you did not get any money and have to pay out of pocket contact your school. Ask if they have any method for a payment plan and if they do have payment plans ask when the first payment. If you need extra assistance, apply for a job outside of school or a job on the campus.