The United States is home to some of the most prestigious universities in the world. With so many options to choose from, it’s easy for students to get overwhelmed by the many factors that make up a “perfect school.” Our search tool is designed to help you narrow down the choices so that you can find a college to fit your needs based on location, tuition cost, degree programs, and more! Check out our list of United States colleges below to begin your search.
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Why Attend College?
Besides the obvious fact that employers are often more likely to hire someone with a college degree, college provides an excellent means of networking, building communities, developing a strong work ethic, exploring research and internship opportunities, and so much more!
Costs to Consider in College
Aside from tuition, there are many other costs for students and families to consider before committing to a college. Here are just some to keep in mind as you conduct your search:
- Room & Board
- On-campus: Costs will vary depending on the college and state you choose to study in, but generally, on-campus housing is more expensive than off-campus housing. However, there are perks to living on campus, such as not having to commute to classes and the ability to take advantage of dining halls.
- Off-campus: Off-campus housing is highly recommended after the first year of college in the dorms. Apartments are often cheaper to rent with roommates (exact prices will vary depending on location), and it’s nice to be able to go home from school after a long day of classes!
- School Supplies
- Laptop: This is a necessity for every college student now, especially with the Internet being such a prevalent part of our lives! Education often involves research, e-mail communications, typing up papers, and even submitting assignments to professors online.
- Tablet/Kindle: It’s either this, or buying a ton of textbooks every quarter that go forgotten after the courses are completed. While a big initial investment, tablets and Kindles can go a long way with saving money in the long run. Of course, this method of reading is not preferred for every student. If you like to physically mark up your books and take notes on paper… you’ve got the next expense…
- Textbooks: Simply put, regardless of where you purchase them (we highly recommend checking out Amazon before buying from the school bookstore!), textbooks add up.
- Study abroad: While studying out of the country is a completely rewarding experience, there are additional fees to consider before committing to it. These fees will vary depending on where you want to study abroad, whether you qualify for financial aid, and more.
- Driving: If you commute to class, you will have to absorb gas, mileage, car maintenance, and parking expenses.
- Graduation: So you’ve finished your classes… and now it’s time to finally get that degree! Yay for not having to pay anymore school fees! Not quite… but you’re close. Graduating entails paying for graduation attire like the cap and gown, graduation photos, etc.
- Food: No student can survive without food! With that said, it’s essential to set aside spending money for weekly groceries and meals.
Ways to Save in College
The skill of saving money is a must, and it’s a skill that is good to learn before going into college! Education can be really expensive, so cutting down on costs wherever possible is always a smart idea.
- Eat out less, cook more — you’d be surprised at how much even just a cup of coffee and a bagel everyday from Starbucks would add up!
- Share textbooks with a roommate or friend whenever possible. Better yet, use the library and borrow books as needed!
- Consider taking prerequisite and general education courses at a community college for reduced tuition, and finish off upper-division courses at a 4-year university. Just be sure that the classes will transfer over.
- Split rent and utility bills with a couple of roommates.
- Take advantage of public transportation whenever possible, which is often included in student fees that you have to pay anyway. Not only will you be cutting down costs on gas, you’ll be saving some mileage on your car as well!
- Don’t be afraid to ask about and use student discounts. More shops and stores offer one than you’d think!
Types of Colleges
Which college type is right for you and your career goals? Here are the different types of colleges to consider as you narrow down your options:
- Online colleges: A plethora of online colleges are available for students who prefer learning from the comfort of their own home. With the Internet being so prevalent, online learning has become more popular over the years. It is a great option for those who want to get a degree but need to have the flexible schedule to do so.
- Community colleges & technical schools: Going to community college is a great start for many college students. Community colleges are more affordable than 4-year universities, and offer many different courses at the lower-division level. Students can earn their 2-year Associate degree and move forward from there, or simply take classes that transfer over to their 4-year degree at a 4-year university to save money. Attending a community college is also a great option for those who simply want to take classes for personal enrichment or have a basic college education. Technical schools are designed for those who are looking to earn a career-focused degree.
- Public 4-year and graduate colleges: Many state universities and colleges offer a diverse variety of academic programs to choose from. Tuition is generally lower than private universities. Some of these colleges offer online degree programs as well.
- Private 4-year and graduate universities: Depending on what you are looking to study, a private university may or may not be for you. Tuition is generally higher at private universities, but many of these schools are also smaller, giving individuals the opportunity to really get to know their campus and the student body. Additionally, students have the advantage of a more personalized education experience with more one-on-one interactions with their professors.
- Institutions with religious affiliations: Students of faith have a plethora of religious colleges to choose from. A few include Catholic, Christian, and Jewish schools.