Your post secondary choices are limitless and we are here to help you make sense of all your opportunities! We suggest creating a narrow list of schools you are interested in and start researching and asking questions. Schedule a meeting with your College and Career Coach for more help. Below are great websites to start the search as well as definitions of institution types.
College Green Light:
Private vs. Public
Public schools, like the University of Illinois (UIC) or Chicago State University, receive some funds from the state government which is why they are called “public.”
Private schools, like the University of Chicago (U of C) or Depaul University, do not receive any support from the government and receive funds from private donations.
The tuition is lower at public colleges and universities than at private ones. But don’t rule out private colleges on cost alone. Private colleges may have more money for scholarships for qualified students.
Four-year colleges are colleges where you earn a bachelor’s degree. However, it may take more or less than four years to complete your degree depending on your course load, major, and other factors. By earning a bachelor’s degree, you will be more likely to get paid more than people who have not earned their bachelor’s degree. You will also have the opportunity to fill a wider variety of job positions than people who attend a two-year college or trade school.
Two-year colleges (community colleges or junior colleges) allow you to earn an Associate’s degree and prepare you for a career. Two-year colleges also prepare you to continue your education at a four-year college by allowing you to complete the basic classes of a four-year college at a lower price. The cost of attending a two-year college is significantly lower than the cost of attending a four-year college.
Trade and Technical Schools
Trade schools or technical schools offer certification or licensure in specialized programs that generally take less than two year to complete. Trade schools prepare you for a specific career that you want. Becoming a hairstylist, auto mechanic, plumber, or electrician are just a few of the many careers that require some type of trade certification or licensure.
In-State vs. Out-of -State
The cost of going to school in Illinois is likely to be less than going out-of-state. Public universities in Illinois offer an in-state tuition to students who live in Illinois. If you apply to an out-of-state public institution, like Ohio State University or University of Michigan, you will pay higher tuition rates. Also, if you stay in Illinois, you may be eligible for a MAP Grant, which will reduce the cost of your tuition.
DON’T rule out out-of-state colleges on cost alone. Scholarships and grants are available to students who go to out-of-state colleges. Also many Private institutions have a standard tuition rate regardless of state residency.
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