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Sep 04, 2016 10:38 AM EDT

On Higher Education: Recent College Graduates Share Opinions

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The choice of going to a public school, private university or community college can be overwhelming. But some college are already done with that process. Recent college graduates sat down with NPR to discuss about the cost and value of getting that higher education. All of these students came from Montgomery County, Md. Looking back, they now share their opinions about the choices they made.

Alejandra Gonzales majors in Political Science. She went to the University of Maryland, College Park. After graduating on May 2016, she plans to teach English in France for a year. "Going to UMD was about getting to know people with completely different experiences from my own," says Gonzales.

Karie Cheung also went to UMD. She graduated back in December 2015 and now works at the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services. She is the first in her family to get a higher education. She says she grew a lot "socially, emotionally and definitely mentally."

Nancy Chen went to community college. She enrolled in Montgomery College, Tahoma Park. She majored in Nursing. She is still studying at MC and plans to graduate on May 2017. Currently she works as a volunteer firefighter. For her, she was able to save money for her future and for vacations. For her, it is important that she does not have debt.

Becca Arbacher on the other hand, went to a private college. She graduated from Columbia University in May 2016 and now works as a data scientist in Washington DC's Booz Allen Hamilton. For her, CU was hard to enjoy. "There's a lot going on, there's a lot of expectations ... Since graduating, it's a lot easier to look back and appreciate the benefits and the incredible opportunities that I had while there," says Arbacher.

All in all, the most important subjects these students claim was learning a lot about themselves. After graduating they reconcile their plans and dreams with real life.

Check out this video to find out which schools were considered top-notch:

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