Finding the school that fits your goals, scheduling, and is covered by your benefits is not as cut and dry as it may seem, but it is much easier if you have already done your homework.
If you have followed the first two checklist items you should be fairly clear on your career path and degree requirements, which means that some of the criteria for making a good match have already been determined – degree availability, GI Bill and/or Tuition Assistance eligibility.
However, there are a few additional factors to consider before narrowing down the list of potential schools.
Decision Point #1: What is most important (to you)?
You must now figure out what type of school you want. What is more important to you?
Here are some factors to consider:
- The prestige of the school?
- The availability of classes?
- State school or a private institution?
- Respect for your military service?
- A school that supports veterans?
- Do you prefer online, on-campus, or both?
The following resources were developed to help you weigh these factors before making taking the plunge:
- Where Should You Go To School? How to Decide
- The DOD Has Done Some of the Decision Work For you
- Military Friendly Colleges – The Definitive List
- College Recon School Finder App
One Last Tip Before Choosing a School
Shop around and have at least two back up schools, because you never know what may happen. You may find that you don’t meet the enrollment criteria or you may find that class availability could make it difficult to graduate on time. This is more common than you may know. Many popular state schools are short staffed leaving students competing for required classes.
The above are things you can and should ask your advisor before you sign anything. That is why it is good to have a back-up plan. Don’t get too attached to the idea of attending a certain school. Don’t make the mistake of changing your major just to attend a given school – pick a different school.