Getting training after high school may help you get a better-paying
job doing work you like. But going to school is a big investment.
You're investing your time. Chances are you'll also have to invest
your own money or take out a student loan to go to
school. So you need to be sure that you're choosing the right
Talk to your counselor. Your school counselor is the first stop
for information about the options available to you. Counselors can
help you focus on your needs and goals, and they have information
about different types of schools. Your counselor also can help you
collect or prepare application materials.
Shop around. Contact more than one school. If you're
looking for vocational training, check the Yellow Pages under
"Schools" for phone numbers. If your area has a community college,
call the admissions office and find out what kinds of training the
Visit the school. Call the school and schedule a visit,
preferably while classes are being taught. Get a feel for the
school; make sure you're comfortable with the facilities, the
equipment, the teachers, and the students.
Don't be afraid to ask! A good school will be happy to
answer your questions about its programs. Ask the school about its
students: How many graduate? How many get jobs because of the
training they received? What kind of job placement services does the
school offer students and graduates?
Check the cost. Make sure the school gives you a clear
statement of its tuition and fees. Remember that any federal
financial aid you get will be applied first to paying the school's
tuition and fees. If there's any money left over, the school will
give it to you to help you pay for things such as food and rent.
Call these numbers. Call your local Better Business
Bureau, state higher education agency, or consumer protection
division of your state attorney general's office to find out whether
there have been any complaints about the school. Call the toll-free
number at the U.S. Department of Education's Federal Student Aid
Information Center (1-800-4-FED-AID) if you have any questions about
your financial aid at the school.