What You Need to Know Before Enrolling in a College

It is safe to say that the choice of a college will have long term impact on the life of any student. Focusing too narrowly on one or two aspects of a school could lead to heartache in the future. By answering the questions listed below with an open mind and an honest heart you will likely make the best choice for you circumstances.

1. How much does the school Cost?

Get a firm understanding of all the expenses associated with attending college. Besides the tuition and fees you will also need to look at the average price of textbooks, any necessary housing expenses, food and commuting expenses.

2. If the cost is more than your budget are there resources for financial aid?

If the overall costs are more than your budget or your current financial assistance package, talk with a counselor in the financial aid department. Schools are now competing for top students and it is not uncommon to hear of a school willing to extend an additional scholarship or financial aid to a deserving student.

3. Are you happy with the campus atmosphere?

You should schedule a lengthy tour of the campus. It is a good idea to ask for permission to sit in a class to observe the interaction between teachers and students. It is also a good idea to sit down for a meal at one of the cafeterias and look over the student residential quarters as well.

4. What college entrance test is required?

Most universities and colleges require a minimum score on either the SAT test or the ACT test. In addition, some degrees have a minimum requirement on specific parts of the test. Make sure your scores meet the requirement before accepting the admission into the school.

5. Can you apply any of your current credits towards coursework at the college?

If you have successfully completed any AP or IB courses in high school, find out if you can receive credit for these classes at the college. If you are currently enrolled in a junior college, talk to the admission counselor to determine which credits you are allowed to transfer from your previous studies. It is important to understand this procedure because not all colleges and universities will accept credits from junior colleges.

6. What requirements must you meet in order to graduate?

Different colleges, as well as different degrees, have various requirements for the number of classes and credits that are required for graduation. For example, a master’s degree in accounting requires two full semesters worth of study above the requirements for a bachelor’s degree. Make sure you understand the rules to graduate not only for the college in general but also for your specific degree.

7. On average, how many students finish their degree at this school annually?

The majority of universities and colleges report that 60% or more of their students graduate with some degree. You should investigate the graduation rates for people pursuing the same type of degree that interests you to see if that number is higher or lower than average.

8. What is the disbursement of teachers to students?

Does the college have classes with 100+ students in every class? Or is the number closer to 25? This will play a large part in how successful you are in completing classes and earning your degree. If you are comfortable sitting in a large auditorium, taking notes and studying on your own for exams, this will not be a problem. However, if you feel that you need more interaction from the teacher and possibly some individual time, a smaller class will be more to your liking.

9. Does the school offer online courses?

If your schedule requires you to take some classes at unusual hours then you will want to investigate the availability of online courses. Some schools have certain classes that must be taken in person while other colleges will allow most all of their courses to be taught over the internet.

10. Is it tough to sign up for the classes that will lead to your major?

Certain degrees, and their accompanying classes, are quite popular at some schools. This may lead to a class filling up with students rather quickly at registration time. In addition, certain classes are only offered at particular times of the year. Investigate the necessary classes for your degree to see if you need to sign up early or anticipate being placed on a waiting list. Regardless of the degree or the type of school, you will want to make sure you are comfortable with the process and that it fits with your abilities and personality. Take some time to really research the schools on your list to make sure you find the right one that will make you happy.

Online Schools (13)

Below please find www.ValueOfADegree.com's list of accredited Online Colleges. Click on the school of your choice and fill out the form to request free information.

  • Advertising (Bachelor's degree)
  • Animation, Interactive Technology, Video Graphics and Special Effects (Bachelor's degree)
  • Apparel and Accessories Marketing Operations (Bachelor's degree)
  • Commercial Photography (Bachelor's degree)
  • Computer Graphics (Bachelor's degree)
Ottawa University Online Program offerings:
  • Business Administration and Management, General (Master's degree)
  • Business Administration and Management, General (Bachelor's degree)
  • Criminal Justice/Law Enforcement Administration (Bachelor's degree)
  • Curriculum and Instruction (Master's degree)
  • Educational Administration and Supervision, Other (Master's degree)