Going to college can be an exciting and fun-filled experience. However, locating the right college that would suit your requirements can be a daunting task. It is not very difficult to transform this into a pleasant and successful one. Can you do it! You only need careful planning and some forethought that would help you find the right college.
Nothing can be as important as the task of selecting the right college that would suit you requirements and serve your desired purpose. There are various institutions in the country that offer educational courses on a wide and varied scale. This increasing number of colleges might make further complicate your choice of the best college. So how do you choose the right college? Believe me, it is not a great challenge at all if you know the perfect strategy to approach the problem! Choosing the right college can be the vital decision and major turning point in your life. In this article I will be providing you with tips and strategies on how to find that right match!
Here are your requirements in finding the right college can be classified into
- Academic requirements
- Basic requirements
- Non-academic requirements
- Financial requirements
I have broadly classified the major expectations from a college into these four categories. We will try to include all important points to remember in these categories that would assist you in making the right decision of choosing the best college that serves your needs in the best and efficient manner.
Here you have to focus on the major aspect of your study program – your subject of specialization. Remember to pay complete attention the following points:
- Make the Right Choice of Career – This is the GOLDEN RULE of your journey to the right college. Do not get overwhelmed by the plethora of possibilities that exist as far as the number of colleges is concerned. It is very important to formulate your own college criteria and zero in on the right one.
- You need to decide about the important subjects that you aim to study at college – this should pertain to the subject you aim to specialize in. Then you can search for those institutes that possess the capabilities to nurture your interest in the right direction.
I would also advise you to also have a list of preferable second and third choices. This would enable you to choose the right college.
- There is no doubt that the size of a college is an important indicator of the experience of the institution and its popularity. Though it might have its disadvantages like large classes, less individual attention, the college might still be a popular one with great reputation for graduation rates and state-of-art facilities.
As an alternative, you might be lucky to find junior colleges that need not be as big as the other colleges but are well-equipped with staff and technology to deliver impressive results. An aspiring college student with clear career goals should be prudent in choosing the institution that would take his dreams to reality and should not go by the mere size of a college.
- Another important factor to be considered is looking at the percent of students who have graduated and that of students who return after the first year.
Good graduation and retention rates indicate the quality of education that the college offers and speaks of the responsible academic, social and financial support systems available to the students.
- The first basic requirement that you must remember when searching for the right college is the location of the college. You must decide if you would study in-the-state or out of it.
If you wish visit home frequently try to learn more about the transportation facilities available in the new city.
Alternatively, if you are a person who would attempt at exploring the new environment, find out if new city is open to newcomers, if there are any diverse groups in the city and if such groups exist, what kind of activities are they involved in. This would help you settle in a faster and more peaceful manner in the new place.
- When it comes to non-academic requirements, we have to primarily look at the extra-curricular activities that the college allows its students to participate.
Here you must find out about the other special areas of interest that are available in the college.
- Talking about dormitory, let us move to the next important factor you need to look at while choosing the right college. A thorough study of the dormitory facilities on or off campus has to be done to enable you to start your college life with greater ease and comfort.
Find out if housing is guaranteed on admission and if so, find out how the dorms are designed. (It would be best if you get some feedback from past students about their experiences about the campus life in that particular college).
- One important factor that awaits your decision is whether you are going to study in a college in-state or out. This is a crucial decision because if you choose for a college outside your state, you will have to pay the out-of-state fee over and above the tuition fee.
- If you find more than one college that matches your needs as far as the subject of your choice is concerned, then you need to find out about the fee structure. The prices of various courses offered by colleges pose great challenges to aspiring students who might not be able to afford such a fee structure.
However, the most important fact that we have to highlight here is that every college will definitely have a provision of offering academically eligible students coming from various economic backgrounds a genuine chance to pursue their studies in the desired direction.
- While making an assessment of the total financial implication that the new college program is going to have, you must look beyond the college and include other items of expenses like the books, extra payments for dormitory and food facilities. Always include some amount for medical expenses and travel that might crop up without prior notice and take you by surprise.
You can also pay a visit to the college you have chosen and meet the students or the counselor. If you are lucky, you can get meet up with a professor of the Major that you want to specialize in. This is an incredible way of getting to know the campus in a personal manner.
The secret of finding the right college is to mainly perform two important tasks – first is identifying your priorities and the second is conducting an extensive research of the various colleges that would serve your needs. Matching the results of both the tasks will automatically take you to the doors of the right college that is compatible with your academic and extra-curricular abilities. Good luck in your search for the right college and happy hunting!
Knight International, Inc.
"Education Coach and
Mentor Tanya Knight help parents, students and
adult learners successfully prepare, enter and
graduate from the college of their choice. Get
her FREE eBook "Top 10 Simple Secrets to Getting
into the College of Your Choice" at www.TheEducationCoach.com