There are 142 colleges in Florida – how do you narrow down your search for the perfect graduate school? Here are some tips for how to figure out which one might be just right for you.
1. Know your career field. U.S. News and World Report advises students to find out as much as possible about their intended career before choosing a school. It’s difficult to know whether you will enjoy a job in a particular career field, so getting experience through informational interviews, shadowing professionals in your field, and internships can be important first steps to take before deciding on a graduate program or school.
2. Visit each campus. Schools can sound great on paper, but it’s difficult to get a good idea of the campus atmosphere or culture until you see and experience it yourself. Think carefully about how comfortable you would feel living there for a few years and what amenities you consider essential. Features to ponder might include the beach, nice dorm rooms or apartments in close proximity and work opportunities.
3. Evaluate the staff, from admissions to advisors. Is the admissions office responsive to questions via email or in person? Will a potential department advisor meet with you and answer questions? Can reception staff point you in the right direction to get your questions answered? If you have problems getting the staff to help you as a potential student, you may very well have even more problems when you are actually enrolled.
4. Look at job placement and recruiting partnerships. How hard does the job placement office work to form relationships with local companies looking to recruit new employees? A good job placement office can make it a lot easier to find employment after graduation and open up opportunities you may not have access to on your own. Every college has its own distinct culture and atmosphere.
5. Cost and Financial Aid. Loans are easy to get for graduate school, but you can save tens of thousands of dollars by comparing costs between schools and scholarship opportunities. Just like undergraduate programs vary greatly in their costs and financial aid available, graduate schools can show a wide variation as well.
6. Focus of the program. If you want to do research, you don’t want to go to a school with a practical or academic focus. Even if you can match your preferred focus, you should look at the faculty interests to make sure at least one or two of them are a good match with your specific interests within a discipline or subject area. Florida Institute of Technology offers numerous graduate level programs and is highly ranked by U.S. News and World Report, Forbes and Superscholar.org for its business and science programs among both Florida colleges and nationwide. Request information on our graduate programs to see whether FIT might be a good fit for you.