Navigating your way to the right college


Navigating your way to the right college

by: Kim Suchek | .
. | .
published: September 25, 2013

Hello military community,

Last week, I listed some resources to help with ensuring student success. But the first step is picking the college that fits your long-term goals. Students who find out they made the wrong choice after enrolling in classes often lose focus and sometimes even drop out – with student debt and/or depleted GI Bill benefits.

There are several programs and resources which are designed to help students make wise college choices. Here are a couple of my favorites.

  • The College Navigator ( is provided by The Department of Education and allows students to reach one or more schools based on the criteria they select. This site displays programs offered, retention and graduation rates, accreditation, tuition and fees, and the available aid at each institution.

This site also allows users to compare up to four different institutions, including community colleges, four-year colleges and technical schools.

  • The College Affordability and Transparency Center ( is another Department of Education program which provides information to students and parent consumers about college costs. It serves as a central point to several tools that allow users to compare college tuitions and fees, net price and other characteristics. The CATC is maintained by the Office of Postsecondary Education with support and technical assistance from the National Center of Education Statistics.

The CATC includes the College Scorecard, which is one of the newest tools for helping students select the school that best fits their needs and budget. This planning tool assists users with choosing a school by providing a snapshot of an institution’s affordability and value.

This tool allows the user to search for a school by name or based on individual preference. The results focus on cost, graduation, student loan debt and earning potential.

I hope these sites will provide you the assistance you need. Please write in and tell me your experience with them or another resource you may have found that helps you even more.

Blessings from my family to yours,

Kim Suchek

If you have any questions or concerns or would like to share a story or situation, contact me at and visit my website at for updated information and other resources not listed in my book.