You should verify that the college or education program you are interested in is certified as accredited. An accredited institution has met acceptable standards of quality. The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Postsecondary Education (OPE) has a database of accredited institutions.
Career or Technical Schools
You may choose to earn a certificate, degree, or diploma from a career or technical school that will train you for a specific career, trade, or profession. The Department of Education's Career Colleges and Technical School's site can help you:
Ask the right questions.
Find and choose a program.
Locate information about paying for a career or technical education.
Military Colleges and Academies
There are practical and financial benefits to pursuing an education with the military. Learn more about education programs available.
When calculating the cost for college, use this student budget calculator. Enter tuition costs, room and board, other expenses, and how much money you have in student loans or grants to estimate where you stand financially.
If you are a parent, make sure your college bound child gets involved in the process. Federal Student Aid helps students learn to manage their money in college and avoid common scams that target students.
Paying for College
There are a variety of methods to pay for your college education:
Many state governments have created 529 plans that make it easier for families to save for their child’s education. These plans encourage saving for future college costs, and the earnings grow tax-free. Visit collegesavings.org to learn about the plans available in each state.
Many students take out personal student loans. Student loans require repayment and loan terms will vary.
Grants or Scholarships
You may qualify for merit-based or financial-need based grants or scholarships. They can come from federal or state government or private organizations. Find scholarship information and use the Scholarship Search to locate scholarship opportunities.
Phone: 1-800-MIS-USED (1-800-647-8733) Hours of Operation: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9 a.m. until 11 a.m. ET, and Tuesday and Thursday from 1 p.m. until 3 p.m. ET, except for federal holidays.
Office for Civil Rights enforces several Federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination in programs or activities that receive federal financial assistance from the Department of Education. Contact their office directly at 1-800-421-3481 or locate one of their enforcement offices.
School or College
Use this guide if you have a complaint against a specific school or college.
Many college campuses offer health services on site and have a security staff. You may wish to consult with your college for information on these services. Call 911 or local law enforcement to report emergencies.