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College Career Planning

Seeking higher education is big undertaking–it’s an exciting time to set your trajectory for young adulthood and beyond. Perhaps you’re thrilled at the prospect of tackling college. Maybe you’re overwhelmed and intimidated. Most likely, it’s a mixture of both. Either way, you’re doing the right thing; gathering information and resources can only help you find the right college and hone your research skills, which will serve you all through college and beyond.

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Higher education planning

High school students preparing for college face a lot of significant decisions, and this can easily become overwhelming. Choosing a school, declaring a major, lining up scholarships or student loans and figuring out living arrangements is a stressful process for everyone involved. Luckily, there are lots of online resources for students and their families. The key is to start gathering information as soon as possible–knowing your options well in advance will help you set a path that’s best for you, no stress required.

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College life advice for students

Once you’ve chosen a school and gotten your acceptance letter, it’s time to start thinking about what your day-to-day life as a college student will look like. You’ll find that, in college, you spend significantly less time in “school” than you did in high school–your classes, schedule and study habits are now entirely up to you. This presents opportunities to discover new passions and determine what skills and activities will be most important to you as an adult. It also presents potential pitfalls and new challenges, so ask for advice from people you trust who have been there.

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Preparing for graduate school

As you move toward the end of your undergraduate career, you might have identified a specialized field you want to keep studying and even teach or research long term. As a graduate student, you might be expected to teach undergraduate courses or do research for professors while you complete your own rigorous coursework and final projects. Before you apply, talk to professors in your prospective department, learn about its job market and see when you'll need to take the GRE, GMAT, LSAT or MCAT. Look for schools that are suited to your research interests and those that can help you network for jobs after graduation.

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Post graduation career planning

As you near graduation, you may–for the first time–be a little hesitant to bid farewell to your days as a student. Finding your first full-time job is intimidating, and few career paths start with big salaries. Moreover, you may be one of more than 44 million people in the U.S. with student loan debt, and chances are it's no small figure; as of 2015 the average outstanding student loan was $37,172. Try not to let these facts discourage you! Your job opportunities (and outstanding student loan payments) will only get better and better as time progresses. Build your resume and remember your progress is no longer measured by grades and a 4-year academic program.

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