Selecting a College

Smiling students sitting at a table looking at a laptop together

You're getting close to the end of high school and it's time to start thinking about options. If you decide on college, choosing the one that best meets your needs is a huge decision. Going to college at the beach may seem cool now, but that might not be the best way to secure your future. Here are some things to consider when choosing where to continue your education:

  • Type of college. Is it a two-year institution or four-year? Is it religious or non-denominational? Is it single sex or co-ed?
  • Size. Do you want to attend a large university or one with a smaller community?
  • Location. How far from home do you want to be? Do you want to be in a big city or a place with a small-town feel?
  • Campus life. Does the school offer things like social clubs, activities, sports, cultural events, etc.?
  • Academic programs. What do you want to study? Does this college offer the majors you want? If you aren't sure yet, does the school have a wide range of programs?
  • Cost. How much can you afford? Does the school have a good scholarship program or financial aid packages?
  • Military-friendly schools. If you're planning to stay with parents during college, check out the Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges. It has more than 1,800 member colleges worldwide that allow military students to complete their degrees as they move throughout a military career.
  • Overall feel. Make a visit to colleges you're interested in and go on campus tours to make sure the college feels right to you.

Use the College Navigator


about the many federal grants, loans, educational benefits and scholarships available to military students with Military OneSource's "Locating Scholarships and Financial Aid for Military Students."

The Department of Education's College Navigator can help you on your search. Once you know which colleges you want to apply to, you can take the next step by:

  • Talking to your school counselor for help with applications, financial aid forms and scholarship opportunities
  • Being aware of deadlines for important tests, forms and college admissions packets
  • Keeping a list of your accomplishments during application time

For more information and resources to help military youth and teens navigate everything from the unique challenges of a mobile military lifestyle to managing their social lives, saving money and going green, visit Military OneSource.


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