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Tips and Tricks

Five Questions to Ask Before Choosing a College

Westwood College - Choosing the Right College

As a college student you are expected to work hard and remain committed throughout your education—and most students expect, understandably, their hard work and commitment will help land them a job upon graduation. However, a college should work just as hard – or harder – to ensure its students are fully equipped to pursue their professional goals.

Here are five suggested questions to ask of potential colleges before you enroll:

  1. Do you have programs to help students identify a career path? You might not know what career you want to pursue at the time you enter college, so be sure to ask prospective colleges what type of guidance is available to students who are still deciding on a career.
  2. What kinds of scholarships are available? Ask what types of scholarships are available for your entire educational experience, not just the first year or two.
  3. Does your school offer on- or off- campus employment opportunities? Inquire about on-campus jobs that can help students pay their bills, career opportunities at the school once you graduate if you are interested in higher education, and internship opportunities, paying specific attention to how the college helps students pursue internships that will aid in building a successful career.
  4. What do you do to help students find a job before and after they graduate? Ask the college if they have a career center that focuses on helping students identify potential jobs and if these services will continue to be available after a student graduates. Find out how many graduates secure a job in their field of study and ask if the college has any programs that will help students who have graduated, but haven’t yet found a job. For example, Westwood College’s Employment Pledge helps students who graduate in good academic standing but haven’t yet secured a job by offering financial assistance for up to six months (additional terms and conditions apply, see website for details).
  5. Does the school offer ongoing support to graduates? Ask your college what types of services are available to graduates beyond landing that first job—such as career advice, tuition assistance for continuing education programs, ongoing access to career counselors, graduate retraining for fields that continually change, etc.

Every prospective college student is different, so take the time to think about what type of college experience is most important to you and do not rush the selection process. Diligence and research on the front end will help ensure your school works hard for you in the areas that matter most for meeting your future goals.

Don Patarino
Vice President – Training and Operations
Westwood College

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