Your success depends upon your decision

Higher education, today, has become a primary need to earn bread and butter and excel in life. Obviously, education is available in the universities and colleges only. The big difficulty is that education; is emerging as a big business in the world and there is growing forest of the universities & colleges etc. This phenomenon has confused and confronted the education seekers with a challenge to reach the right institution for the right education at a right time. It is a crucial decision, How to choose an appropriate educational institution which decides the fate of a person. This article will provide you reasonable guidance to reach some logical decision, for making your career.

Assessment of Interest

This is best done by sharing with someone (your parents, a friend, the school counselor) what your dreams are. What would you like to study? What skills do you have? Do you like to work with people? information? things? all three? What are your best subjects in school? It isn’t necessary for you to know exactly what you want to do, what’s important is that you think about the future and the importance of a college degree in achieving your dreams and explore different options.

What type of university you are looking for?

Think in terms of:

Location – Do you want to stay close to home? How far are you willing to travel? Do you want to be in a small town or in a large city?

Size – Would you like to be in a small college/university where you will get more personalized attention? How about a larger university that might have a greater variety of resources and academic offerings? Or may be middle sized one that may offer a bit of each?

Type of university or college – Do you want to go to a public or private institution? A liberal arts school or a technical college? A four year institution or a two year college?

Make a list of universities – After completing the first two steps, figure out what type of school best fits your interests. Based on this information make list of universities that meet your needs. In order to come up with this list, you may want to talk to other family members or friends, and your school counselor. We recommend choose an appropriate educational institution that you look at a university website. Find out if there are any organizations in your community which provide assistance with this process. Write to the schools selected and ask for more information, application, and a financial aid if any. Try to attend some college fairs and bring your parents along.

Strength of Academic Institution

A university will vary in quality. Some may be strong and carry a world or area fame. Many factors count in the process of judging the strength of the institutions. Firstly the world ranking matters that whether the university falls into the world ranking and what is its number on the table of world ranking. Secondly, what the student has to look into, is that what is the quality education standard in the university which he is going to apply. Some institutions are ranked according to their academic or research performance. After that “Strength of Academic Programme” will influence how much you learn, how well equipped you will be for your career, and how many offers you will get upon graduation. Try to find out the duration of academic programme. This may be an important consideration if you are eager to get into the working world. Often, programmes differ in class size as well.

Student Testimonials

Get the scoop from the people who have been there. The best thing to do is to look for comments on topics that are important to you. For example if is very important to you to have small classes, and people complain that the classes are too large, then this should be a warning. Anything that starts out like this: “I had this one professor” is pretty much useless. Everyone will have a different university experience, even at the same school. While one person will really dislike a class, programme, professor, or policy, you may love it. So ask around, and keep an open mind. Try going on a tour of your top universities, and don’t be afraid to ask random students questions.

Gather all your resources and information about each institute you are considering-

If you don’t have all the information you need on a particular college, you should consider visiting the college’s website. And most colleges offer some sort of virtual campus tour, so you can get choose an appropriate educational institution an early taste of the look and feel of a college from your personal computer.

Visit the University you are applying in if possible-

Approaching graduation, the typical college student is bombarded with a plethora of slick and glitzy literature from colleges attempting to entice the student to apply. With each institution appearing more fabulous than the last, how is a student to decide where to apply, and later, in which university or college to enroll?

Exactly because of the increased marketing efforts that colleges and universities are doing for today’s student, publications, expos and even websites are quite glamorous. Experts advise translating the slick brochures into reality. They contend that visiting campuses is a crucial to the college decision-making process. It is the single most important part of a student’s college search. However, if it is not possible for a student to visit before the admission, he or she may utilize other sources to verify the creditability and the features looking for.

Role of your parents/guardian in decision making-

In most cases students need parents’ help in financing the education. Don’t alienate them by showing that you don’t care what they think. Involve them in the process, and talk about things like finances, future perspectives and reputation of the institution. Don’t let your parents wishes prevent you from applying to schools you want to go to. At the same time, don’t feel you have applied to a college because your mother wants you to go there.

If you are determined to do battle. Make sure you are fighting over a school that genuinely means something to you.

The importance of guidance counselor in the process-

Most student counselors in the institutions are knowledgeable and caring. Listen to what they have to say. On the other hand, many counselors have hundred of students to advise on personal, career, and academic concerns, not to mention college planning. Moreover, even the best counselors or agents cannot be expected to know about all the programmes and departments at the colleges or universities in a country.

