There is no denying that one of the biggest decisions that young adults make is selecting a college or university. This choice can determine your future, and most certainly says how you will be spending the next four years socially and educationally. So, make sure that you select somewhere that is is a good fit for you, not only now but in regards to what you will be able to achieve after graduation. If you’re planning on pursuing post-secondary school, then these tips on how to choose the right university for you will be helpful.
What is the school’s reputation?
Firstly, whether you want to study education to become a teacher, social science, or a completely different area of academia, you need to think about the reputation of the school in question. If you get a degree at a university that is poorly ranked by students and experts alike, having it on your resume can reflect negatively on you.
Note that it’s not just the overall reputation of the school from the pupils’ perspective that matters, although that certainly does! If there are few student supports and teachers are known for only doing the minimum, then you risk not getting a quality experience. That’s an important consideration when selecting how to choose the right university.
But you also need to research to see how the university is viewed within the industry specifically that you plan to go into as a career. If you were to go for a job, would the employer be impressed by your credentials?
If you were to pit yourself against different types of professionals in your field in the future, would your degree be the one that stands out for the right reasons? It’s not only about the grade and the degree you get, it’s about where you got it too!
What are the graduates like?
That’s another question to ask as you navigate how to choose the right university. Try to find out the school’s success rate too, especially in relation to the program you wish to study. So, what exactly is “study success”?
There are many definitions, such as:
- How long does it take students, on average, to complete a certain degree or certificate?
- What is the drop-out rate?
- What do student surveys say about the difficulty of the program?
- How many graduates are working in a field relevant to their degree?
You might find that the success percentage is incredibly small, depending how you define it, based on the list above. You might also learn that grads who do become employed are in a completely different field to the one you want to be in. Those findings are typically red flags.
If hardly anyone is making it in your dream profession, surely there is a reason why? Doing your research regarding the percentage of graduates that carve relevant careers and about job placement rate can prove to be extremely beneficial.
What opportunities are available to students?
Also, look at the campus facilities and the opportunities that would be available to you as part of the student body. If you get the opportunity to visit the campus in question, absolutely do so.
Often there are campus tours available to those who are thinking about applying there. This opportunity enables you to get a true feel of what life would be like there, whether you choose to live on- or off-campus. You can also speak with current students to ask them questions and find out what they like (and don’t like) about the university.
See if there are any additional opportunities you can benefit from in the future by going there. For instance, will you be placed in a work experience program as part of the program? Hands-on experience is important to build skills to take you further in your career.
Will you have the opportunity to go to guest lectures? Can you study additional modules, if you wish to do so? Are there any extra-curricular activities that can help you to get more experience? Remember, extra-curricular does not simply mean sport!
How to choose the right university for you
Hopefully you now have a better understanding of the different factors to consider when choosing the best university or college for you. There is a lot to consider, yet the more research you do the better. While people choose a campus without knowing the full picture, they may regret it later. Do your research now to make sure the decision is one that makes sense for you now and in the future.