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Thursday, July 14, 2011

Choosing a school and the 3C's of UC Clermont

Trying to choose the college to attend can be a difficult decision. With over 4,000 colleges and universities in the US alone, how do you decide which 1 is right? Experts suggest a number of ways to make this choice depending on a number of factors.

- Financial need: If you don’t have funds set aside to cover the cost of college, then you’ll want to visit www.fafsa.ed.gov to fill out the FAFSA = Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Even if you do have $$$ for college, filling out the FAFSA will result in financial aid funds being offered to you in the form of student loans and possibly grants (which is gift $$$). You fill out a FAFSA once per year to get money for the next school year. High school seniors should do this during tax season (Feb – April) of their senior year. Of course, most schools have scholarship $$$ available too, so do your homework and get in the required application(s) and the school(s) you apply to before their deadline to increase your chances of getting more free $$$!

- Cost to attend: Along with considering your financial need and the funds available to you in scholarships, loans and grants, you will want to determine how much each school you are considering will cost you each year. Private and public institutions will list a wide difference in tuition costs. Beyond tuition and general fees, there are known and hidden costs to consider. Does the school require you to be covered by health insurance, and if you don’t have coverage, how much will this increase your college bill? At UC, this would be an additional $1,587 per year. If living on campus, room and board will be the biggest costs outside of tuition. Different dorm arrangements (2, 3, 4 or more in 1 living space) and various food plan options can drastically change what you’ll pay. School activity fees, the cost of books, parking, computer support fees, rental fees for a room refrigerator + microwave oven and lab class fees can really add up, so know what you are responsible to pay before beginning classes. Depending on the school you choose and your major, you may be required to purchase a laptop computer with specific specifications and software packages too. Incidental costs (new shoes, school branded t-shirt, etc.) plus your pizza allowance are typically never considered, so make sure you have some extra cash set aside.

- Academic Program choices. I’ve seen a lot of different figures on this over the past few years, but all show that the average American student will change their major after they get to college. Some research shows this will happen up to an average of 4 times, which is why a 4-year bachelor’s degree typically takes 5-6 ½ years to complete. Obviously, things can change once you begin taking classes as to what career you desire to pursue. That is okay, and you should not let the choice paralyze you from beginning to attend college. The best suggestion is to visit the school’s career center while you are a freshman and take advantage of available assessment tools that will pick your brain and heart as to what careers would be best for you. This is not the kind of thing you want to do when you are a junior or senior or you’ll likely end up spending a lot more time and money in order to finish a degree. Making this decision may also mean that you’ll need to transfer to a different school since not every academic program is offered at every school. Up front, try to identify your top 3 career choices and apply to the school(s) that offer them. If totally undecided, more and more students choose to attend a close-by community college or regional campus (like UC Clermont or UC Blue Ash) of a major university to take general education classes before choosing the actual major. These classes will fit into virtually any bachelor’s degree later, so it gives the student time to take some college classes and visit career services to see what they really like without losing time, money or college credits.


- Those are the major items to consider before attending college. For those that have chosen to attend UC Clermont, there are 3 main factors that drive this decision-making process:-

1. Connection to UC. At UC Clermont, our students are UC students, with all rights and privileges of a UC student at the ‘main campus’. Want to experience Greek life and join a fraternity or sorority while taking classes at Clermont? No problem. You can do that. Love the UC Bearcats and want to go to football and basketball games? You can do that too and students can take advantage of free tickets and purchase additional tickets at a discounted price while supplies last before each event. While the NCAA restricts our students from participating in some ‘main campus = NCAA Division I’ athletics like football, soccer and volleyball, you can run track or be a UC cheerleader while attending classes at UC Clermont. Your Bearcat Student ID Card and your diploma at graduation are from UC.

- 2. Close to home. While some students come from around the country to participate in our aviation flight program (http://www.youtube.com/user/SportysVideos#p/u/1/OFn47qr8FG4), most students commute to UC Clermont from a nearby location in Hamilton, Clermont, Brown, Adams, Clinton or Highland Counties in Ohio or from one of the Northern Counties in Kentucky. This means that you’ll save time and money to get to school and finding a great parking spot that is fairly close to where you need to go. Believe me, this is a big deal when the weather is bad!

- 3. Cost to attend. UC Clermont is priced at about ½ of the tuition cost of the main campus process at any public school in Ohio. OU, OSU, Kent, Akron, Miami, BGSU, wherever … we offer a ‘real deal’ when it comes to tuition. If you get the maximum Pell Grant of $5,550 and attend UC Clermont as a full-time student, your tuition and general fees will be completely covered and you’ll receive a refund of left-over $$$ that can be used to help buy your books!

Hope that is enough to get you thinking about how to will decide what is right for you … Got questions? Let me know.
Blaine
513.732.5301 or blaine.kelley@uc.edu

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1 Comments:

Blogger chandra said...

truly impressive stuff for every student!
school admission letter

1:49 AM  

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