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Possibly the most difficult decision you will face in thinking about your college career is just which college or school you want to choose to attend. There are over 4,000 colleges in the US with nearly 16 million students to choose from. As each college also offers a number of different majors and degrees, it can be difficult to choose just which major will suits you.
Above and beyond the sheer joy of learning, selecting a major and earning a degree is a route to a career. So one of the factors you'll want to consider in choosing a college is just what career do you intend to have. Do you want to be an accountant? An agronomist? An actor? All the way through the career choices to zoo keeper, you need to have some idea of what you would like to do before selecting a major.
Once you've decided your career or what you'd like to be, you should consider what your major will be. If you want to be that agronomist there's little point in being a drama major, and agronomy is not known to improve the career prospects of actors. So which major you choose is a factor that will contribute to your career success? You don't have to be too narrow here. Modern languages programs can be as helpful to a business career or military career as, say, an accounting degree.
Now you know what your major is you can start to look through the list of colleges and schools. If you want a career in economics then there is no point in going to a college or school that doesn't offer that as a major. Similarly, going to a school that doesn't offer a major in biology or plant sciences if you want to be an agronomist wouldn't be a useful way of choosing a college.
But guess what? A majority of students in all colleges and schools change their major at least once in their college careers; and many change their major several times over the course of their college career.
Different colleges and schools have different entry requirements. So when you have your list of colleges that you'd like to go to, the next factor or step in choosing a college is to look at the school's demands. What are colleges looking for in High School grade point average? What SAT scores will you need? You might at this point want to talk to your school counselors about choosing a college - they can guide you in the right direction.
Yes, college is expensive, that a big factor. But there are almost always ways to get the money to pay for school. If you meet the requirements
for a school in terms of academic achievement it is highly likely that the money can be found. Some combination of college work study, college loans,
college scholarships, or perhaps even one of the Federal schemes like Americorps or the ROTC, will be able to helpyou pay for college. You can also
choose to cut costs by doing the first part (the Associate's Degree) at a junior or community college. No matter what your finances, there is always
a way to get the education you want.
So the path to choosing a college works like this. Start with your career path or what you want to be after college, then see what your major needs to be. Find out which schools and colleges offer that major and make sure you have the grades to go to them. After all of that, then start working on how to pay for college.