When it comes to choosing the right college to attend, Laura Hammond, editor of NextSTEPMagazine - a national publication geared toward high school students - recommends thinking about:
- Financial aid packages: Make sure to visit college scholarship offices and ask what kinds of scholarships the school offers. Hammond suggests applying for scholarships first, before taking out private loans that are costly and will likely swell with interest. If you do take out a loan, know exactly what you are signing up for.
- Intended major: Brand name schools don't necessarily offer the best programs for certain fields.
- Location: If you choose a school in your hometown, Hammond recommends living on-campus. If fear is the hurdle keeping you in state, Hammond says, "Suck it up and go out of state ... Think about where you want to be in the next five years and make choices to help you further those goals."
Atmosphere: Hammond suggests re-visiting all the campuses for those undecided students and going on overnights if possible to see how you feel within the environment.
Your school guidance counselor
The public library has (almost) every college guide out there. Ask your librarian for help with scholarship searches.
studentaid.ed.gov for information about the government that can help you pay for college, including tips for filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form.
supercollege.com for tips on how to pay for college
nextstepmagazine.com for general information and tips