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Once you have decided on the interior designer degree that you want to earn, you can begin the task of assessing your school options. Location will be a critical issue, particularly if the college has to be within commuting distance from your Selma AL residence. Naturally if you are interested in attending an online school, or are able to relocate to attend classes, then location may not be a qualification. The fee for tuition will limit your choices as well. But picking the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your residence are not the ideal ways to make your decision. There are other factors that you should consider also, including the reputation and accreditation of the college. Below are a list of questions that you may want to address with the programs you are reviewing to obtain those answers as well as others to help you assess and subsequently select the right degree program.

Is the Interior Design School Accredited? It's essential to make sure that the interior design school and program that you select has earned accreditation from either a regional or national agency. 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 programs and instructors. Just make sure that both the college and the degree program have been accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Not only will it help confirm that the reputation of the college and the quality of the training are excellent, it may also help when requesting financial assistance or a student loan. Often they are not available for non-accredited schools. Also, many Selma AL employers will only hire graduates of accredited schools for entry level positions.

Does the Program Prep you for Licensing? As we mentioned earlier, several States do require that interior designers get licensed. This would necessitate a passing score on the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination as well as a degree from an accredited college. And in some of those States calling for licensing, a minimum of 2 years of work experience may be required also. So in addition to providing an exceptional education, the Selma AL school you enroll in should also provide the proper instruction to pass the NCIDQ examination and meet the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the State where you will be employed.

What is the College's Job Placement Rate? Once you have graduated and obtained your interior design certification, you will no doubt want some support in finding your first job. Ask the colleges that you are considering if they have a job placement program. If yes, find out what their job placement rates are. A high rate is an excellent sign that the college and its programs are held in high regard within the interior design trade and its graduates are in demand. It might also indicate that the school has a substantial network of Selma AL business contacts where they can refer students to obtain internships or jobs after graduation.

Is Financial Aid Provided? Get in touch with the financial aid offices for the Selma AL schools you are looking at and ask what type of support they offer. Many of interior designer schools provide financial assistance to their new students. Some colleges provide partial scholarships and others provide assistance in securing grants or federal student loans. It must be emphasized again that enrolling in an accredited college is imperative for qualification in most cases. Often a college that has a higher tuition may ultimately be cheaper than its counterparts because they offer more generous financial assistance.

How Big are the Classrooms? Small classes are more intimate and conducive to personalized instruction. If classes are larger, you may receive little individual instruction from the teachers. Ask the Selma AL programs you are looking at what their typical teacher to student ratios are. If practical from your Selma home, visit the college and sit in on a few classes. Take the opportunity to talk with some students and ask what their experiences have been. Ask the instructors what their teaching approaches are and what their credentials are in interior design.

Are Classes Available that Accommodate your Schedule? Finally, confirm that the interior designer college you choose offers classes the fit your active schedule. This is particularly important if you plan to continue working while going to college. If you can only attend classes at night or on weekends near Selma AL, make sure that those classes are available. If you have a full-time job and can only enroll part-time, verify that is an alternative also. Finally, find out what the protocol is for making up classes missed due to work, sickness or family obligations.

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