Each person should evaluate schools based on his or her own needs. First decide what type of degree is needed and how much time you will be able to spend studying. For example, will you need to work part time? This could determine whether you will need to attend a university that schedules a lot of classes for evenings or weekends. Find out how much it costs to attend not only for tuition, but for books and things like parking or transportation. Does the school offer financial aid programs, and if so what criteria do you have to meet to qualify? Do you qualify for a Pell grant? Are you able either to share housing with friends or perhaps live at home with your parents? If you want to attend a school in another state, find out whether the tuition is lower if you can establish residency first. Visithttp://www.financialaidtips.org to get up to speed on all aspects of financial aid.
Whenever possible visit the campus to get a feel for the school environment. If you are still in high school, ask a guidance counselor for recommendations. Ask friends and family members to refer you to those who might have experience with schools you are interested in. Find out from the school the teacher-student ratio. A lot of this information will probably be available on the school’s website.
Review the coursework offered to be sure that any accounting course you want to take is available. See whether students post ratings on the courses they have taken so you can get a feel for their satisfaction with the courses. If you want to use distance learning, try to find friends who have taken one or more online courses and ask their opinions. Look on the Internet for reviews to see whether the courses have been well taught.
Applying to School
Just as you might be able to find out a lot of information about an accounting course online, much of the application process for many schools can now be completed online, including paying the fee with a credit card. For example, there is a single website in the state of Texas (www.applytexas.org) that allows each person to apply to one or more schools in the state. Some sites also provide an option to print the forms and submit written forms.
First review the application and gather the information you will need to complete the forms. Some examples are the beginning and ending dates of any high school or college attendance, as well as your employment history or that of your parents. Although some questions are self-evident, make sure you read the forms carefully and answer the questions accurately and completely. Most colleges or universities require the completion of an essay. Read the question and make sure that you are actually writing on the topic. If the topic has to do with something like why you want to attend this particular school, research the school before answering. Check your spelling and grammar; this is not an appropriate place to use slang, common abbreviations, or the shorthand often used in texting or email.
Before submitting the application, review each part of it for completeness. If you are applying online and are given an option to save the application and return to it before submitting, save it and then look at it the next day to catch any errors you might have missed.