GED and Beyond – What College Options Are Available for My Child?

By Anita Ginsburg

The time after graduating high school or obtaining one’s GED can be filled with varying choices and paths. For a child that has been homeschooled, the options may seem overwhelming. With there being so many options, it is a decision that should be carefully and thoroughly researched, so as to find the perfect fit and environment. There are many factors that will ultimately be key in making this decision. After going through some factors you will want to consider, we will then delve into the different options that are out there.

Things You Should Consider…

One of the first things you will have to consider when making this decision is the cost factor. Depending on the location you are in or the type of school you choose, the cost can vary dramatically. Aside from the tuition, you will have to factor in costs such as books, transportation, and possibly lodging. Many scholarships and financial aid packages are available from universities, as well as outside sources. Investing a fair amount of time applying for scholarships can be very beneficial when it comes to the cost of education. Aid in the form of student loans is another option that many students are finding themselves choosing due to rising education costs.

Something else you will need to consider is the environment and size of the school. Going from homeschooling to attending classes outside the home, will be a big change for most. For some, the idea of going to a university that has tens of thousands of students may be overwhelming. For others, they may want to be surrounded by many new faces and options for courses to integrate more successfully.

A final consideration for any student will be what they hope to get out of their education. Someone who eventually hopes to earn a master’s or doctorate, will most likely start at a 4 year university. However, for someone who wishes to specialize in a skilled trade or vocation, a 4 year university may not be the best fit.

The Options Available

Higher education affords plenty of options for prospective students. Community colleges generally offer two-year degrees and are a local, affordable option. Public universities are generally less expensive and give students many options for majors and higher degrees, like this Masters in nursing education. If you plan to go to school in a different state from the one in which you reside, plan on paying a far higher rate, than if you are in-state. Private colleges or universities are another option that, although substantially higher in cost, may offer smaller class sizes and more catered learning environments. Many people choose to attend vocational schools where one can specialize in a specific trade. This option is ideal for those who know they possess a skill or want to enter a specific career pathway.

Whatever you may decide, always remember that many people try a major or higher education path that does not initially fit for them. Entering college after homeschooling will be a big change that may require a change in plans at a certain point. Remember that courses from community colleges can be transferred to other universities. Many people will test the waters by earning their associate degree before going on to a bachelors or masters. There is a wide world out there and only you will know what is best.

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