Choose the Right University for You: Key Pieces of Advice!

Friday, October 2, 2020

When it comes the time of choosing the University at which you will be spending a significant amount of time and money, it is important to choose wisely so as to make sure you choose the right one. There are so many options available that it can be a difficult decision to make. Here are some pieces of advice that will help you in your decision. 

Earning a degree is very important in that it will help you have plenty of job opportunities in different career paths. If you are considering going to college for an undergraduate or graduate degree, you should know that it will help form you academically, professionally and personally. 

There are many aspects to consider when it comes to choosing a university. Whereas checking rankings and best universities' lists is important, it is only one place to start when finding the right institution for YOU! 
The level of national or international recognition that a University has is not the only thing that you should focus on. There are many other aspects of a student's life to consider when choosing the right University. You should bear in mind your academic interests, social activities, hobbies, extracurricular activities, among others. A wise decision entails a long process.

The following steps will help you find the university that will be the right fit for you, or at least to narrow down your list.

1. Write down a short list of universities.

You should focus on what you are looking for in a university and try to write a list with the universities that meet all of your requirements. You can start by considering:

  • Location
  • Enrollment size
  • Majors and programmes offered
  • Student and staff population diversity
  • Opportunities outside of the classroom
  • Cost
  • Selectivity

If you focus on these aspects, you will have a short list of universities that would be able to meet all your needs.

2. Rank your priorities

Basing your decision on an objective ranking that focuses on general aspects will just allow you to choose a university that is prestigious, but it may not be the right fit for you. 

Making your own rankings will go a long way in helping you find out which are your priorities. Weigh the pros and cons of a particular University and consider your own wants and needs since you will be spending a significant amount of time and money earning your degree. 

3. Avoid procrastination.

Procrastination is not advisable in any situation, but in this specific one, it would be worse. Depending on the University, application deadlines will vary. That's why it is important to start your choosing process by the start of your last year of secondary school in order to make sure you neither rush to a decision nor miss the deadline.

4. Ask all the questions you have.

Make sure you don't leave anything unanswered! If you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact the Universities you are interested in and ask the questions that are important to you.

5. Focus on your goals.

You should ask yourself the following questions:
Where do you see yourself in four years' time? And in ten? 
These kinds of questions will help you sort out your interests and preferences. 
You should also bear in mind the financial aspect of paying for your degree. This aspect will factor into your decision because you need to focus on your ability to pay for a certain school.

6. Look at the departments that offer your majors.

Bear in mind that the fact that a University is ranked in the top 10 doesn't mean that the degree you are interested in is as well. You should focus on the department that offers your preferred degree and see its overall standing if you want to make a wise decision. You need to do your own research and compare because there may be some options you did not even consider because they were not “top” universities, but they may end up surprising you. 

7. Investigate the University’s Industry Connections.

You should choose your University focusing on your future. Considering you will be studying for some time and that you will spend a significant amount of money on your degree, you need to make sure the University you choose will give you the possibility to work in the job you want! Ask about the University's connections related to your degree.

8. Remember: rejection is normal.

Being rejected from a University that is one of your top choices can hurt but don't allow it to make you give up. Your short list of universities will help you find another institution that suits your needs and wants as well.

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