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Exploring Postsecondary Options

Postsecondary is any education option after high school. Options may include two-year College, four- year College or university, independent private career schools, the military, or apprenticeships (on-the- job training).



Seven Things to Consider When Choosing a Post-Secondary Education


1.  What are you interested in?

Math, biology or engineering? The most important factor when choosing a postsecondary education is to find a program that you’re interested in. Pick a program you can see yourself studying and enjoying. The next step is to research to see if the school you are considering has the academic program you’re interested in. Here are a few more questions to get you started:

  • What subjects are you interested in?
  • What programs relate to those subjects?
  • What are the admission requirements?
  • Can the program lead to further education, like a master’s degree, law, medical school?
  • Can you participate in research during your studies?
  • Do you have the opportunity to study abroad?
  • What services are available on campus to help you be successful?

2.  Where is the campus located?

This might be the first time that you live away from home, family and friends.

  • How far do you want to be from home?
  • Is it easy for you to get home by car, public transit, plane or train?
  • Would you prefer to live in a larger, more diverse city, or something a bit smaller and more relaxed?
  • Or, do you want to live at home while attending school?

3.  How does the campus look and feel?

You’re going to spend a lot of time on campus, so make sure you narrow down what you’re looking for in a postsecondary education.

  • Do you want a big school that offers more opportunities for undergraduate research or a wider breadth of courses, or would you prefer something smaller where professors actually know your name?
  • Are the students at the school enthusiastic, proud and happy?
  • What amenities are offered on campus, or nearby?

4.  What is your learning style?

Based on your experience in high-school, do you find you work better with more one-on-one teaching or are you comfortable with self-directed study?

  • Do you prefer hands-on, individualized learning or more theoretical learning?
  • Do you want a broad education that can be applied to a variety of situations and careers?
  • Would you prefer a narrowed focus that provides specific information needed for a future career path?

5.  Consider the career paths you might want to pursue

It’s difficult to choose a career when you’re still in high-school, but if you focus on what you enjoy doing and combine that with a practical career path it will narrow it down.

If you’re someone who has already decided on a career goal, what kind of postsecondary education will you require to be successful and in demand once you graduate? Will you need a diploma or a bachelor’s degree to be competitive? These are only some of the questions you should consider when deciding on your postsecondary education.

6.  What do you want from your postsecondary education experience?

A large part of the postsecondary education experience is your life on-campus. It can be a difficult transition from high-school and your life outside of class will be important to your success and happiness.

  • Do you want to live on campus or share an off-campus house or apartment with friends?
  • What kind of events can you attend on campus?
  • Does the campus offer clubs or groups where you can socialize, make friends with common interests, or help with studies?
  • Can you volunteer within the community?
  • Are there cool places to eat or shop within the community?
  • What sports teams can you join?

7.  Understand what it will cost

Have you budgeted to cover your costs? Planning to pursue a postsecondary education is a big decision and one of the most significant investments you will make and should be treated as such. Here are some things to think about:

  • How much is tuition?
  • What else do you need to pay for besides tuition, i.e. textbooks, residence, bus pass, parking pass, etc.?
  • How much scholarship or bursary money is available?
  • Are there opportunities to work part-time on campus?