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How to choose a college

When it comes to choosing the right college to attend, LauraHammond, editor of NextSTEPMagazine - a national publication gearedtoward high school students - recommends thinking about:

- Financial aid packages: Make sure to visit college scholarshipoffices and ask what kinds of scholarships the school offers. Hammondsuggests applying for scholarships first, before taking out privateloans that are costly and will likely swell with interest. If you dotake out a loan, know exactly what you are signing up for.

- Intended major: Brand name schools don't necessarily offer thebest programs for certain fields.

- Location: If you choose a school in your hometown, Hammondrecommends living on-campus. If fear is the hurdle keeping you instate, Hammond says, "Suck it up and go out of state ... Think aboutwhere you want to be in the next five years and make choices to helpyou further those goals."

Atmosphere: Hammond suggests re-visiting all the campuses for thoseundecided students and going on overnights if possible to see how youfeel within the environment.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Your school guidance counselor

The public library has (almost) every college guide out there. Askyour librarian for help with scholarship searches.

studentaid.ed.gov for information about the government that canhelp you pay for college, including tips for filling out the FreeApplication for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form.

supercollege.com for tips on how to pay for college

nextstepmagazine.com for general information and tips

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