Picking the college that you want to study at can be tricky. There are countless institutions around the world that are both well-respected and enjoyable places to attend, each with its own merits and personality. It’s an important choice to get right because you’ll not only be spending several years on campus, but your college will shape your future.
So, how can you ensure that you make the correct choice for you? Follow this advice to helpyou make an informed decision.
Find a subject you love
The degree program itself is one of the most important considerations, so start here. Have a think about the subjects you currently enjoy and those you’d like to explore further, then see what courses are available in them.
Remember, don’t just look at the program title. You need to have a close examination of the specific curriculum at each college to ensure you find one that fits the exact part of the subject that you’re fascinatedby. As an example, if you’re interested in psychology, think about whether you want to study a general program or a more specialist one such as social psychology, clinical psychology, or forensic psychology. This will help you narrow down your options immensely.
Check where you’re likely to be accepted
You need to be realistic about your chances of being accepted when applying to college to make sure that you’re not wasting your time applying to places you’ll never be able to get into. Conversely, you don’t want to sell yourself short and settle for a less reputable college because you’re afraid to dream big.
For example, if you’re a current student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison who is aiming for a place in a postgraduate program somewhere, use a GPA calculator for UW Madison to work out your GPA and assess your chances of success.
Use these factors to compare colleges
Once you know what you want to study and where you stand a good chance of being accepted, it’s time to compare the details of those colleges. Some of the key questions you’ll want to ask yourself include the following:
- Where is the college located?
- Would you rather study in a big city or somewhere quieter?
- Would you like to study abroad?
- How highly is the college regarded by employers?
- How many students does the college have?
- How expensive are the tuition fees?
- Are there any scholarships available?
- What are the college’s facilities like (e.g., the libraries, computer rooms, laboratories, and workshops)?
- What is the student accommodation on campus like?
- Are the courses accredited by the relevant bodies?
- What kind of extracurricular activities does the college offer?
- What career services are available?
- What is the culture like on campus?
Some of this information will be easily found on the college’s website or prospectus. However, for factors such as the culture on campus, it can be helpful to search for blogs and videos by current students. These types of resources will give you an insider’s opinion on the college, enabling you to get a better idea of what it would actually be like to study there. Finally, don’t be afraid to trust your instincts!