Choosing The Right University!

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Choosing The Right University!

By Divya Jose   |   Posted on September 01, 2015
Image Credits: yourguidethroughcollege.com, wordwrite.co.uk, stupidsid.com
With so many options available to those pursuing higher education, choosing just one University as a top choice may start to feel more like a burden than a blessing. But there are ways to keep sane and organized as you make such a weighty decision.

The overall culture of your college may play as big a role in your future success as your degree. Figuring out what's important to you will help you narrow the field when choosing a college, and you may discover some options that hadn't even been on your radar! Once you know what you want, visit the few colleges that you have short listed. Getting the look and feel of the college is very important! 

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LOCATION:
Obviously, academics play a huge role in determining the right school for you. But so does location. If sunshine all year round is what you need, or building snow-men every winter is your thing- they should be considered while choosing your college. A lot of people end up going to universities that they don't like because of the area it is in, and is a prime reason for dropping out - other than not enjoying you course. 

CONSIDER THE SIZE:
Smaller colleges boast a more intimate classroom experience, but larger schools often have a wider variety of classes and activities. Where would you thrive? If you want your professors to know your name and to be able to offer you one-on-one assistance, a smaller school might be a better choice. The campus atmosphere is also usually more like a close-knit community.

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TYPE:
The different types of schools on your list can often be overlooked when you're considering college criteria, but you should keep in mind that all colleges and universities are not the same.
  • What do they devote time and resources to: research or teaching and learning?
  • Do they have a speciality in one specific area or are they known for providing a broad education?
  • Are they single sex or coed?
  • Do they have a religious affiliation?
  • Are they public or private?
DURATION:
You will also need to consider the duration. A three-year, full-time degree is standard in the UK, but it’s not the only option. Four years is the norm at Scottish universities, as it is for modern-language degrees requiring a year abroad and for those degrees that include a year’s industrial placement, such as IT, business or engineering.
 
FUNDING:
The cost of college is one thing that most parents think about during the college search process. Not all colleges and universities have the same price tag and there are a variety of ways to cut your costs. Most schools offer financial aid, scholarships, and work-study programs, aside from student loans.
 
A school's tuition isn't necessarily the exact amount you'll pay, because it doesn't reflect financial aid or extra expenses like housing and books. But it's still wise to check out tuition figures when considering college information, as it may expand or diminish your options, depending on your financial situation.

STUDENT EXPERIENCE:
It is always good to interact with alumni or current students of the university to better guage the nature of life on campus. Nothing beats hearing it straight from the horse's mouth. You can get first hand information on the extra-curricular activities, student accomodation and other facilities of the university that contribute to life on campus. 

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Take your university research seriously and start early — don’t rely on a few prospectuses and college websites. Alan Jones, a professional development executive at Ucas, advises attending higher education fairs. “Also, visit universities on open days and speak to staff and students — there’s nothing like first-hand experience.”

And don’t be shy of contacting the universities directly to ask them questions. “They are happy to hear from you, and to know that they are receiving student applications that are well researched,” adds Jones.




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