Selection Criteria

College costs aren't the only factor to consider when selecting which college to apply to or attend. There are thousands of colleges and schools from which to choose, and each has its own culture and environment.

TuitionHelp™ makes it easy for you. Your TuitionHelp™ Student Aid Advisor will help you identify the key characteristics of each school you are interested in attending and provide you those details as part of your College Cost & Planning Report®;.

A personalized College Cost & Planning Report® can help answer your college selection questions by highlighting the following details for full-time, undergraduate programs at up to 10 schools of your choice:

What Type of College Appeals to You?

  • Academics – What type of job advancement are you looking for within the company? Make sure that the colleges you apply to offer courses that will let you develop the skills you'll need for job advancement after graduation.
  • Location – How close to home or work is the campus? Probably one of the most basic factors guiding adult learners in selecting a particular school over another is the school's location.
  • Campus surroundings – Colleges are in rural, suburban, and urban settings. Do you prefer a campus in a quiet environment, or would you like to have lots of restaurants, shops, etc. nearby?
  • Online courses – Does the school offer online courses that you are interested in and are required to complete your major? Taking all or a part of your coursework online will give you a more flexible schedule and save you a commute. Online courses allow you to study around your work and family obligations.
  • Student body size – If you are not planning to take online courses, college sizes can range from as few as 100 to more than 60,000 students, and the size of the student body will play a major role in your experience. Student body size is often reflective of class sizes, especially in your first year, so think hard about what size college suits you best.

What is the College's Academic Climate?

  • Retention rates – Looking at what percentage of students return to the college for their sophomore year can give you an idea of how satisfied students are. If a college has a low first-year retention rate, it may mean that freshmen are dissatisfied with their college choice after their first year and therefore do not return.
  • Graduation rates – How long it takes you to graduate can have a big impact on your total cost of college. Students who graduate in six years will have two additional years' worth of expenses in comparison to students who graduate in four years.
  • Percentage admitted – The percentage of students admitted could give you an idea of how selective a college is. Colleges with a low percentage admitted are more selective than colleges that admit a high percentage of applicants.
  • Participation in student aid programs – Generally, colleges do not participate in every financial aid program. The College Cost & Planning Report® from TuitionHelp™ will help you research financial aid program availability at each college.
  • Major availability – Make sure that the colleges you consider offer the major you will need for job advancement.

What are Some of the Characteristics of the Student Body?

  • Campus diversity – Do you prefer a campus with a diverse student population?
  • Student age – Does the student population consist mostly of traditional students (students directly out of high school, ages 18-24), or does it include a good mix of non-traditional students (full-time working adult learners, ages 25+)?
  • Safety on campus – What policies and procedures are in place to ensure students' safety?
  • Religious affiliation – Do you prefer to attend a college with a religious affiliation?

Remember, it is important that you look closely at each college you are interested in attending to make sure that it is not only an affordable school, but that it also offers everything for which you are looking.

Contact your TuitionHelp Student Aid Advisor today to get started by calling 1.877.447.0584