- Research your career goal. Identify the type of position you want and look into it. Call employers and ask them what sort of education or certification they require for workers in that position. Speak with people who currently hold this type of job and find out about their educational background.
- Compare programs. Locate multiple programs and compare every aspect of them. At graduation are you awarded a certificate, a license, a degree? How long is the program and what's the cost? Are internships or apprenticeships offered?
- Alternatives. Find out if the whole education must be completed at this institution or if you can transfer in credits from a lower cost alternative such as a community college.
- Other Costs. Will the training require you to purchase your own supplies and materials? What will the cost of your tools, equipment, supplies and books be?
- Facilities and instructors. Make sure you setup a time to tour the campus before enrolling. Meet some of the instructors and find out about their qualifications.
- Success rate and alumni. Ask what percentage of students who enroll go on to graduate and find jobs. What's the dropout rate? Request to be put in touch with some alumni to get their perspective on the training they received.
- Financial Aid. Is financial assistance available from the school? Can federal financial aid dollars be applied?
- Licensed and accredited. Find out if the school is licensed, this is usually done by a state agency. Also look for accreditation, which is usually done through a private agency or association.
- Background check. You'll want to know if the institution has had any consumer complaints against it. Check with the and your state's Attorney General's office. Verify that the school has a good reputation when you speak with potential employers or those already working in the field.
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