The cost of going to college involves a wide variety of factors from tuition, books and housing to travel, equipment, clothing, food and more. Many individuals are entering college well after high school and may have job and family-related expenses to consider. Additionally, the College Board cites in the 2016 Trends in College Pricing report that students are taking longer to graduate, which results in higher education costs due to delays in obtaining the rewards of post-college earnings.
In the U.S. News & World Report and other national rankings, Princeton University frequently vies with Harvard for the top spot. The schools, however, are very different. Princeton's attractive 500-acre campus is located in a town of about 30,000 people, and the urban centers of Philadelphia and New York City are each about an hour away. With just over 5,000 undergrads and about 2,600 grad students, Princeton has a much more intimate educational environment than many of the other top universities.

Sometimes it feels like there are too many things to get involved in, especially with the weight of academics on our shoulders, but not everyone experiences this the same way. One of my favorite things is the identity centers like the Women's Center, Black Cultural Center and KC Potter (LGBTQ) Center who provide students with fun and informative programming and the comforts of home. Plus, can you ever go wrong living at an arboretum?
Freshman: As a freshman at Tufts, I am constantly blown alway by endless opportunities available to undergraduate students at various academic departments, student-run organizations, and Tisch College of Civic Engagement. Students are here to learn from a wide range of perspectives and always listen carefully to one another to reexamine their thoughts. Even in today's political divisiveness, I find Tufts students relatively open-minded and tolerant to perspectives and thoughts that might be contrary to their own. Furthermore, as a student who plans on majoring in International Relations, I am always struck by how organized the program is here at Tufts. Professors and students are experts in their field, and I can easily see future diplomats and leading scholars in my classroom. There are conferences at the Fletcher school almost every week where leading scholars and researchers come and speak. I love Tufts!
UPenn is located in Philadelphia, a city with a lot to do, whether the goal is leisure and entertainment or career advancement and research for a project. But the campus itself is beautiful and busy enough to trap you. There is always something going on, especially if you commit to activities and clubs that interest you. And lastly, everything from your classmates to the professor bring alive that feeling that gives UPenn its cannon as an Ivy League; beyond academic excellence, its people are friendly, intellectually curious, driven, and serviceable, willing to share their passions and desire to grow with others.
Alum: Northwestern is a well-balanced school--top notch academics, great arts programs, amazing engineering and science facilities, in a minor city (Evanston) and very close to a major one (Chicago), and even a bit of sports culture. NU students tend to be fun-loving, driven and ambitious, both in their academic and extra-curricular pursuits. It's definitely a work-hard-play-hard atmosphere when you're on campus, and while there is danger in this as you can easily over-extend yourself (and many students do at some point), it makes for a fulfilling four years.
Alum: I loved the campus and the teachers, especially my professors. I really got a chance to connect with them while on campus! I loved their teaching methods; they really let us explore the topics we covered, by ourselves, and with our own interest. They gave us constructive criticism and we gladly grew and flourished in that environment. I would like to change one though, and that is the parking on campus. Harvard has a major parking problem, and that should really be taken a look at.
Cappex.com, a free website that connects students with colleges and scholarships, studied college search behavior by the more than a million students that use their platform to search for colleges each year. Cappex found that while Ivy-league name recognition is high on the list for high school freshmen when they first think about college, students become more in tune with other factors by the time senior year rolls around. In addition to academics, geography and being close to family rank high on the list for seniors searching for a college and are two big reasons Florida is a popular choice. Moderate sunny weather is a huge attraction for students and if extended family or grandparents live in Florida to provide support and connection to home, all the better.
Choosing a college is one of those monumental life decisions that will determine your future in a variety of ways. Today there are numerous academic options available, and whether it be traditional colleges, online colleges, or a hybrid of both, College Choice offers numerous free online resources to help you in your college search, including our unique student-centered college rankings, admissions advice, scholarship and financial aid information, and much much more. Here you will find the information you need to find, get into, pay for, and thrive in the best college for you.
Today’s graduates, more than ever before, also venture out on their own to create a career. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports more than 15.5 million people (10% of the workforce) are self-employed across a variety of occupations, with Florida’s self-employment rate equal to the national average. Add to this a continued trend in remote employment and the job opportunities expand even more.
Junior: Brown University has been an incredible experience and has allowed me to pursue passions that I wasn't even aware I was interested in! The unique open curriculum allows students to take courses from a broad range of subjects and helps to ensure they find the right area of study. I personally believed I wanted to go into biomedical engineering, however, after taking a variety of classes at Brown in environmental studies, I have switched my major. Every teacher, student, and dean is so incredibly passionate about the work and everyone is constantly striving to be better which makes the University an amazing place and experience!
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Please Note: Before you invest, consider whether your or the beneficiary’s home state offers any state tax or other state benefits such as financial aid, scholarship funds, and protection from creditors that are only available for investments in that state’s qualified tuition program. You also should consult a financial, tax, or other advisor to learn more about how state-based benefits (or any limitations) would apply to your specific circumstances. You also may wish to contact directly your home state’s 529 plan(s), or any other 529 plan, to learn more about those plan’s features, benefits and limitations. Keep in mind that state-based benefits should be one of many appropriately weighted factors to be considered when making an investment decision.
Sophomore: The culture at Rice is amazing! We are a diverse community of scholars who value collaboration, not cut-throat competition. We value what known as a "culture of care," and I believe this makes us unique from all other elite schools. The professors are amazing, classes push you and challenge former beliefs, and the community becomes family. Rice University is an amazing place, even with intense academics.
Florida’s public and private colleges and universities earn international recognition for their academic achievements, experienced faculty and cutting-edge research, as noted in the links below. Florida is often a sought-after college destination for students interested in environmental, biological and chemical sciences due to the exceptional access to unique ecosystems, space and technology research, and medical and clinical services programs.

Jennifer McCarthy combines business acumen and emotional intelligence to make sure the healthcare operations she oversees never lose sight of patient needs and satisfaction. As a healthcare executive with a passion for business and healthcare delivery, Jennifer has served in various c-suite positions within large health systems including, most recently, hospital CEO. Her time with Health First, Orlando Health, and Inova, Inc., has allowed her the opportunity to serve others, make sustainable, significant operational impacts to billion-dollar organizations, and improve the lives and health of the community in which she works.
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