You’re thinking about going to college or technical school so that you can get a better job and improve your life. Good idea! But who has time to research colleges? You probably have a job or family responsibilities, and the idea of driving around to every college in your area seems daunting. And with the recent growth of online universities that are accessible through the Internet, your choices are almost limitless. You can earn your degree from a college on the other side of town or on the other side of the world!
How can you efficiently research your college choices? Fortunately, the Internet has made the process much easier. Of course you can do your own searches for programs you want, and visit individual college websites. But that can take time, and you may end up wasting hours poring over endless pages and not finding what you want.
The best solution is to use a powerful, convenient, and FREE online directory service. A reputable service will make it easy to find the colleges and programs that you want, and cut through the clutter. It’s fast and easy and puts you in control.
What to Look For in an Online College Directory
When you log onto a college directory service, you’ll see a “landing page” that gives you lots of choices. You may see the logos of featured schools, and links to educational articles. What you want is information, and to do that you need to perform a search. The site will be organized so that you can perform searches based on a number of criteria. Here are a few ways you can search.
–Campus location. If you want to attend a traditional college, you can select a defined geographical area or ZIP code radius. That way, you can see the colleges that are within travel distance of home or work, or colleges that are located in a city or region that you’d like to study in. For example, if you live in Colorado and want to attend college in Los Angeles, the directory can show you only those colleges in the Los Angeles area. Or, if you need to commute from home, the directory will show you colleges in your area.
–Online degrees. If you are interested in distance learning, the directory will connect you to colleges that offer online programs in the subject area that interests you.
–Degree type. You can ask the directory to connect you to colleges that offer the degree or program type that you want. These may include adult education programs, certificates, diplomas, associate degrees, bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees, even doctorates. For example, if you are interested in earning your Ph.D. in psychology online, you can find the colleges and universities that offer this program.
–Schedules. You can find out how the programs are presented and the demands on your time. If you are a working adult and plan to attend on campus, you’ll want a program that offers flexible schedules and perhaps classes on weekends or in the evening. If you are researching online programs, there may be milestones or deadlines that you need to meet, but generally you can log on and either get the program material or complete your work on your own schedule.
–Financial aid. The online college directory will provide information on which colleges and career schools offer federal financial aid, scholarships, grants, or education loans.
–Accreditation. You do not want to get a degree from a “diploma mill.” Prospective employers will not be interested in hiring you if you present a degree from an unknown, non-accredited mystery college. The online directory will provide information on a college’s accreditation.
Compare and Apply
The online college directory will allow you to research as many colleges as you need to, at no charge. The best strategy is to assemble a group of three or four, or even more, good prospects. Through the directory website you can contact each one. The schools will either send you additional information or, if you want, they’ll contact you and to set up a tour or a visit with an admissions representative. Once you are comfortable with your choices, make your applications. Before you know it, you’ll be on your way to a rewarding new career.