Choosing a College

Higher education is any education beyond high school. This includes trade school and community college, as well as public and private colleges and universities.

To determine the type of education you should pursue, it’s helpful to have a sense of the jobs you would like and the education and skills necessary to obtain those jobs. Research careers to help you focus your college search.

Once you know the educational degree you need for your desired career, you can research educational programs and colleges in and outside of Maine using the tools below.

Research Schools

It’s important to take the time to find the right school for you – geographically, academically, socially, and financially! Consider the topics below and use these tools to find schools that might be a good fit:

Field of Study

Before choosing a college, consider what you would like to study and your career goals. Research schools that offer programs that will help you achieve those goals.

Clubs and Organizations

College isn’t just about expanding your skills and knowledge – it’s also about meeting new people and discovering new interests. Research colleges that offer clubs or organizations that allow you to continue hobbies you are already involved in or offer an opportunity to try some new ones.


A key factor when selecting a school is its location. For many students, college is an opportunity to call a new place home. Since you’ll be spending the majority of your time on campus, it’s important to enjoy the location. Consider weather, culture, and size when researching schools.


The goal of accreditation is to make sure that an educational program or institution meets standards of quality that will allow credentials earned to be used for education at a different institution or for employment. To determine if schools are accredited, visit the U.S. Department of Education.

Financial Aid

Most schools offer federal student financial aid, but some do not. Those that don’t offer financial aid can be more expensive. If you are unsure whether a school you are interested in offers federal financial aid, contact the school directly.


When it comes to affordability, what really matters is how much a school is going to cost you to attend. Students should focus on net price – the cost of attending a school after grants and scholarships. In some cases, schools with the lowest published price, such as public colleges and universities, are the most affordable. In other cases, more expensive schools provide larger grants and scholarships, resulting in a lower net price and making them more affordable. Research the net price of schools using each school’s Net Price Calculator, which can typically be found on the financial aid page of the school’s website.

Graduation Rate and Job Placement

Research the graduation rate and job placement statistics of colleges you’re interested in attending. Higher graduation and job placement rates often signify a school with a strong professional network and successful internship or job placement programs.