The criteria for choosing an educational institute will be part personal, part financial and the most part about the excellence of the institution and courses offered It is a fine balance between these three factors that results in choosing wisely and well after all it is going to impact the rest of your life and happiness. Also, it is not all about idealism – also factor in how much you need to earn, whether as a family imperative or as a debit or credit analysis and which institution can lend the necessary gravitas to your ultimate resume.
The choice of career is naturally the larger and more confusing decision to be taken at either the 10th or 12th standard stage but now the choice of institution is also difficult. With competition increasing for a limited number of seats, it is crucial that the selection of colleges that are applied for should have a representations of the best or aspiration ( where the student might have a chance of getting in) the good ( where the student stands a reasonable chance of getting in) and the middle to average (where the student is assured of a seat!) this balance is essential as the vagaries of admission systems and quotas should not result in a situation where you lose out on a good course from a medium college or even a middling course offered by a great college. Of course, this decision partly depends on your financial situation (since most colleges have application fees).
To make a choice from the bouquet of colleges and institutions start with the basics check on their legal status and affiliations there have been enough cases of institutions rising from the dust only to crumble back within the span of a decade or less! Check on the word of mouth publicity talk to your counselors, teachers, family friends — take note of their recommendations but don’t take decisions based on this, it is just a starting point. A word of caution about the rankings that appear in newspapers and magazines – use them as a springboard not as the ultimate benchmark. The brochures, catalogues and websites of colleges are valid place to being, but they are just that – a good start! These once read can generate questions to be asked of the college representative. Talk to those from the same college, whether alumni current students’ faculty may be even service providers and get a general idea of the atmosphere and methods.
A key question to ask is how does the college rank in the subject that you want to study check out how strong the programs and professors are in the various fields you are considering. A good indication of the emphasis a university places on a subject is to verify the number of students studying it, how many course are offered in the filed and how many faculty members teach the courses associated with that subject. This should give you an idea as to the size of the department and the range of courses. The placement / internship, a success class size, degree of pressure to excel are also things that should be factored in.
The infrastructure that is available is a huge pointer to how serious the institution is about the courses offered, for instance whether they have a well equipped science lab or just a few things masquerading in the guise. Go to colleges and speak with the college representatives – tale a list of questions with you so that key points are covered.
The social aspects of your potential college extracurricular activities, how close or far is the campus from a major city. No matter how strong your college is academically be sure to consider the big picture. The hostel accommodation safely on campus, the energy of the student body the canteen and the club all will have a bearing on how happy you are on the campus. There are ways around this, but college life should be comfortable at the very minimum else the fun goes out of even the very best of courses.
The most important reasoning behind choosing particular college is sometimes the dynamic of where your friends are going! This is an important aspect but it should not become the defining reason for choosing an institution. Consider learning by distance or look at other ways to do the things you like if the colleges close by or within financial reach are not offering what you really wish to graduate in.
Finally, you need to take into account how much it will cost and the effect on your future. Ensure the fees are affordable for your family. The aid package that you will need for the courses and how soon would you be able to repay the same after graduating. Also, take into consideration how much you expect your future living expenses to be and how those expenses relate to the money spent on getting the education. Do wait until you are accepted by the college before making cost a limiting factor.
First discover what aspects of college life will determine your focus and ultimately pick the institution that meets your needs.