Know Before You Go: 5 Sites to Find Your Perfect School

A college degree is a valuable thing, and earning one takes dedication and hard work. That is why it is essential that you pick the right school in which to enroll. To ensure that you will have the best educational experience possible, conduct some preliminary research on the school you are considering with these five helpful sites:

Federal Trade Commission’s Diploma Mill Resource
Unfortunately, when it comes to online education, there are plenty of fake schools and scam programs that prey on those desiring a college degree. Diploma mills are illegitimate schools or programs that charge unsuspecting learners a hefty price for a fake degree. These degrees are not accepted by employers and are essentially just worthless pieces of paper. Oftentimes, those who are scammed by diploma mills do not recover their money. The FTC’s guide to recognizing diploma mills is highly useful to ensure that you do not fall victim to a fake school that will waste your time and your money.

U.S. Department of Education Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs
After you’ve read about diploma mills, finding out whether the school you’re interested in is accredited is a priority. This website allows for users to look up the accreditation agencies of specific schools. It lists only the schools that are accredited by agencies that the Department of Education deems to be reliable authorities on education standards and practices.

College Navigator
For statistics, student population breakdowns, and school trend breakdowns, visit College Navigator, a resource offered by the National Center for Education Statistics. This tool lists every school in the country, as well as in-depth information on each of them. Interested learners can find out the school’s student-to-faculty ratio, popular financial aid options, campus setting, and many other aspects of the college. All of these details can aid in your decision of whether a certain university is a good match for you.
One of the few sites that ranks online universities and provides student-penned reviews, has a large collection of student accounts on school and program quality. Potential students can read about other students’ experiences and either avoid making the same mistakes that previous students made or follow in the footsteps of those who had positive experiences. Hearing the tales of other students who have gone to the school is immensely helpful in understanding the college before you enroll.
This website offers students the chance to see schools graded by other students. Using a "report card" system, schools are graded on academics, faculty, student life, amenities, and other aspects that greatly color the way a school feels. Interested learners can find out what other students think about an institution’s course difficulty, faculty friendliness, typical classmate attitudes, and other interesting factors.

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