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Ten Tools to Help Choose Your College and Career

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There are hundreds of colleges out there, some offering graduate and doctorate programs, with others offering only undergraduate ones. There are virtual schools and on-line schools, small campuses and international ones. Some colleges are dedicated to the fine arts, while others prefer a scientific focus. So how does a prospective student determine which college is right for them? And how does a person decide which career path they should take once they finish college?

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There are tools out there to help people answer questions like these. The Princeton Review College Rankings, for example, are useful for determining which colleges are the best. Using 62 categories, (such as Financial Aid, Dorms, etc), the top 20 colleges in the U.S. are listed. On this same site, students can gain help with SATs, GMATs, LSATs, MCATs, and other standardized tests. Information is also available on study abroad programs and how to apply for college.

Peterson’s StudentEdge is another tool useful for students trying to determine which school is right for them. Registration is free and schools are matched based on criteria that the user can choose and refine on their own. Scholarships are listed, as well as careers that match each person’s skills and interests.

Another way to find out which college meets your needs is to use College Navigator, run by the National Center for Educational Statistics. This tool allows you to compare schools side-by-side and use personalized spreadsheets to compare data. State/district profiles of colleges are available, as well as the results of various surveys.

When entering college, money can be an issue. Scholarships.com is a useful tool for students, as it gives information on 7000 colleges with statistics on tuitions costs. It gives advice on financial aid and applying for scholarships, and also supplies links to help find the best rates for student loans. Scholarships are listed, in detail, and can be searched for in various categories: grade level, major, state, type, gender, etc.

To find out if graduate school is right for you – or which one to attend – Indiana University has a quality graduate school link. There are articles and links to necessary resources. Important questions are listed, which each person considering graduate school should consider.

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One factor to consider when choosing a college might be the professors that teach at an institution. Using a site such as Rate-My-Professors can help determine which professors are effective at explaining concepts and performing cutting-edge research… and which are not. Using the feedback of students, this site helps rate how strong certain teachers are.

Of course, not everyone goes to college. And, if they do, they need to find a career afterwards. A site like Myfuture.com is helpful for answering the question of “What’s next?” Myfuture helps people find and land jobs by offering help with resumes, cover letters, and interviews. Articles are supplied which give career advice and tips.

For those that want the unique experience of working internationally, Transitions Abroad is an important site to peruse. Posted articles give information on how to work internationally, giving examples and links to organizations like the Peace Corps.

For those who want to see which career meets their needs and skills, there are several sites on-line that have fun and informational quizzes that help sort through this information. iVillage.co.uk matches a career to an individual’s personality while 3SmartCubes offers a test of analytical skills. Though the Career Test sight matches and organizes potential careers by colour-coding them, their information is based on extensive research. They give over 40 career results which match a person’s personality

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  1. Good suggestions. The more tools students and their families have, the better their college decisions will be. I will pass these ideas on to the students with whom I work.

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