It is a predicament worth brooding over.
Which college to join: A new IIT or a top NIT; a college in a state capital or a DU college or a central university like Visva Bharati or JNU. Which is more important to decide: a dream course in a college not so popular or a well-known college for a course that you haven’t thought earlier.
Many students have already woken up to calls of ‘what after the Board exams’ long ago and started preparing, mostly by joining coaching centres. Many of the aspirants of graduation degrees are about to write various entrance exams starting from the next month and will choose courses from scores of options available. But some students are yet to decide their future course. Maybe, they want to depend on class XII result and choose a course and college on the basis of XII score. However, for both the types of the student, choosing a course and a college is no less a difficult task than the Board exam itself.
Irrespective of the result in Class XII, a student may definitely find some courses suitable to him or her somewhere in the country in some colleges that offer those courses; and the most importantly these colleges may offer admission at his or her respective scores in class XII. So, a student should be able to choose what is best for him or her. But most importantly, find the right course, at the right university or college, and you will be inspired to succeed.
Once you decide why you want to study further discuss the options with your peers, teacher and/or family members. You should also consider your course and college selection from the prospective careers and employment opportunities angles. You various cities in the country that have colleges providing the course in this subject area helps. Check if it’s a place with plenty of work opportunities in the city where this course is available. For example, if you’re interested in IT, why not head to the IT capital of India, Bengaluru or, at least, Hyderabad.
So how do you make the right choice of college? The following fact files may help:
Do your homework, make a reality check and look at your career prospects
There are so many parameters to consider and what’s right for someone else may not be right for you. Studying away from hometown can be expensive, but it is an investment for your future. So it should be justified by your future career and your prospective salary. A knowledge of the whereabouts of past students of that campus (e.g., where are they working after graduation) through an active alumni network will be of great help.
Having known what to consider while deciding your next step, some of the factors that I will discuss below may help greatly in zeroing on a college to choose from an endless list. Consider the following factors while choosing a college:
Accreditation of the college is important
For obtaining advanced degrees in medicine, law, education and a few other areas, Accreditation of the college is very important. A student who intend to do higher studies, getting a degree from a college with proper accreditation is also very vital. Banks or any lending agency would provide financial aid only if the degree is from a college with proper accreditation. Even if you intend to transfer credits from one university to another, accreditation will be a factor.
What is the Location of the college and what Programmes and Degrees available there
No matter how good the college is, take note of the programs and duration, curriculum, credit requirements etc of the course in that college. The location of the college can also matter for planning a long-term career goal.
Cost is one of the most important things to consider
As discussed earlier, you must consider, prior to selecting a course and a college, how much you can afford. Some financial aid may be available in the form of a scholarship or grant (money you do not have to pay back) or a loan (money you must pay back) to fund your education
Admissions Process is getting complicated these days
The competitiveness of a school’s admission process generally reflects a school’s reputation. In most of the cases, it even correlates with the quality of education that students receive. Hence, many colleges have devised a complicated Admission process that may include your XII scores, Entrance test scores, profile based on past activities, Application essay etc.
Class size, as well as Student Teacher Ratio, can be an important factor in your education
Most of the colleges boast of higher Student to Teacher Ratio and their smaller class size. Remember that small college may not have small class size. If you prefer to have individualized attention, Student-Teacher Ratio can be an important factor in your education.
Academic Support, Resources and Campus Facilities including Internships and placement opportunities
The campus facilities can make all the difference when it comes to enhancing your educational experience. Many a college provides hands-on training as part of the curriculum through simulated lab work or an internship. A good college should provide placement training that includes interview preparation, counseling, resume reviews, job placement support, and much more.
Even though choosing a course and/or deciding which college to apply is often a stressful experience, keeping the above factors in mind can give you the confidence to choose wisely and reach a place that can give your dream a pair of wings
– By Falguni Goswami
[Head of Testprep Division of Collegedekho.com and an Expert in Career Counselling]