How To Choose The Right University For You

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How to pick the best school for you.

There has been a lot of debate lately about the pros and cons of for-profit universities. When you are looking for a job, or trying to get a promotion, finding a great school that allows you to keep your job while furthering your education is important. For decades, not-for-profit universities had trouble meeting the needs of non-traditional students. This left a huge hole in the higher education landscape and many for-profit universities stepped in to fill the gap.

Although they have often been accused of focusing more on getting money from people who don't perform well in a traditional classroom than educating students, they still produce many happy graduates each year.

Not all for-profit universities are misleading students, and like anything else, you can't let a few news reports about some places blind you to the options. There are still some very good schools out there. The most important thing is to do your research and pick the best program for you.

If you are considering going back to school, there are a few steps you can take to be sure that you are making the best decision for yourself and your financial future.

Here are some tips to help you pick the right school-

  • There is no rush- Many schools run commercials all day long, telling you that you have to act now, there is no time to waste, but this isn't true at all. Don't let the commercials pressure you into making a decision before you are ready. Remember, this is your future, so you have to take the time, do the research and be sure that you are making the right choice for you. Don't rush into anything. If you feel that the adviser you are talking to is employing high pressure sales tactics, take a step back. It's just like working with a car salesman; they are trying to get you to make the deal. Your job is to make sure that it is going to be the right deal for you.
  • Research your options- Before looking for a career training program, think about what you are passionate about and take the time to find the career you really want. Don't let a flashy commercial convince you that you need to become a Dental Hygienist, even though you don't really like teeth. Only you know what sort of skills you have and what you enjoy doing. If you are having trouble deciding, try visiting O'net online, which offers some great career advice and help with career planning. Also, take a look at the Bureau of Labor Statistics Career Guide to Industry, which will give you information about how much money people really make in different career fields.
  • Select a College- Do some more research and find out which universities offer training in your desired career field. Look online to see what other graduates have to say about their program. You might also want to look at your local community college to find out if they offer a similar program that would be a good fit for you.

  • Consider the cost- This is something that many people just don't do. Do the math and find out what your career training will cost. Even if you have financial aid and student loans, you'll have to pay most of that back at some point, so you need to know exactly what type of investment you are going to be making. It doesn't matter if it's a for-profit university, a community college, a public four year university, a trade school or a private college, you need to get hard numbers.

Once you've decided to continue your education, it is important to do your homework. The last thing you want is to end up in a situation where you are paying for an education that you can't use. Take the time to think about your goals, your resources, how much time you have to devote to school and make a decision that is going to be right for you.

Have you taken classes at a for-profit university? What were your experiences? What advice would you share with someone who was planning to enroll in a career training program? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

By Melissa Kennedy- Melissa is a 9 year blog veteran and a freelance writer for EducationJobsiteBlog and Nexxt. Along with helping others find the job of their dreams, she enjoys computer geekery, raising a teenager, supporting her local library, writing about herself in the third person and working on her next novel.


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