The choice of the right college is one of the biggest decisions that you will make.
We’re not just talking about a major career choice but a major life choice.
It determines the city that will be your primary place of residence in the following several years (maybe even the rest of your life).
It determines the type of education you will receive and the type of contacts that you will make. The cost differences between various colleges don’t necessarily correlate to the quality of education, which is why finding the most cost-effective option is also a major issue.
All in all, here are five steps to choosing the right college.
Do your own research
Start by trying to learn as much as you can about the history of the college and the success of its graduates. This way, you will get a basic idea of where the college stands.
Second, check out the acceptance rates, the tuition fees and the rest of the technical issues regarding the possibility that you will get in. Also, bear in mind that there are numerous online forums and reviews that you can turn to, even though you should always take these with a grain of salt.
Talk to people who currently attend
The first thing you need to do is talk to someone who actually goes there so that you can actually sample some of this experience. This is incredibly important due to the fact that this might provide you with more immersion and give you a holistic picture of what you’re dealing with.
Have some questions ready in advance but also be quite cautious. Their experience won’t necessarily reflect your own. Bear in mind that they might have a personal bias and that while every insight is helpful, sometimes, relying too much on the experiences of others can be quite misleading.
Consider your financing options
Quality education costs quite a bit of money. In the end, it’s all supposed to be worth it but for things to turn out this way, you’ll have to make the right fiscal plan.
First of all, you need to make a list of all your expenses, including tuition fees and living expenses. The majority of people finance this through student loans. Now, finding a specialized loan is always a better idea.
For instance, if you’re following a vocational education and training program, considering specialized VET student loans, might provide you with a better deal.
Develop a list
The majority of people won’t be able to pick that one college that meets all their criteria. Even if they do, they might not get accepted here. So, you need to start by developing a list.
Make a list of your top 5 or top 10 colleges and try to rank them by metrics that you find meaningful (both subjective and objective). Your wants and needs can be prioritized and it might even be a good idea to find a way to give each college a certain score.
Don’t succumb to peer pressure
One of the biggest mistakes that people make is to make their life decisions based on others. Sure, all your friends are going to that one college or your girlfriend is going to that college. This is the absolutely worst ground for making such a cardinal decision.
other valuable tips:
Picking a college that’s an ill-fit for you is something that could mark you for life. Friends and loved ones will not abandon you if you don’t spend 24/7 together.
Is there a risk that you will grow apart? Sure, that’s what people do. The same thing can happen if you follow them to their college of choice. Then again, there are stories where this distance brings people closer together.
In the end, you need to keep in mind that choosing the right college isn’t a decision that you have to make in a day. Take your time, weigh your options and try to understand that not everything always goes your way.
Once you figure this one out, you will already have a great starting point. In the age of the internet, you never had more options and tools to pick the right college.
Image Credit: by Pixabay
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