Some website tips for picking a college

Apr 18, 2012, 8:01 PM

(AP) – Some tips for exploring college options:

1. Go to
http://www2.ed.gov/admins/finaid/accred/index.htmlto see if the college you’re considering is accredited and to make sure you understand the different types of accreditation, which can affect your ability to transfer or the value of your degree in the job market.

2. Go to sites such as
http://collegecost.ed.govto research college costs but also use the “net price calculator” required by law on every college’s website to get an estimate of how much financial aid you might receive. Your true cost may be far less than the list price.

3. Go to
http://www.collegeresults.orgto see if your college has a good graduation rate. And a new site at
http://www.consumerfinance.gov/payingforcollege/costcomparisoncan help you estimate what you might owe after graduating from a particular school, though it’s still in testing.

4. If you need to borrow money, take out as much as you can from the federal government before taking out a private loan. Federal loans generally carry stronger consumer protections. See
www.ed.gov/finaid.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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Some website tips for picking a college