6 Tips for Choosing the Right College
Picking a college can feel like deciding the rest of your life, but with all of that pressure it can be difficult to fully consider all of your options. Breathe, relax and follow our tips on how to pick the right college for you.
Image by Moyan Brenn used under the Creative Commons license.
Tip 1 – Ranking
There are a number of factors that go into choosing the right school, but one of the first ones that many students look at is the college’s ranking, both nationally and internationally. If you want to go to one of the best schools or find a school that specializes in your study area, rankings can be an easy way to narrow your search. Just remember that the higher the school is ranked, the more competitive it is and plan accordingly.
Tip 2 – Program
If you already know what you want to do, choosing a school based on the program of study it offers in your field can be a huge draw. Most universities have online directories where potential students can look at specific classes on offer, as well as teaching staff, alumni in the field and any connections to businesses that a school may have. Taking your program into consideration is a great way to help you choose the right school, especially for those who are already thinking about their after-college careers.
Tip 3 – Social Scene
While no one is suggesting you choose a school solely based on the clubs and intramurals offered, the social aspect of college is an important one for many students. As you embark on a new journey, usually living away from your family and friends for the first time, it’s nice to know that there are societies or clubs that you can join where you can feel accepted.
Tip 4 – Diversity
For many students, the element of diversity is very important. Whether you’re coming from a small town and want to meet people from different places or you’re from a big city with lots of diversity already, checking the diversity of each college before applying can be a big help in avoiding disappointment.
Tip 5 – International
Some students will be looking to study abroad during their time at school, so being aware of what options there are for international travel could also be a deciding factor in choosing a college. Simply doing your full four years abroad in locations like the UAE, Europe, China, Australia, South America, etc. is also a possibility. You’ll want to set yourself up for success, so double-check any language requirements, international rankings and the program you’re interested in to make sure the school fits all of your needs, not just your wanderlust.
Tip 6 – Location
Location is a key element that many students don’t think about before choosing a school. Of course, there is the proximity to home to consider, but students should also think about their new location and the opportunities it affords. For instance, if you are doing an agricultural degree, studying in a big city doesn’t make much sense. Keep in mind that if you’d like to do internships or get work experience while in school, the location of your university has to be somewhere that facilitates those desires.
We hope this has helped, just remember to research the schools you are interested in, and you will be halfway to narrowing down that exhaustive list!