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Deciding Which School is Right For You
Discovering your path is no easy task. Here are five key steps to help you successfully enroll in the right school.
Step 1: Determine What Type Student You Are

To start, it's best to know which type of student you are; first-time student , transfer student, returning student or career changer. Based on this information and your personal goals you can now begin to define which DegreePath is right for you.

Step 2: Choose Your Degree Type

What type of degree will allow you to achieve your dream career? An Associate's degree typically takes two years to complete whereas a Bachelor's degree traditionally takes four years. Those who are looking to further their education beyond these degree types will want to consider a Master's and/or Doctorate degree.

Step 3: Decide Your Learning Style - Online vs. Campus

Degrees can be completed in various learning formats; online, on campus and sometimes a mixture of the two. Deciding which learning environment suits you best is easier once you have determined two things, 1) what you want to get out of your college experience and 2) your learning preferences and what you need to succeed.

Step 4: Compare Your School Options - Talk to Advisors

After you have decided on a degree level and learning format, it is time to compare schools. Each institution is unique, and there are thousands from which to choose. Speaking with admissions counselors is helpful, as these professionals are trained to assist prospective students.

Step 5: Apply to Schools

Once you have narrowed your search to the schools that meet your personal needs, it's time to apply! Each school will have their own application requirements, so be sure to read carefully and note all specified deadlines.

Getting the Most Out of Your College Experience

When students venture off to college to get a degree, they're setting off on an adventure of a newfound independence and self-discovery. They'll get to meet hundreds of new people, learn a wealth of exciting knowledge and overcome a few obstacles along the way.

To get the most out of this time in a student's life, it is important to keep in mind why you're going to college in the first place. While the social scene and living by your own rules can be exhilarating at first, the ultimate purpose is to discover passions that will fuel your future career and develop positive relationships with classmates, roommates and professors that will continue well after graduation.

When you first arrive at school, don't forget that dozens, if not hundreds, of individuals are specifically hired by the school to help you become a successful college graduate. Students should exercise the use of all of the resources available to them. A college career center is a valuable service that can help young adults find the right major that aligns with their values, skills and interests, rather than listening to others' opinions on what they think they should pursue.

As the world becomes increasingly connected, academic advisers, resident advisers, professors and even upperclassmen are all valuable connections to foster throughout your years enrolled in school. After graduation, you may find yourself connected to individuals from around the world simply because you reached out and made relationships with a unique selection of the student body.

Ultimately, reaching out in college and getting to know your surroundings as much as possible is one of the best ways to fully enjoy your university experience.

A College Degree Can Bring Health, Happiness and Financial Security to Students

According to new research, students who get a degree have a better chance of leading happier, healthier and more fulfilling lives. In the U.S. government's 35th annual comprehensive health report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), data from nearly 60 sources from 1975 through 2010 showcased an array of positive effects following the completion of a college education.

The study revealed that children were less likely to be obese if the head of their household possessed at least a bachelor's degree. Additionally, women age 25 and over who graduated from a four-year college were 25 percent less likely to be obese and, in general, those with higher education under their belts live about nine years longer than those who don't graduate from high school.

"Highly educated persons are more likely to be employed and well-paid than the less educated," lead author Amy Bernstein states in the report. "They have a higher sense of control over their health and lives and more social support. In addition, the well educated are more likely to engage in healthy behaviors and avoid unhealthy ones."

These links between wealth, higher education levels and good health have been recognized for years and continue to be strong areas of study by the nation's top researchers. Essentially, CDC's release of these findings can help young students become motivated to apply to school and find the right college match. After students have successfully answered the question, "What college should I go to," they can begin to delve into the array of fields that the school offers and find a major they are passionate about, whether it's nursing, engineering or philosophy.

On the reverse side, students can learn the possible negative effects of not going to college and halting their academic path. Poverty and disease tend to go hand in hand, and typically linked with the two is the lack of a college or even a high school degree.

"They are things you don't necessarily think about, but these differences have persisted in the last decade and it's a problem," Bernstein said.

While the stress of applying for college and the cost of tuition can loom over some students' heads, the ultimate benefits - years of happiness, healthier lives and greater financial security - are worth the investment.