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Find the Best College Fit
By: Gen and Kelly Tanabe

Know your academic goals.

It's critical that you find a program that matches your academic goals and interests.

  • What academic areas interest you?

  • What would you like to major in?

  • How sure are you about this major?

  • What if you end up hating this major? What would you study instead?

  • How will your major help you achieve your career or personal goals for returning to school?

  • Is academic reputation important to you?

Evaluate your learning style.

Programs vary widely in the learning environment that they offer.

  • In what kind of environment do you learn best? Small seminars? Large lectures? Interactive discussions? Lectures?

  • Do you have any previous college experience? Will you be finishing a degree that you started? Is it important that credits from previous courses can be transferred?

  • How much interaction with other students and professors do you want?

  • How well will you be able to work with students younger than you?

  • Can you put in the necessary study time to be successful in school? Do you have a place in your home that is conducive to studying?

Think about balance.

With work, family and other commitments on your plate, it's important to strike a balance.

  • How much time do you have to dedicate to your studies? In other words, can you afford the time to be a full-time student? Consider not only the time that you will spend in classes but also time for commuting and studying.

  • How will your class schedule fit with your other commitments such as family, work, socializing, etc.?

  • Will you be able to spend the time that you need with your family if you attend a full-time, part-time, evening or distance learning program?

  • Will you be able to find childcare if you need it?

  • Are you willing to move to attend a school?

Consider your finances.

For the great majority of students, money is a factor in the decision about going back to school.

  • Can you afford to quit your job to go to school, or do you need to hold a part-time or full-time job?

  • Are you willing to make major financial sacrifices to pay for college? Is your family?

  • How much money have you saved to pay for college?

  • What tangible goods (i.e. new car, home improvement) will you have to postpone to pay for college?

  • Are you willing to borrow money to pay for tuition? How much debt are you willing to incur?

About the Author

Gen and Kelly Tanabe
Founders of SuperCollege and authors of 13 books on college planning.

501 Ways for Adult Students to Pay for College

By: Gen & Kelly Tanabe
Learn how to go back to school without going broke. This is the only book that shows you how to find the best scholarships for adult students, get your employer to pay, have your student loans forgiven and much more.

Learn More

Adult Students: A Painless Guide to Going Back to College

By: Gen & Kelly Tanabe
Fulfill your dream of going back to school--painlessly! Whether you're going back to school for the first time, returning after an absence or advancing or changing your career, this book will help.

Learn More