Picking the Right School

Think about who you are and what your interests are. Choose a college that not only offers a degree in communications but also caters to your needs both in the classroom and after school hours are over.
Do your homework. Your options are limitless. Check out the school’s website. Several national publications come out with unbiased “best of” college reviews every year. There are dozens of books on the best schools for a particular interest. Don’t base a decision on any one source—especially the materials from a college. Schools spend as much as half a million dollars to produce slick brochures and videos to entice you.

Consider location and size. Location is something students often forget to consider. A rural setting is very different from an urban one, just as a large college has a different feel then a small one. Have you included the cost of a car or plane trips home in your budget? Additionally, with a communications degree, you want to be sure that there are opportunities for internships.

Don’t be overly influenced by a school’s reputation or status in the area of communications. Try to picture yourself as a student on the campus you are considering. If you have doubts, continue looking, and don't hesitate to consider an online degree.

Finally, don’t be put off by the cost of attending a particular school. If you’re a good student, you may qualify for scholarships, grants or loans. Although state schools tend to be less expensive than private ones, that isn’t always the case. There is plenty of time to weed out schools where cost is prohibitive, so in the beginning consider everything as you research the perfect school.

As you strip away the layers from a prospective college, you’ll start to see things that appeal to you—and things that don’t. When you have narrowed your selection to just a few schools, it’s ideal to go on a campus visit. You will be shocked at the disparity of offerings from school to school and communications degree to communications degree. Call the freshman admissions office to schedule your visit. Go with one or both parents in order to be treated as a serious candidate. On the visit, you will want to talk to communications professors and find out if you can sit in on a communications class in a field you think you might be interested in. Also seek out an opportunity to talk to someone from the financial aid office. If the admissions office won’t make these appointments on your behalf, they should be able to supply you with the information you need.

Last Updated: 08/20/2013

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