America has an incredible array of educational opportunities with the most diverse group of students of any country. Immigrants that are looking to higher education in the U.S. have many choices and options, but the importance lies in understanding all of the variations available to make the right selection.
Many of the colleges, universities and trade schools in the United States are public institutions and are funded by tax dollars. While these are the lower cost schools, there are higher costs associated with tuition, books, and residency. The advanced educational opportunities can encompass a great expense. Private universities will be the highest in cost consideration. There are a number of grant and scholarship programs that are offered in every state and these can assist a student in almost every aspect, including residency and living costs.
Almost every larger town in the U.S. has one or more trade schools. These schools specialize in offering skill-specific classes and instruction. Today’s trade schools offer everything from computer classes, police and fire department training, automotive and boat engine technicians all the way to administrative classes. Students that attend trade schools typically use them either as a spring board to go to a community college, or are just not interested in pursuing a college or university degree but instead refine a specific skill. Trade schools usually have a campus for attendance but do not include any resident offerings. Many of the students take advantage of living at home and the costs for the classes are greatly reduced from the standard colleges.
Community colleges can be an excellent choice to begin an educational process. These environments allow students to attend classes for up to a Bachelor’s Degree as well as carry the credits to the University level. Community colleges, like trade schools, are campus only and typically don’t offer any residency options. Students can attend a community college for a lesser cost while they make their decisions on the type of degree they want to pursue. Instruction at the community college level has excelled so that many of the teachers and professors offer equivalent class information as one might find in the higher cost universities.
The university level is designed to accommodate the student that is looking for advanced education involving a four year degree. The environment typically offers on campus residency as well as off-campus living options. While this is the higher cost option, there are a number of scholarship, PEL and grant programs that are university-specific. A majority of the universities offer post graduate Masters and Doctorial programs for those that want to continue their educational pursuits. University degrees also carry a higher weight of respect within the business community.
Internet colleges have become a very popular choice, especially for those that must work while they attend a college. The classes are usually of the same quality, with the option of virtual classes and instruction. The advantage of the internet is that the student can attend and study on their own schedule while achieving the goal of a degree as well as working and not having the additional residency costs associated with universities. Many of the internet colleges offer advanced degrees for those that are continuing their education. The cost is dependent upon the individual college and some can be very inexpensive or as high as attending a standard university. Some of the larger internet schools now offer campus locations for those that want to combine in person and virtual instruction.
If you are unsure which type of school that you should attend, there are a number of college counselors that are available to discuss your interest, financial ability, needs and potential scholarships and programs to assist you.