Finishing up your school feels more stressful than relaxing, you can’t help but worry about what comes next in your life? As you bid-adieu to your alma mater, the pressure of choosing an ideal college pile up. Your graduation college is the very first introduction of what your professional life be.
There are tons of factors to keep in mind such as fee structure, course offerings, placements, infrastructure and in some cases student’s crowd. No wonder, the extended search is tiring, however, if you follow a strategic approach to filter colleges, it can be more fun than stress.
Here are a few basic things to keep in mind to search for your ideal college without getting all haste and stressed.
First thing first, you need to compile a list of colleges that offer the course that you wish to study. It is okay if you’re not sure yet which specification suits the best for you. It is always wise to get in touch with a career counsellor if you’re unsure of which way to go.
The key is to figure out a specific subject that opens the gate to fields where you see yourself working in the future.
Start making a list of universities that offer the best courses to suit your requirements. For example, if you wish to build a career in Sports and Physical Education or Music and Theatre, do consider the colleges that are well-known for the required degree.
Take note that not a single college is the frontrunner for all the specifications that it offers. Therefore, do thorough research, not just college-wise, but also, department-wise.
For example, if you’re looking for colleges that are frontrunners in Science and Technology, next step of your search includes narrowing down the list to those few colleges that are the best in your desired specification such as IT, CS, Chemistry, Electronics & Communications etc.
Unfortunately, this is a key factor to keep in consideration while you’re on college-hunt. Your dream college at times might be too expensive for you to afford. Start listing colleges that suit your funds.
Also, you need to decide whether you wish to get into a public university or a private one. Whilst college-hunting, do thorough research on scholarship and fee-waiver programs offered by the universities.
Look for additional public scholarship programs that are run by the Government for the aid of bright students. If you’re eligible, consider your option of education loans if required. Every year, several students drop out or do not join their dream college due to financial issues. However, several programs offer financial aid for you to flourish at your desired institution. It is advisable to consult a counsellor who can guide you about the possible scholarships, loans and fee-waiver programs.
The locality of a college might not be an issue for every student. Nevertheless, a majority of students are worrisome and choosy about the location of their next college. Many reports suggest that a big chunk of student prioritize location of the college over everything.
For many of us, it is hard to go away from family and beloved hometown. On the other hand, many others wish to be a part of a new city, a whole new culture. It is important to list down specific country/state/city where you’d wish to study for the next few years.
Another important factor to keep in mind while college-hunting is life in and around the campus. The very first bummer that students encounter in their new university is the bitter realization that college life is never quite as cool as depicted in movies and TV shows. Nevertheless, there are colleges around the world that are known explicitly for party-culture or strict-academic structure.
Certain colleges boast a massive crowd whereas some admit only a few hundred students in one academic year. Another thing to keep in mind, while most of the campuses welcome students of all races and ethnicity, certain universities are open to particular ethnic groups only. Some colleges are actively engaged in political activities and outside world whereas others focus on pure academics only.
The infrastructure of a college is another key factor to take into consideration. You can choose from beautiful, modern-designed campuses to old and small buildings. Also, run thorough research about student welfare program of college that you wish to join.
Look for things like student support cell, healthcare facilities and hygiene. List down your options keeping the aforementioned facts about campus life in mind. It is advisable to visit college fairs or take a tour of a college before joining it.
The primary focus of any student is to excel in academics in his/her specific field. However, any student required much more than just textbook learning to be successful. Therefore, ensure that your desired college focuses on important activities other than academics for all-round development.
For example, many leading universities have entrepreneur cells, innovation centres, gym facilities, art societies, tech-savvy labs and science labs to develop student’s practical knowledge and logical thinking.
Other activities include annual fests, creative competitions such as debating, sports, and cultural activities. One very important factor to keep in mind is the exposure that a college might provide you. Also, keep a note of average annual placements and track notable alumni to understand the worth of a university.
Lastly, you need to keep a list of back-up ready with you all the time. Back-up options include the colleges where you can easily get admission for your desired degree. Such an institute do not come anywhere close to your dream college. Nevertheless, it is always a relief to keep some back-up options ready well in advance to avoid last moment panic.
Under the list of back-up options, prioritize those colleges that fulfil the most number of your requirements among location, specification, fee structure, campus life etc.
An unplanned approach towards the selection of your next college will always cause stress. Keep the aforementioned factors and a strategic approach in mind and you’ll realize that choosing a college can be more fun than you ever imagined.