College Rankings and College Information
Making the decision to earn a college degree or certificate — undergraduate or graduate — is a huge commitment that requires a lot of consideration and investment. School at any level demands time, money, and emotional and mental involvement, and picking the right school that will give you the most return on your investment is paramount. When choosing a school, you must consider all kinds of factors, like the number and level of degrees offered, range of majors and academic departments, core curriculum, financial aid and tuition, graduation rate, student-to-faculty ratio and reputation for faculty interaction and support, location, distance learning options, career planning and job search support, and more. All of these factors vary for each person, as one student may be able to get funding or sponsorship for school through work, while another may have to attend school while managing a full-time career, and another student might be flexible enough to attend some courses on campus and choose to complete the rest of his or her coursework online. Finding the right fit for your unique needs is tricky, but there are a wealth of helpful resources available online to make it possible.
To start your search, you may want to visit college rankings sites to view the top rated online colleges or top rated universities in your field. All types of college rankings exist, including lists that rate schools by value, social life, faculty presence on campus and faculty experience, tuition and financial aid, and other factors. You can find rankings that rate only schools with certain majors, and ratings that focus on certain degree types only. For example, if you are looking for an entry-level or undergraduate program, you would want to research rankings that list the top associate’s degree programs in a particular field or schools with the top bachelor’s degree programs in a given industry.
Because so many types of college rankings exist, it is important to remember to not base your entire school choice on a single ranking. Compare lists and research the organization that ranks schools to make sure their qualifying standards and system is appropriate. Your own opinion and impression of a school is most important, so visit your favorite school’s websites to get an idea of what it would be like to enroll in one of their programs, either online or on campus. Request information from the admissions office, inquire about campus visits, and find out how you can contact professors or current students to learn about their experiences at the school.