Tech school, community college, private college, or university?

computertraining1Tech school, community college, private college, or university? Which would be best for me?

Again, talk with your parents, guidance counselor, or anyone in a career you think you’d like. Ask what school they attended.

Develop a list of schools you are interested in and contact them for more information. What tests and qualifications are required for admission? Know your options!

I can’t afford it.

Most college students and their families don’t write a check for their college education. Financial aid is available and is based on your family’s ability to pay for college.

Besides, after looking at how much more an education can pay you over a lifetime, how can you NOT afford it? Talk with your high school guidance counselor.

Read Affording Higher Education, a KHEAA book that lists 3,200 financial aid sources available to Kentucky students. It’s available at

Every plan has to have its first steps. Once you decide what general career direction you want to pursue, meet with your guidance counselor to discuss what classes to take to fit into your higher education goals.

What about…

Community activities: Volunteered for your church’s bake sale? Helped someone learn to read? Picked up trash during Commonwealth Clean-Up Week?

Make a list of school and community activities as well as your volunteer and work experiences. Come up a little short? It’s not too late to dive into a little community service, helping your community – and your college applications – at the same time!

Visit businesses: Ask your teachers or counselor about a co-op or internship program that can put you to work making contacts and exploring careers while making money to help pay for college.

Stacking up: How does your coursework (so far) stack up to college admission requirements? Do you meet the basic requirements of what you are aiming for, or do you need to make some adjustments to your schedule?

You should be familiar with your Individual Graduation Plan, which you have reviewed each year with your guidance counselor. To pursue a Kentucky college education, you must meet the Precollege Curriculum requirements.

Bonus high school courses

Dual credit courses count for both high school and college credit. They can save you time and money in pursuing your education goals, so they are worth checking out. Visit the Kentucky Virtual High School’s Discover College Online for more information.

CLEP program

The College-Level Examination Program offers more than 30 tests for subjects often taken during the first two college years. Many colleges use CLEP scores to award college credit. Some private industries, businesses, and other groups use CLEP scores to satisfy requirements for licensing, advancement, and admissions to training programs.

Commonwealth Diploma

A Commonwealth Diploma is awarded to seniors who complete 22 credit units, meet all minimum requirements of the Precollege Curriculum, and who get a grade of “C” or better in four Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) courses in English, science, and a foreign language, plus another AP/IB course. Students must also complete three AP or IB exams in those subject areas.

These courses could also count as dual credit for both high school graduation and college.

Check with both your high school guidance counselor and the colleges you are interested in attending for more information. AP or IB courses may also be available through the Kentucky Virtual High School, independent study, or a college or university.

Institutional challenge exam

You can also take a test to prove you are proficient in a subject matter at a higher education institution. If you can pass the test, you can get credit for the course without having taken (or even paid) for it. Ask the colleges you are considering if this option is available.

Tech classes

Interested in a technical field like welding, information technology, health science, or carpentry? You may want to take technical education classes offered at 53 Kentucky area technology centers. Most Kentucky Tech credits will transfer to the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS).

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