Sign up for our PoliticsNY newsletter for the latest coverage and to stay informed about the 2021 elections in your district and across New York City
Along with shopping for loved ones this holiday season, you might also consider treating yourself to a gift: a bachelor’s degree or graduate degree that opens the door to greater achievement and economic opportunity.
Most colleges in the New York City area have set a New Year’s Day deadline to register for next fall’s classes. You can choose to attend in person (provided you are vaccinated) or enroll in distance learning courses that you can fit into your schedule, from the comfort of your living room.
Always check with the college and university of your choice for more information on health and safety protocols for in-person classes.
If the cost of education scares you, don’t worry. New York educational institutions offer a variety of scholarships and grant programs; you can also apply for federal and state loans and assistance programs available.
Whether you’re an undergraduate fresh out of high school or ready to return to college after years away from the classroom, finding the right school and the right courses can be quite overwhelming.
The College Board, a nonprofit organization that aims to expand access to higher education for Americans, offers some tips for prospective students when considering enrolling:
1. Consider all of your available options. Don’t settle for just one college right away; Consider multiple applicants and choose the right one for you based on access, affordability, and educational opportunities, among other criteria.
2. Create the program that suits you. The path to a college degree is a marathon, not a sprint. Try not to schedule too many classes at the start to avoid burnout. Choose a schedule that meets the required number of semester credits, but also allows you to rest, study, prepare reports, and hone your skills.
3. Seek the help of an advisor. This is especially true for first-time students who might have difficulty creating a schedule. Contact an academic advisor in your area of interest to help you determine the best path forward.
4. Clear the basic requirements early on. Your early years in college should not only focus primarily on your field of study, but also the core curriculum so that you can focus more on your major as graduation day approaches.
5. Maintain balance in your class schedule. Try not to challenge yourself early on by taking more advanced courses. Save them for later in your college career.
6. Look for college credit and financial aid. Visit the College Board’s website, collegeboard.org, to find resources.
7. Take a writing course to help you better prepare for essays and adopt your writing style.
8. Register early. The earlier you register, the better your chances of getting the classes you want.