How to choose a college is one of the most important decisions that students have to consider when they finish 12th grade. There are many things one should brainstorm on before making the final choice. While this decision has been difficult in general, the rise of Covid-19 has further added to the challenges. In addition to deciding which is the right college based on demands and expectations, students also need to think about factors like availability of E-learning, etc. The idea is to ensure that learning does not stop in the event of the new normal as well.
How to Choose a College: Does it Really Make a Difference?
A lot of students often wonder if how to choose a college is really a big deal. This translates to the fact that many are unsure if which college they go to really makes a difference. For a few, getting a college degree is all that matters. Which college one went to may not be that big of a consideration. However, if you look closely, you will realize that if you choose the right college, you are on a fast track to success. There are several reasons why you should choose a college wisely:
- Your college is not only a place for academics, but also a breeding ground for your overall growth. Invariably, it is where you build your personality that you carry for the rest of your life. Therefore, choosing the right college can definitely impact what you come out as in the later part of your life.
- Your college also determines the kind of job or career you will land up in. How to choose a college is all about making the right choice and going for one which attracts the top recruiters and career options. It goes without saying that top giants like Google, Facebook, etc. do not hire from every college out there. Therefore, your college choice will determine who your potential recruiters will be.
- Your college becomes the source of your network to fall back on. Every college has a set of students, faculty and experts. However, the quality of these individuals vary across colleges. If you pick the right college, you will find yourself making connections that you can leverage for the rest of your life. At the same time, you will have a range of people to fall back on when you are in need.
How to Choose a College: Changes in the New Normal
Now it is quite clear that when you choose a college, you are in a way choosing your future. However, many considerations have taken a turn with the rise of Covid-19. We are now living in a new normal, where several measures have to be in place before making any choice. One of the main concerns is that colleges may not open up for sometime and even when they do, managing social distancing among other norms would be difficult. Therefore, when you ponder upon how to choose a college, you must be mindful about their Covid-19 response and subsequent measures to ensure learning continues.
How to Choose a College: 5 Insights
Without much ado, let’s quickly jump into the top 5 things you must consider when you are in the process of choosing your college. However, a word of caution is important here. While you may choose one or a few top picks, it is very important that you apply to at least a few more as back up options. You may be sure that you will get into the college of your choice, but having a back up is never harmful. Here are the 5 quick tips for every student:
Start with a wish list
If you are in the dilemma of how to choose a college for your higher education, you must begin with a wish list. The wish list will serve a variety of purposes. The first is to list down what are your aspirations, or simply what you wish to do. For instance, you might want to become a software developer, or something more generic like join a leading tech company. It is okay to have more than one aspiration as well.
Once you have a list of aspirations in place, start by mapping what course suits you the best. Every career aspiration can be mapped to some course or the other. However, you do not have to bind yourself to the course-career map. You can easily skip the first part and directly look at the various courses available.
Based on the ones you adore, start short listing the colleges. It goes without saying that every college is best known for some of its courses. For instance, a college that is famous for liberal arts might not offer the best technology courses, and vice versa. Thus, the first step in how to choose a college is to understand what you wish to do and then mapping it against different colleges for the right match.
College tours are a must
Next in line comes the importance of going for a college tour on how to choose a college. A college tour is the best way to get an experience of being on campus and anticipating what your life could look like. It is the most effective way to envision the next couple of years of your life. While it is true that under current circumstances, physical tours may not be a possibility, virtual tours are stealing the show.
Owing to the rise of augmented and virtual reality, coupled with spatial intelligence, most colleges are offering virtual tools. You can easily navigate through the college and get an almost authentic feel with such virtual tools. It will help you determine if this is the place for you or not.
Check out scholarship options
The next thing you should definitely consider on how to choose a college is the scholarship options. There is no doubt about the fact that higher education can be very expensive and might even be a burden to many. Fortunately, most colleges and other bodies offer scholarships to deserving students to make life a little easier for those who cannot afford college otherwise.
You should start by shortlisting the colleges of your preferences and then mapping them to the scholarships available. This will help you prioritize between your different options. At the same time, it can help you eliminate those options which do not offer any form of scholarship and might be out of your budget range.
Getting a scholarship requires you to write essays, learn more about scholarship essays here!
Explore offerings beyond academics
As mentioned earlier as well, going to college is not only about getting a degree. It is as much about expanding your horizons beyond academics. Some of the top colleges offer a plethora of activities in addition to the routine majors and courses. In the form of dance societies, dramatics clubs, sports associations, there are several beyond academic options that you must seek.
Therefore, how to choose a college must revolve around firstly identifying the top majors and other courses that can complement your academic growth. At the same time, you should also focus on the extra curricular activities being offered to traverse holistic development.
Get an insider’s view
The final piece of consideration for how to choose a college is to engage with current students of the college as well as alumni. The idea is to interact with someone who has inside knowledge. All colleges look hunky dory on the website and the campus. However, only when someone has been there for a couple of years, can they give you an authentic view of how life at the college actually is.
They can offer you insights that you will never find on any brochure. Through them, you can get to know what are the strengths and weakness of the institution as well as figure out if you are a good match for it.
How to Choose a College: What Not to do!
Now that you have several tips and insights on how to choose a college, there a few words of caution too. To begin with, do not go just by the name tag. While there is a reason why most top colleges have a big name, however, it would be best to not choose a college only because it is popular. Secondly, do not try to inquire too much about the negatives. You should avoid asking the authorities, students and alumni what the college lacks again and again.
What they might consider as a flaw, you may not. However, if you go with that bias, you will end up believing the same. Finally, when you work on how to choose a college, do not limit your options. Apply to as many as you want to, but do not jump at the first acceptance you receive.
Chose a College: Now what?
Once you are clear on how to choose a college and get into the college of your dreams, you are bound to have several assignments and exams to ace. If you ever come across a fix when you are not able to submit the assignments properly or are pressed for time, we can bail you out. We have subject matter experts on board to help you and ace your academic performance, don’t think twice about reaching out to us!