Choosing a college is not always an easy decision and one that could affect you for the rest of your professional life. The college you choose will have a direct impact on the level of education you’ll be getting, the atmosphere in which you’ll be studying, your social life, and your chances for success. So, what exactly should you be considering when choosing a college? Here are some of the things you should be looking for.
This is probably the first thing you should be looking at. It’s essential that you’re realistic about your chances of attending a certain school if you don’t want to have your hopes crushed once you fall in love with one. If you aced your SATs and had a spotless high school history, then you’ll have the pick of the litter. But if you struggled in certain areas and weren’t as involved in high school, then you’ll have to limit your options.
Perks and Services
You should also look at some of the services and additional perks the school offers. If you need a laptop for college, some schools will even provide a no cost laptop for college use. Colleges that provide laptops will also have a tendency to invest more heavily in their students and offer other perks. In addition to having a laptop provided by college, some schools will offer free counseling and free tutoring services for instance. You should also look at their career services as well. Some will offer things like resume reviews, interview preparation, and job placement support for instance, all things that will ease your way into the workforce once you graduate.
Freshmen Retention Rates
This metric will allow you to assess which percentage of students decided to go back for their sophomore year after their first year. This metric alone could tell you a lot of things. A school with a lower retention rate may not offer the best working environment for students. Or it may actually mean that a lot of freshmen ended up failing for some reason. Either way, low retention rates are definitely something you should be on the lookout for.
Quality of the Programs
Before you choose a university, you have to make sure the professors are qualified and the department of study you’re going to enter is top quality as well. Some schools will be specialized in certain areas, so you should check how well the school you’re thinking of enrolling in ranks in the specific department you’re interested in. However, you still have to be realistic in what you can aim for, so at least make sure that the school you end up picking is not underperforming in the area of study you’re thinking about.
You should also check the school’s curriculum. Some schools will have very strict curriculums and you won’t be able to deviate a lot apart from a few electives. However, if you want more flexibility, there are tons of universities that will allow you to have more control over the courses you choose.
Choosing the right college for you is all about your expectations, needs and what you can afford. It’s also about finding a school that fits you and will give you a chance to succeed in future employment.