In 2020, approximately 19 million students attended colleges and universities. It’s no secret that college can be an amazing way to improve your future income and list of professional contacts.
When it comes to applying to university, though, consider prioritizing medium-sized colleges. These have more opportunities than small schools without being overwhelming like large college options can be. Let’s explore how you can choose the right school.
This is one of the most important attributes to consider. Some people make the mistake of assuming that all colleges are equal.
Many employers will consider the university an applicant attended when making their hiring decision. This is especially true in competitive fields, such as technology or law.
The good news is that it only takes a simple Google search to research the academic quality of a university. Accreditation is essential to keep an eye out for.
If an academic department doesn’t have accreditation in a specific field, you might want to choose a different major or select a different school.
Financial Aid Offers
Paying for college is a difficult process for most students. Some people choose to take out a private student loan, while others rely on scholarships. There are even students who work part-time or full-time jobs while studying to pay for their classes.
Different schools will offer different levels of financial aid. It’s best to make a list of medium-sized universities and see what opportunities are available.
For example, you might find a situation where your primary choice offers you $5,000 per year but your second choice offers you $10,000 per year. Consider the overall cost per credit hour the institution offers.
Although this amount is more or less consistent among public universities, it can vary widely across private universities. As long as you have a strong understanding of your financial requirements, you shouldn’t encounter issues.
The Atmosphere of the Campus
Prioritize campuses with a positive atmosphere. Since you will be spending so much time here, it’s imperative to avoid negativity. When you tour the campus, ask other students you encounter how they feel about the school.
People who are happy with their experience will have no shortage of positive things to say. Choosing a school with a great atmosphere will help ensure that you get the most out of your courses.
Available Academic Programs
What programs does the college offer? Do they offer specific programs for your major, or do they have a generic list of courses? To elaborate, let’s assume that someone wanted to major in business administration.
Many schools have this major, but it’s often comprised of business courses that are organized in terms of ascending difficulty. Some schools have business administration programs specifically designed to produce competitive job market candidates. If you already know what major you plan on choosing, this is an aspect you can’t overlook.
In some situations, it’s more or less required to choose a school with a dedicated program. For example, let’s consider someone majoring in computer science who plans on applying to Apple or Google after graduating.
When a hiring manager reads applications, an applicant who went to a school with a strong computer science program will stand out. This is the type of scenario you should consider when making your decision.
Resources and Support
Even the most self-sufficient students still need resources and support from time to time. Investigate the quality of the school’s advisors. What have former students had to say about their experiences with the financial and academic advising teams?
Many college students don’t have guidance. They simply know they want to go to college to better their lives. Working with the right advisor could mean the difference between whether you reach your goals.
Many people overlook this attribute, but it’s one of the most important. If you attend school out of state, you will be required to pay out-of-state tuition. This is often exponentially higher than what you would pay at a school in the state you live in.
You should also consider whether you plan on moving to your university. If relocating isn’t an option, you shouldn’t choose a university that is 90 minutes away from your home, for instance. At the end of the day, be sure that you can regularly attend classes without issue.
Improving Your Chance of Acceptance
Before you can plan for attending your desired university, you’ll need to get accepted. You can maximize your chances of acceptance by maintaining a high GPA throughout high school.
You should also aim to get the highest ACT/SAT scores you can. Other methods include taking AP classes, dual-enrollment courses, and participating in extracurricular activities.
Colleges also prioritize students who volunteer in their local communities. Many scholarships require students to accumulate a certain number of volunteer hours.
So, you can benefit highly from volunteering. If you feel lost, speak with your high school’s guidance counselor.
You can also speak with a member of the admissions office at your desired university. They can provide you with information to help get you on the right track.
Don’t Neglect Medium-Sized Colleges
When applying to different schools, keep medium-sized colleges at the top of your list. They come with enormous potential without being too large for you to take advantage of what they have to offer.
Our blog has many articles on education that can help you make better decisions in the future. Check them out today to see what you can learn!