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The KnowHow2Go site offers steps middle and high school students can take toward college.

College Information
Students can choose between community colleges, public colleges, private colleges or for-profit institutions.

Community colleges often offer the lowest tuition rates. Students can go to a community college and receive a two-year or associate’s degree or they can transfer those credits to a four-year university. Community colleges usually don’t offer housing and students commute to class.

Nearby community colleges that offer Darke County residents in-state tuition rates:

Edison Community College
Sinclair Community College
Ivy Tech-Richmond

Four-year colleges and universities offer four-year or bachelor’s degrees. Many also offer advanced degrees. Some universities, such as Ohio State and Wright State, have branch campuses. Public universities have tuition rates for in-state and out-of-state students, with out-of-state students paying more. Darke County students can also attend Ball State University in Muncie, Ind., at the school’s in-state tuition rate.

Ohio has 14 public universities. They include:

Bowling Green State University
Central State University
Cleveland State University
Kent State University
Miami University
Northeast Ohio Medical University
Ohio State University
Ohio University
Shawnee State University
University of Akron
University of Cincinnati
University of Toledo
Wright State University
Youngstown State University
Ball State University, Muncie, Ind.

Private colleges and universities usually have a higher tuition rate than public schools. However, many of these colleges also offer more financial aid. In some cases, it may be less expensive to attend a private school than a public school. If you are considering a private college or university, it may be wise to apply to a mix of public and private schools. Some private colleges in Ohio include:

Antioch College
Ashland University
Baldwin Wallace University
Bluffton University
Capital University
Case Western Reserve University
Cedarville College
College of Mount St. Joseph
Columbus College of Art and Design
Defiance College
Denison University
Franklin University
Heidelberg University
John Carroll University
Kenyon College
Kettering College
Lake Erie College
Marietta College
Muskingum College
Oberlin College
Ohio Northern University
Ohio Wesleyan University
Otterbein University
Tiffin University
University of Dayton
University of Findlay
University of Northwestern Ohio
Urbana University
Wilmington College
Wittenberg University
Xavier University

For a complete list of Ohio’s private colleges, click here.


Most four-year colleges and universities require students take a standardized test, such as the ACT or SAT, as part of the admissions process.

As sophomores, students should take the ACT Plan test. This test measures academic progress in high school. By taking this test as a sophomore, students still have time to adjust their high school courses. The Plan has content similar to the ACT test. For more information about the PLAN, click here.

As juniors, students should consider taking the Preliminary STA/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT). This standardized test gives students practice for the SAT and is a chance to enter the NMSC scholarship programs. For more information about the PSAT, click here.

Most Ohio colleges prefer the ACT test. This test should be taken during the student’s junior year in high school. Students must register for the test online. The registration deadline is usually a month before the test. If a student is eligible for free or reduced lunch, the student may be able to take the test for free. The student should ask his guidance counselor for a free waiver form. For information about the ACT, click here.

Highly-selective colleges and those outside the Midwest often prefer the SAT test. This test should also be taken during the student’s junior year. For information about the SAT, click here.


Career Exploration
When considering careers, students should look at both the education required and the job outlook. Below are several websites that have useful information.

The Occupational Outlook Handbook is the government's premier source of career guidance featuring hundreds of occupations.

The Ohio Labor Market Information site offers reports and data about employment levels, unemployment rates, wages and earnings, employment projections, jobs, training resources and careers.

The Career Key offers a career interest inventory.


Paying for College
For an overview of Federal Student Aid, click here.

FinAid! offers lots of helpful information on financial aid.
The Wall Street Journal has a special section on education and publishes articles frequently about paying for college.
The New York Times also offers a special section on college.

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