Right after you finish school, you have so many people asking you these questions.
Now, what do you plan to do?
Which college have you applied to?
Are you one of those who don’t have answers to any of these questions? Confused about the innumerable choices available?
That is why we have come up with this article to help you tackle the baffling question – how to choose the right college?
1. First things first
Before you pick the college, you need to be certain of what you want to pursue. Ask yourself what your interests are and what suits your personality.
It is best to take the guidance of some of the Best Education Blogs available. These blogs give you an in-depth insight into the best education practices that help you choose your forte.
2. Snoop around like a busy detective
You must take time to decide what you want to pursue. After which, you must scout around for colleges and universities that are well known in the particular subject matter.
Prowl and poke around. You can speak to friends or teachers and look up a good college search platform over the internet. These college search engines available online provide a lot of information on colleges locally and around the world.
Attending college fairs is also a good method of how to choose a college. These college fairs have representatives directly from the college that will explain what the college can offer you.
Walk up to each college counter and don’t be afraid to ask questions, however silly you may feel it is. Clearing all your doubts makes it easier to narrow down your choices.
Students need to understand that education has truly gone international. There are several colleges and universities that are credible, offer great courses and boast of some of the world’s best faculty. For example, the best University in Dubai attracts students from countries like the US, UK, China, Japan, Australia and others. Keeping an international horizon when it comes to shortlisting can help you land a degree with a prestigious college or university.
Once you have done a bit of research on the colleges, you can now narrow down your list. Narrowing down your list can be tough especially when you like a bit of something from every college.
You can use some of these tips to further shorten the list.
● Apart from academics, does the college provide scope to encourage your talents?
College is the only place you still have the time to nurture your interests and talents. Once you get into a full-fledged career, finding time for your hobbies is quite tough.
So, when choosing a college, it is a good idea to take note if the college provides opportunities to nurture your hobbies.
It may be a sports interest or an artistically inclined hobby. Whatever it is, make sure that the college provides you that platform.
● Work out the finances
One of the foremost guidelines is to ensure that you can afford the college fee. Make sure that you have worked out the finances for the entire course.
Even if you are availing of a student loan or paying directly from your savings, make sure it’s all worked out.
● Workout the logistics
It is important to work out the logistics of travel to and from the college to your boarding.
Also, it is advisable to ensure the availability of your cuisine in the college canteen. This is important because food is very important for overall performance as a student.
For example, you are admitted in a college that only provides a certain country cuisine that you may not be able to digest. Lack of good food finally leads to poor performance
4. Read reviews and talk to students and the alumni
Some of the Best Education Portals available on the internet, contains a lot of reviews from students and alumni. It is wise to read these reviews.
Usually, these reviews are written by current students and alumni. They usually give an unbiased opinion of their experience at the college.
Reading the reviews gives you a balanced outlook of the college, the academic programs and the facilities they offer.
Also, don’t miss the opportunity to talk to the students studying there or the alumni. Notice how the students who have graduated are placed in the market. Small notes like these are the best ways to pick a college.
You can also try and meet with professors and teachers from the college. Meeting the principle to clear all your doubts about the college can be very helpful.
Write a formal letter to the department of the college you are interested in. Whether you receive a reply or not, it’s worth a shot.
5. Meet people in similar fields
Meeting people already working in your field of interest will seal the deal for you. You will get a clearer picture once you talk to people who have chosen your field of interest.
Ask them about the difficulties they faced while getting there. Find out the pros and cons of doing the course and what to expect when you complete the course.
As the saying goes, hear it straight from the horse’s mouth. You hear it directly from the person who knows the matter.
6. One is not enough
Once you have narrowed down your list, make sure your list has at least 6 to 7 colleges. You can list them out according to your preference, starting from the top.
Do not narrow down your list so much that you end up with just one or two colleges as your preferred choices.
Remember there will always be something you like and don’t like on your list. Make sure that your likes outnumber the dislikes. If it does, add that college to your list.
If you have only one college on your list, you will be disappointed and dejected if you do not make it on to the admission list. To avoid this, have a few choices
instead of just one.
List out colleges based on your preference of courses provided, fee structure, scholarships offered. Make sure that you will be satisfied with all the colleges on your list.
In case you do not get into the number one college of your choice, you have to be open to choosing number 6 as your preferred choice.
Do not make these mistakes
Apart from the above tips on how to choose the right college, we also advise students not to make the following mistakes while picking the right college.
● Slow and steady wins the race
Scouting for colleges is not an overnight process or decision. Take your time and follow the above guidelines.
During the course, you may edit and revise your list time and again. That is ok to do. As long as you are doing thorough research before editing your list.
● Prestige is not everything
History shows that not all great leaders are alumni of well-known institutions. Some of the CEOs of top companies are from the humblest of institutions.
So, do not look at only prestigious universities. Keep an open mind while applying to colleges.
● Don’t bow down to pressure
Choosing a college or university which elders want you to choose might not work out in the long run. However, do not disregard their opinion totally.
Ask them why they want you to join a particular college. Get a clear explanation. You may also change your opinion and desire that college too.
But try not to bow down to pressure. It will only hurt you as you go along
● Only dead fish go with the flow
What we mean to say is that don’t choose a college just because your friends are going to that college. It is better to walk alone than to walk with a crowd going in the wrong direction.
Choose a college based on your preference and not your friends. While the good company in college is important, remember that you can always make new friends too.
● Keep an open mind
When creating a list of preferred colleges, students often only look at certain points while ignoring others. Keep an open mind while scouting for colleges.
If you do not make it to your top college choice, it’s not the end of the world. You could make it big even in the college which was your least preferred choice.
● Never make a preconceived notion
Students must remember that preconceived notions about a certain institution could be detrimental to the selection process. You might miss out on great opportunities because of that one misconception you had about the college.
Being a student is not easy. You have a lot of pressure from all quarters and societies. Don’t let that dampen your spirits. Choosing the right college is a long process that requires precision and clarity before you make the decision.
So, do not worry if you think you are taking too long to decide. Don’t make hasty decisions. Keep all the above points in mind and you will know how to decide what college to go to.