Part 1- Introduction The report contains the...
Factors to Consider When Choosing a College
You might have heard it that choosing a college is considered as the most important decisions, a student makes in their life? The college you are attending can create lasting impact on the professional and personal life of an individual. But most of the students select their college based on the emotions that has limited set of criteria or gut feeling. The academic success is important decision that undergoes with high level of scrutiny.
While choosing for the college, you are required to consider broad range of factors including size, location, campus safety, cost, and choice of majors, academic quality and various other factors important to you personally. Under mentioned are certain factors to consider. They are very general and specific.
1. Accreditation– Before investing your time on college, you must assure that it is accredited. It must be licensed officially and its curriculum must be reviewed in order to verify the basic academic standards for higher education. Most of the schools provide this information their website in the about us column or admission pages. If you are not able to find out, you can directly contact to email the admission department. A university or college is regionally or nationally accredited. In a college, different schools and departments have their own accreditation. This ensures that the degree will be highly recognized by the employers and other institutions of higher education.
2. Type of School –It is important to analyze, which type of education an individual prefer? In this, you are not required to choose a particular major or decide on a career. You need to ask some basic questions to yourself based on your abilities and interests. Analyze whether you are suitable for technical fields or liberal arts. Most of the universities and colleges move forward in one direction or another. A small liberal art college does not offer that a student requires becoming an engineer. He/she can apply for larger universities that have resources of engineering and other desired fields along with the technical and scientific fields. The type of school offers broader criteria. It is general to apply with other factors and clear your options.
3. Geographic Location –Students must have the idea whether they would like to stay close to home or not, big city or somewhere else, regional or weather culture? Also, decide whether you can afford to go out of state or not? Choosing to attend college outside of your home state will automatically make everything more expensive.
Geographic location creates a big impact on your overall college experience. Even if you like the school, if you hate where it's located the next four years could be tough. If you're looking at schools in a particular city, make sure you actually like it there. If you haven't visited in a while, you should probably schedule a trip. Also, a student must consider crime and safety, not just for the city but the campus itself. Almost every major school will provide crime statistics for campus, and many will include surrounding areas. You might think of college as a safe and fun place, and it is. But crime happens, and crime rates vary widely from school to school.
4. Size of School -In the large world, there are various quality schools that come in all sizes. The size of a school, the type of school and its geographic location matters. Large colleges usually have more resources including campus facilities like student housing, computer access, libraries, health centers, athletic facilities, culture and entertainment. Large research universities also tend to have large budgets to invest in faculty, classroom technology and research and development labs for science, engineering and other fields of study.
The large institutions provide multiple academic options by including hundreds of different concentrations and majors. It can be attractive to settle on interdisciplinary majors. Small colleges have plenty to offer that large institutions are not able to. Most of the colleges prefer to stay small so that they can gain the specialization in liberal arts education or a specific discipline within liberal arts. The class sizes and the campus will be smaller with the college experiences.
5. Overall Cost –The budget or your overall cost is very significant. There are number of educational options that require a substantial financial investment. Private schools/college are expensive when compared to public colleges or universities. However, private schools tend to have larger endowments and offer more grants and scholarships. This can even out the cost of tuition to some degree.
Tuition is only about half of the overall cost of attending college. Housing, food, transportation, books and other cost-of-living expenses contribute to a much higher price. You might have given a thought of where you would like to go, but where you can afford to go. Attending college out-of-state is automatically more expensive. The tuition will be subject to non-resident fees, but you will also probably spend more on cost of living.
If money is becoming your obstacle, you may want to consider living at home and studying your general requirements at a community college. It has become very common, not just for affordability. Across the board, community colleges have improved academic standards and made it easier to transfer credits to four-year universities. Many studies even show community college students going on to greater academic success than their university counterparts.
6. Academic Quality –The quality of your academics must be specific. It can become the determining factor in your ultimate decision. While searching for the college, you learn more about the college itself. Conducting the search will help inform your ideas about what you want to study and what you want to gain from your college experience. If your high school offers guidance counseling, you should absolutely take advantage of it. A counselor will sit down with you and help you clarify what you're looking for. They will also have literature and resources for you, including reviews of different colleges and academic programs.