You know you’re ready to take the next step toward achieving your goals, which involves continuing your education. But, before you hit “apply,” do you know what else you should consider? Reach out to your program student success specialist or advisor to discuss the following three items more in-depth.

1.   Program Options

It can be overwhelming looking at all the degrees, certificates, and licenses available to you. First, you’ll want to consider your state licensing or board certification requirements before you apply. Then, make sure your selected program is the best fit for your personal and professional goals. Find out if additional certificates or minors complement the program and will make you more marketable in the long-run.

2. Cost

You can estimate how much your program may cost; however, there are many factors to determine the total cost of a program, including:

  • The number of semesters to complete your degree
  • How many courses you take each term
  • Additional expenses, such as technology or course fees

Be sure to check if financial aid is available for your program. If it is, then you’ll want to submit your FAFSA in addition to your application as soon as possible.

3.  Application Process

Application deadlines tend to sneak up on students, especially when they vary by program. With that said, it’s best to review the admission requirements and plan weeks before submitting your application, allowing enough time to gather all of the materials needed. For example, transcripts can take anywhere from days to a few weeks to arrive, depending on your prior institution’s delivery method.

Note that not all programs require additional materials, but it can be a time-consuming task for the programs that do. The materials that often require time to gather and review include:

  • Entrance exam scores
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Portfolios
  • Resumes
  • Placement test scores

If you are an international applicant, you may have different materials to gather other than what is above. International applicants will find additional information here.

Once all of your materials are ready to submit, you may find yourself staring at the screen thinking, What type of application do I select now? There are a few different applications based on your program and background. For graduate programs, follow the prompts here. For undergraduate programs, you will find instructions here. For each program application, you’ll also need to pay a $60 fee, unless you’re a Ball State University alumnus or were enrolled in a Ball State degree-seeking program in the past. Whether you were an online or on-campus student, all previous Ball State students can apply for free.

After submitting your application, the decision process will take some time. Again, this process varies depending on the program you’ve selected, but you can always check your status on your applicant portal.

If, at any point during the application and admissions process, you have questions or need help, remember that you have a student success specialist or advisor who will always have your back. All you need to do is ask!

For more tips, advice, and resources, remember to visit Ball State Online’s blog, FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.