Post-secondary education is a big investment of time, money, and effort, so choose your school wisely. Choosing a school is one of the most important decision you will make in high school. Paying for school comes closely after. The U.S. Department of Education offers a variety of student financial aid programs to help students pay for school.
It's up to you to look at schools. Just because a school participates in the federal student financial aid programs does not mean the DOE has endorsed their quality of education. The Department of Education does not approve a school's curricula, policies, or administrative practices.
Basic questions to ask are:
Most of this information is in a school's catalog or introductory brochure so grab a few brochures during a campus visit. Also, the reference section of your local library has many books with the same information.
You can also find information on the Internet. If you know someone who attends or attended a school you're considering, ask that person their opinion of the school.
Ask about the school's accreditation, licensing, student loan default rate, and campus security.
Find out the school's job placement rate (the percentage of students who are placed in jobs related to their field of study).
Find out about the school's refund policy.
Find out about financial aid availability at the school.
You have the right to receive the following information from the school:
Find out about the school's return-of-aid policy.
Find out the school's completion and transfer-out rates.
Get a copy of the school's "equity-in-athletics" report.
Compare your anticipated debt to your expected income post-graduation. If you borrow money to pay for all or a portion of your education, you'll need enough money to repay your debt. Check the web or visit the library to learn more about the starting salary for careers you are interested in. The U.S. Department of Labor publishes the Dictionary of Occupational Titles and the Occupational Outlook Handbook which also have information.
Latest College & Financial Aid News
November 6, 2019
E-tail giant Amazon is now accepting applications to its Amazon Future Engineer Scholarship Program for students entering college in the fall of 2020. The scholarship program offers 100 current high school seniors from underserved and underrepresented communities across the country the opportunity to receive $40,000 scholarships to study computer science at a four-year college or university and a guaranteed paid internship offer at Amazon after the completion of their first year. [...]
October 31, 2019
In response to the NCAA's vote to allow athletes to profit from their names, images and likeness, Senator Richard Burr of North Carolina has proposed taxing those scholarships. Senator Burr tweeted: "If college athletes are going to make money off their likenesses while in school, their scholarships should be treated like income. I'll be introducing legislation that subjects scholarships given to athletes who choose to 'cash in' to income taxes." [...]
October 8, 2019
Gucci is releasing a new line of... diversity undergraduate scholarships for students who are "traditionally underrepresented in the fashion industry." The 1.5 million U.S. university college scholarship program is set to run for four years, targeting students who attend four-year universities. Special consideration will be given to those residing in Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Toronto and Washington, D.C and/or for those who plan to attend or are currently attending a Historically Black College and University (HBCU). [...]