If you are applying to a college or programme outside your counselor’s experience. You will have to do research on your on. Certainly you should walk into your counselor’s office having done some thinking about your needs and strengths.

Financial Aid Availability-

Higher education is very expensive in majority of the countries and not all families can provide total support for their children’s academic endeavors. Students will often have to get full time summer jobs and part-time jobs during the university tenure to meet their expenditures. It is very important to know what types of financial aid are available to you. Each university offers a variety of different programmes to assist students in the cost of university life. Entrance scholarships and bursaries are offered by many universities in advanced countries, but it is important to find out the requirements and availability in order to determine which institute can best accommodate your academic and financial needs. Often Scholarships are based on academic achievements, financial need, athletics, or extracurricular involvement. Additionally, many universities offer work study or cooperative education programmes that give students the opportunity to work on campus in their field of interest, and at the same time give them the flexibility they need with their busy university schedule.

Always apply to more than one intuition-

How many institutions should you apply to? Of course this decision partly depends on your financial situation (since most colleges have application fees or prospectus charges as well) but most students generally apply to one or two dream or “reach” institution (where they have small chance of getting admitted based on a realistic appraisal of admissions criteria), two to four intuitions where they want to go (and can expect to be admitted), and at least one “safety” institution. But you need to choose the number and type that are right for you. Some students don’t apply to safety institutions, and others apply to only the best institutions that have made the cut from the first six steps.

Make a final choice among the universities that accepted you-

If you applied for financial aid or scholarship take a close look at the offers. If the institution you really want to attend gave you a low aid offer, you should consider contacting the institutions and making a choose an appropriate educational institution counter offer and see what happens; many schools have become more willing to negotiate in this area.

Some general advice about the whole process-

Another point, institutions websites are great source of information, they also give all the little details about the application process, so make sure you check them thoroughly. They may also have a grad student directory, including links to their websites.

The whole thing resembles some kind of lottery, so don’t despair if you get a rejection from one place, you may get into another. Depending on when you finish, have some ideas what to do if it does not work out (and may be even have started on them).And if you don’t make the cut this year, you can always reapply in the following years.

Get people involved, get advice and help, but in the end you have to write a letters and you have to make the decision where to go. Give yourself enough time to do the whole thing; there will always be some unforeseen complications. Administrators and admissions officials are only people,choose an appropriate educational institution so don’t worry too much if some online site does not change your status right at the deadline. Keep watching and after sometime try to contact the departments. Now give yourself the freedom to choose by applying to all of these schools.

Trend of Today-

With the passage of time, as the communication media is taking uplift and the awareness about education is going far ahead, the students are becoming more conscious about choosing their institutions. Though the majority is not fully aware of the necessitated steps but minority of students now takes education in some of the well-known institutions, they are aware of that. The trend is mounting through them. But as no promotional activity is being done so far, to up-ride this trend that is why there is a dare need to promote this trend, so choose an appropriate educational institution that the students who are not fully aware of, should understand the need to take some fore-steps, because their success is based on the decision of choosing the right institution.

Key considerations in choosing a university or college

Following are the key considerations for the selection of an institution.

  • Academic competition level among students
  • Ranking/Quality/Reputation of the institution
  • Range of the degrees offered
  • Academic support programmes ( e.g; programmes designed for those for special learning needs)
  • Size of the student population of the university
  • Admission Criteria (e.g. percent of applicant admitted)
  • Advanced placement credit given
  • Affiliation of the college or university with relevant organizations
  • Application deadline
  • Athletics facilities
  • Class size
  • Background of other students or diversity
  • Climate
  • Consortia opportunities (opportunities to take classes at neighboring universities
  • Cooperative work-study programmes
  • Counselling services available (Academic and psychological)
  • Course offerings (e.g. the variety of courses offered in one’s programme of interest)
  • Cultural opportunities on and off campus
  • Disability consciousness (e.g. wheelchair accessibility)
  • Enrolment (total number of students)
  • Environment (e.g.; appearance of the campus)
  • Extracurricular offerings (student clubs or societies)
  • Faculty (Professors & Instructors: availability, percent holding doctorates)
  • Grading system
  • Housing options (e.g. proximity to the campus and affordability)
  • International baccalaureate credit (opportunities to study abroad)
  • Internship opportunities
  • Library facilities
  • Placement record (percentage of graduate employment)
  • Research facilities and opportunities
  • Safety Measures ( crime level on campus)
  • Spirit of the institution
  • Student/Faculty ration
  • Sports Facilities
  • Transfer possibilities
  • Transportation (university bus service, airport nearby)

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