Exploring Career Interests, Programs of Study, and Colleges

  • Your career is integral to your life satisfaction, your success, and your identity. What lifestyle do you want to live, and what do you want to spend your time doing to be able to live that life? What do you enjoy doing and what is fulfilling for you to do, which at the same time is valuable to or provides something for others? What are your interests, and what are your strengths? Interests, abilities, values, the work environment itself, and things like job growth, earnings, and benefits are all important things to consider.

    How you measure up: Naviance will show you self-reported student data based on CHS graduates' admission to certain schools.  Additionally, you can usually find nationwide information about the average GPA and test scores (along with demographic and other information) of a school's current freshman class somewhere on the school's admissions website, the school's CFNC profile, its CollegeBoard profile, or another source. It is usually called something like a Freshman Class Profile. This information is a great measuring stick with which you can gauge whether a school is closer to being a reach (you aren't all that confident that you will be admitted), a safety school (you are fairly confident you will be admitted), or something in between. Of course, you should absolutely review any school's Minimum College Admissions Requirements when considering whether to apply.

    Is money no object? When considering schools, up-front, sticker-price cost can be discouraging. Please remember that there is a lot of financial aid that can be provided from many different sources. Cost certainly should be a major consideration before your final decision, but do not let cost alone deter you from considering and applying to a school. You may get offered a financial aid package that makes a school with a more expensive sticker price more affordable in the end than one with a less expensive sticker price.

     myintuition.org is a great way to quickly estimate and compare actual projected cost of attendance, including estimated financial aid, vs. a college's up-front, sticker price.

     collegecost.ed.gov provides some great reports and tools to explore college's net costs and to compare price in relation to graduation rates, loan default rates, median borrowing amounts, and employment statistics.

    Exceptional Students - Most colleges will have some sort of Disability Services staff to help provide you with accommodations and services needed; however, you will need to advocate for yourself and seek the services out. Some schools even have specialized programs to help students who have had IEPs or 504s in high school transition to college, such as ECU's Project STEPP.

    Undocumented Students - Undocumented students can still attend most colleges; however, they usually must pay out-of-state tuition for public colleges and community colleges. These students should see their school counselor to discuss how colleges can still consider the student’s financial need via the FAFSA and private aid. Plus, there are many scholarships you can apply for regardless of citizenship status. See our Scholarships page, and be sure to read any scholarship opportunity’s eligibility requirements carefully.