For anyone who wants to pursue a higher education, choosing the right college is one of the most important steps. This decision, if you get it right, could be the major determinant of the success of the career path selected. With so many universities around, deciding on which one is the best for you depends largely on factors surrounding your life and your long-term objectives. As frightening as the process might be, it can be enjoyable if you follow the right steps you will never be disappointed. Below are some of the steps:
Decide Your Career Choice: As a kid, you had a mental picture of the career you really desire. Now that you are older, it feels more confusing. You have to decide whether you want to go for a career based on your passion for it or based on the reward you would get from it; everyone sure wants a rewarding career. At this point, it can become complicated and the career you have always talked about before you got to this stage might not be related to your future goals anymore. Do not think you are weird to be facing career choice indecisiveness; a lot of people who are now at the top of their career have been at this crossroad at one point in their life. You know what you should do? Be unruffled and take as much time as desired to make your decision because at the end of it all, you should derive joy in whatever field of study you venture into.
Do Some Self-evaluation: This is necessary in order for you to be sure that you possess some, if not all, of the qualities needed to excel in that profession. For example, you have decided on studying medicine and surgery because you are passionate about saving lives. After doing a self-assessment, you realize that you cannot stand the sight of blood. With this, you know that applying for the program is not the best for you. And that is the best time to appraise yourself on your second career option. In essence, understand who you are and the best course of study for your personality.
List the Names of Your College: Hundreds of colleges could probably have your proposed course on offer. Get a pen and write them all. Really? Yes, you should do this. It helps you to decide whether you have more of them in a particular state of interest or they are probably evenly spread. It can even give you an idea of what made an area to stand out in a particular field. Create the list and you will be amazed at your finding.
Carry out a Research on the College: A thorough research of the universities on your list can not be overemphasized. Once you are armed with quality information about all schools on your list, it will be really easy to make your choice(s). When researching, there are several factors to focus on. Here are a few among them:
Know the College Preferences: Some schools are research based; some are more focused on teaching while others are focused on learning. For your course of study, it is paramount to know the educational method that will deliver the best and produce the desired result in you. The fact that a school has good reviews and even rank among the first 50 does not make it the best choice for your planned study. Reviews are good but the truth is that emotions could be attached to them. A school might have excellent ratings but do poorly in delivering the conventional standard in your field.
Identify the Location of the College: Which area is the college? North, East, West or South? Are you cool with being subjected to more of winter or seeing sunshine brings out the best in you? If you are an outdoor person who enjoys studying on the field and you choose a school where cold keeps you indoor for most part of the term, you might end up being depressed. Living in a geographical location that does not suit your kind of person can lead to lack of interest in your studies.
Consider the Distance: For some people, time for college is the adventure they have been looking forward to all their life. They just want to move as far as possible from home and see the world. For others, they are not so interested in leaving their comfort zone. Which one best describes you? If you cringe at the thought of being far away from the life you were born into, then choose a college close to home. If you consider yourself exploratory, going thousands of miles away from home is the way to go.
Take Note of the School Size: The big institution with large acres of land and plenty students sound interesting. Someone coming from a very small town with residents less than half the size of the student population in this new school can be fascinated at first. After some weeks in that massive environment, this same person might become intimidated by the crowd. Also, the unending competition can be overwhelming and eventually cause unnecessary distraction. When researching the colleges on your list, check the size and student populace and be sure you are comfortable with it. You don’t have to be in the big crowd before you have a great name.
Note the Cost of Study: These includes course fees, housing and feeding among others. After getting the fee for the chosen program as cost of learning varies from one college to the other, also calculate how much is needed for your accommodation and feeding. You have to know what your parents or sponsors can afford and streamline your list to that. Being financial worry free while studying has a great impact on excelling.
Find out if the College Offers Scholarships/Financial Aid: After evaluating your cost of study and you realize that you might not be able to afford it, checking for scholarships and financial aids is the next thing. A lot of schools have different forms of financial aids for intending student. Some even offer student loans and work study programs. Getting a school offering financial help might just ease off unforeseen financial burden.
Find out about Extracurricular Activities: You cannot rule out the place of extracurricular activities while making a choice. For example, a basketball player or fan might put a university that has the best league in the country as the number one on his/her college list.
Now that you are done with your research, you should be able to narrow down your list to probably five or ten. Apply to them all if you can. If you apply to five schools, you are most likely to get an offer from two or three colleges. Choosing a college is all about you and your career goal, you really need to get it right. Enjoy the process and trust your judgment.
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