Whether you are a high school junior or senior, looking into colleges and universities for your next steps after graduation can be a little daunting. Finding the right place to earn your certificate and/or degree is incredibly important, so today we’re putting together a list of helpful tips and tricks to help you make sure you land in the right place for YOU.

  • Start with Location
    Are you comfortable leaving the city or state? If you’re not, look into community colleges, technical colleges, trade schools, and universities all within driving range of where you live.

    If you are, how far away are you comfortable going? Are you comfortable going to Denver? Kansas? California? Florida? Know your comfort level between being a few hours’ drive verses a plane ticket away from home. Then, consider the atmosphere of places you may go, both with landscape and with the people, and if the college is somewhere urban, suburban, or rural.

  • Review Your Financial Aid Options
    What kinds of scholarship opportunities do colleges and universities in your selected area offer? Look through them to see what you qualify for and start gathering everything you’ll need. Choosing a college that allows room for scholarships in addition to or instead of your loans and grants will be beneficial in the long run.
  • Find the Cost of Attendance
    How much does it cost to live in the dorms? How much is a meal plan? How much does each class cost per credit hour? Most schools have a tuition estimate calculator that can help you figure this out for in and out of state tuition costs. For example, Aims and UNC both have Tuition Estimate Calculators that you can use to get a rough idea of how much it will cost to attend.
  • Explore their Websites
    Look closely at the websites for every college you are considering. Read their admissions page. Familiarize yourself with the pages for the department(s) you may be in. Utilize the contact page and tabs to request more information to get in the loop and connected with the admissions team to make sure you have all of the information you need to make the best decision. Watch virtual tours of the campus and explore 3D videos of the dorms to get an idea of what life looks like on campus.
  • Talk to Your Advisor
    Your Dream Team Advisor is here to help through every step of your college journey, all the way from exploration to enrollment. They can help you narrow down your list, learn more, and make the choice that is best for you and for your educational goals. Don’t be afraid to reach out to them for help!

Remember, choosing the institution you will go to after high school doesn’t have to be scary. Choosing the right place is important because it will help you to feel at home and welcomed even in an unfamiliar place. College is all about YOU. You get to study what you want for your future, and we want to make sure we can help you out every step of the way.