Many high school students today have had their eyes fixed on getting into college for years. But if you’re one of those rising seniors who realizes you aren’t quite sure how to plan the actual steps of the application process, read Noodle Expert Rita Kirshstein’s advice for creating a manageable and successful game plan.
College is several year educational program that ends with a diploma and, usually, a job.
Most US college students pursue a BA (Bachelor of Arts) or BS (Bachelor of Science); this generally takes four years of full-time study. Many pursue a shorter AA (Associate of Arts) program, generally at a community college.
Some colleges are residential (you live on campus), and others are commuter (you live at home). Some are campus-based, some are online, and a growing number are a hybrid of the two. Some are public (subsidized by the state, their tuitions are lower for in-state applicants), and some are private.
While commentators note that many college graduates are unemployed or underemployed 6-months or a year out of school, the earnings gap between those who have finished college and those who have not attended college is now $800,000 and growing.
That said, every college has different costs, admissions requirements, graduation rates, and financial outcomes. And even within a school, your family income, academic and athletic profiles, and even choice of major will affect your costs and post-graduation outcomes. This is an important decision; take your time.