College + You

Getting In

What is a college degree?

A degree is your ticket to the next big thing - your future. A bachelor’s degree means you’ve completed 120 credit hours at an accredited institution of higher learning. That comes out to a total of roughly 40 classes, or about five a semester for four years. What does that mean, exactly? It means after graduation, you’re an expert.

What is college tuition?

Learn more about college costs, and how to talk about them with your parents.

Tuition is money you pay for each class you take at college. There are other things you have to pay for too: books, your dorm (colleges call them residence halls) room, meals you eat in campus dining halls, parking permits and such.

What is financial aid?

Financial aid is money to help pay for college. It can come from the U.S. government, the state where you live, the college you attend, or a private organization. Up to 80% of all college students receive some form of financial help. Your high school counselor can tell you all about how to apply.

Source: National Center for Education Statistics (2)

What is a FAFSA?

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the application for most types of financial aid at colleges across the country. It’s free and easy to find online. You and your parents will want to fill one out during your senior year of high school.

What is a university versus a community college?

Community colleges typically offer just two years of college classes, and may also be called junior colleges, technical colleges or city colleges. Many - not all - charge lower tuition. Most are non-residential, meaning you don’t live on campus. Many community college students go to school part time, while they hold down a job or take care of a family. There is probably a community college in or near your hometown. You can complete a specific two-year program there to earn an Associate's Degree, which is one step below a bachelor’s degree in the qualifications rankings. You can also take the credits you’ve earned at certain community colleges to a four-year college, where you finish getting your bachelor’s degree.

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