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HELP! -“How do I pick “the right” college for my first degree?"

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Courtney Elizabeth Anderson

Courtney Elizabeth Anderson

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In our HELP! SITUATION SPOTLIGHT™ series, we shine the light on challenges that community members have shared with me. This episode is, “How do I pick “the right” college for my first degree?”

If you are new to your first college degree, in general (from a US perspective), degrees are awarded based on completed credit hours. One credit hour is based on one class hour per week throughout the duration of a semester. So, a class that meets for three hours per week for an entire term will be worth three credit hours upon successful completion. An associate degree is roughly 60 credit hours. A bachelors degree is 120 credit hours. Thus, to earn a bachelors degree would take 40 different three credit classes (which is why it takes several years to graduate). So, what is “the right college” for your first college degree (associate or bachelor)?

“Why are you going to college?” If you are not at all concerned with financial issues (more income, promotions, more job opportunities, etc.) and are only motivated by personal enjoyment/ enlightenment concerns, select your college based on your interests. If you want to really learn about botany, study botany! If you are primarily motivated by financial concerns, select your “right college” based on going to the highest caliber (“best”) school that you are able to gain admission to (if it was easy, everyone would do it). 

Here are some potential resources to utilize:

http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Global-Issues/2013/1003/World-rankings-Top-10-universities-in-2013/No.-10-Imperial-College-London

http://www.princetonreview.com/rankingsbest.aspx 

http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/rankings

http://money.cnn.com/pf/college/community-colleges/

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052748704554104575435563989873060

Let’s discuss!

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