Learn as much as you can about a school you are considering before you enroll so that you can make a wise educational investment.  Below are some sample questions to ask and have answered before you enroll in a program.  Get assurances in writing from school representatives and verify this information with trusted sources. 

About the school:

  • Is the school public, private, non-profit or for-profit?
  • What is the student-faculty ratio overall and in the program I am considering?
  • What amount (as a percentage) does the school spend on educational instruction versus marketing and recruitment?
  • What is the school’s graduation rate overall and in the program I am considering? 

About the program:

  • How many courses are offered and needed to complete the program?
  • Is the program accredited?  
  • Will the program qualify for licensure (if applicable) in Massachusetts or elsewhere for my chosen career field? 
  • Are the program credits transferrable to other schools?  If yes, which schools?
  • Are there prerequisite courses (e.g., math, English proficiency) needed to enroll in the program?
  • Does the school accept transfer of existing or prior learning credits? Does the school offer credit for prior work/volunteer experience towards completion of the program?
  • Is there an internship requirement? If so, does the school assist with placement opportunities?

About costs, financial aid and student loans:

  • What is the total cost of admission, tuition, instructional materials and other mandatory fees?
  • What is the deadline (if any) for submitting a financial aid application?
  • Does the school itself offer any scholarships or other financial aid for which I may be eligible? 
  • What is the estimated student loan amount I need to borrow to complete the program? What is my projected monthly repayment rate upon completion of the program? 
  • What it the total (average) amount of student loan debt carried by graduates of this program?
  • What is the school’s loan default rate? In other words, what percentage of students cannot make timely payments of their student loans three years or more after leaving the school?
  • What is school’s cancellation and refund policy? What deadlines should I be aware of?
  • Is repayment required on my scholarships/grants/GI Bill benefits if I leave school without completing the program?

Career placement and other school resources:

  • What is the school’s job placement rate in my chosen career field for graduates of the program I am considering?
  • What is the average starting salary in my chosen career field?
  • Does the school provide career placement services and/or counseling?
  • What other resources (e.g., tutorial labs, libraries, training facilities, guidance counseling, veteran services) are available at the school to support my educational experience?
  • Is there an active alumni network? Can I speak to some recent alumni who are working in my chosen field?