If you’re a resident of California, particularly the southern part of the state, you have a lot of choices when it comes to choosing local colleges and universities. That’s because The Golden State has some of the world’s best-ranked community colleges, four-year institutions, and grad schools. UCLA, USC, and Cal Berkeley are just a few of the best-known examples out of at least 50 to choose from. Plus, whether you just graduated from high school or are a returning adult headed back to complete a degree, there are a few California-specific tips that can enhance your educational experience. The whole process starts with selecting the university or other institution that meets your needs.
After arranging for financing, cutting costs by living at home or nearby for one or two years, consider adding a few Spanish language courses to your curriculum and leveraging the power of being near the Pacific Ocean if you major in science, environmental studies, or oceanography. California residents and recent high school grads who choose to remain in-state while pursuing a four-year or grad degree have a lot going for them, both in terms of lower tuition fees (in-state charges are typically very low at public institutions), proximity to Mexico, and the chance to enjoy the Pacific coastline on weekends. Here’s more about how to make the most of your geographic location when you head to college.
Choose a School
California has some of the world’s best private and public colleges and universities. Consider yourself fortunate to be an in-state resident who can take advantage of low tuition rates. Your first step is to choose a school that has what you want in terms of majors, extracurricular activities, student life, career centers, and on-campus job opportunities.
Get a Cost Estimate ASAP
Getting your degree and paying for it are the two biggest hurdles for any prospective student. To get the financing challenge out of the way, you should strongly consider taking out an education loan with a private lender. There’s even a simple student loan calculator you can use online. It’s a great tool to give a rough estimate of what you’ll pay on a monthly basis after graduating and getting a job. When you deal with finances first, it’s much easier to focus on coursework, getting excellent grades, and enjoying college.
Consider Staying Close to Home
Living at home or living close to home for the first two years of college can save you a ton of money in transportation and housing costs and is one of many crucial money tips for college students. If your parents are okay with you living at home, don’t pass up the opportunity to do so. It’s a way to significantly cut the cost of an education.
California offers in-state students the chance to learn Spanish, study for a year in Mexico, and add foreign language competency to their resumes. Don’t miss out on this key opportunity because it not only expands your general educational experience but makes you much more attractive to potential employers. A second language opens plenty of doors for job seekers at all levels and in all career fields.