Choosing your college is a major milestone. After choosing your field of study, it is essential to find the college that suits you. The college of your choice can affect your life in many ways, which is why it is very important to spend a lot of time evaluating and comparing colleges and universities to determine which institutions are best suited to your profile. It is, therefore, a very personal choice. Here is a guide to choosing the right college.
Make a list of things you find important in a college. For example, the city where it is located, its nightlife, its interests/disciplines, dorm housing, sophisticated equipment/technology. What do you plan to do when you get there? Are you living at home or on campus? Will you study in your country or abroad? Your decision will also depend on the choice of courses and the quality of education. Look at how well the college meets your expectations in terms of course materials and academic curriculum. Remember that this is the place where you will spend three years (maybe more) of your life. You need to be satisfied on all fronts before you attend. You have the right to be a bit demanding if you wish.
Is the cost of living something you can afford? Are the tuition fees too high? These are questions you must ask yourself realistically, because you may end up with a degree, no job, and lots of debt at the end of all of this.
Once you have determined the qualities you would expect from a college and you know where you want to live, you will need to Google your college for more personal accounts of the college, students and school programs.
You know yourself better than anyone else knows you. So ask yourself if you are going to have the motivation to see your degree through to the finish. Is your motivation going to sag halfway through? Will you be better off taking a part-time course, rather than a full time one? Maybe you should take a year off first, before running back into studies.
Open Days are a good way to start tracking the schools that interest you and are good ways of finding out what else the college offers you, besides education. You can attend campus visits, where they show you classrooms, equipment, and housing. This is a great opportunity to see if the atmosphere of the place pleases you. Do you see yourself studying there? Do you feel at home when you will make your way into the campus?
Are the professors highly regarded in their field? Are you going to be able to put teachers name on your CV in order to get a favorable response from employers? How well do students do when they are under that teacher?
This is also an opportunity to meet other students who visit the college at the same time as you. You may also start looking at what kind of a neighborhood the college has and its surroundings. You should understand the importance of Open Days. You will be amazed at how they can influence your decision. If you cannot go there, you should ask those who have been. Ask how they found the college, and would they recommend the place, and the courses?
What is the failure rate for your chosen course at your chosen college? Is the failure rate lower in one college because of higher application standards? Are the professors to blame for the dismal success rates? Alternatively, is it the course material?
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