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Questions to Ask Interior Design Colleges

When you have chosen the interior design degree that you want to earn, you can begin the process of assessing your school options. Location will be an important issue, especially if the college must be within commuting distance from your Maricopa AZ home. Of course if you have decided on attending a school online, or are prepared to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualifier. The fee for tuition will limit your choices as well. But selecting the cheapest college or the one that is closest to home are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other things that you should consider as well, including the accreditation and reputation of the school. Following are a list of questions that you may want to ask the schools you are looking at to obtain those answers in addition to others in order to help you compare and ultimately pick the appropriate degree program.

Is the Interior Designer Degree Program Accredited? It's essential to make sure that the interior design program and school that you select has earned accreditation from either a national or regional organization. One of the most respected in the field is the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Schools obtaining accreditation from the NASAD have gone through a rigorous evaluation of their teachers and programs. Just verify that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the school and the quality of the training are exceptional, it might also help when requesting financial aid or a student loan. Often they are not offered for non-accredited schools. Also, many Maricopa Arizona employers will only employ graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.

Does the College Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, some States do mandate that interior designers get licensed. This would require a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination in addition to a degree from an accredited school. And in some of those States mandating licensing, two or more years of professional experience may be required also. So besides furnishing an excellent education, the Maricopa AZ program you enroll in should also furnish the proper instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and fulfill the minimum licensing requirements for Arizona or the State where you will be employed.

What is the School's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and received your interior designer certification, you will undoubtedly want some support in finding your first position. Ask the programs that you are reviewing if they have a job assistance program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A higher rate is a good sign that the college and its programs are highly esteemed within the interior design field and its graduates are sought after. It could also indicate that the school has a sizable network of Maricopa AZ business connections where they can place students to secure internships or jobs after they graduate.

Is Financial Assistance Offered? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the Maricopa AZ schools you are evaluating and find out what type of aid they offer. A number of interior design colleges provide financial aid to their new students. Various colleges offer partial scholarships and others provide help in acquiring grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that choosing an accredited college is essential for qualification in most cases. Often a school that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its counterparts because they provide more generous financial assistance.

How Small are the Classes? Smaller classes are more personal and conducive to one on one instruction. If classes are large, you may receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Maricopa AZ schools you are considering what their average student to teacher ratios are. If convenient from your Maricopa home, go to the college and attend a few classes. While there talk with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching philosophies are and what their credentials are in interior design.

Are Classes Offered that Fit your Schedule? Last, make certain that the interior designer school you select provides classes the fit your hectic schedule. This is particularly significant if you plan to continue working while going to college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Maricopa AZ, make sure that those classes are offered. If you have a full-time job and can only attend part-time, confirm that is an option also. Finally, check what the procedure is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.