Weighing pros and cons before selecting the right college!

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We strongly recommend that all the students reading this blog post, read the previous article (“Mirror mirror on the wall, which is the best career of all?”) before Reading this one. Most of what we are about to discuss is sheer common sense but often as students, we get so carried away by the herd mentality or our own passion or misguided notions that we lose our objectivity.

Here are 10 things that we should consider before opting for a college that best suits us:

Grades/Scores: Most students can actually get into reputed colleges of their choice only if their academic scores and/or entrance exam scores are top class. Based on these marks, students may have to compromise on the college that they gain admission into or the line that they ultimately get to pursue.

Study – that is the only thing that is actually in your control. Like we mentioned earlier – there is a time and a place for everything in life. A casual attitude towards academics will impact the future course of your lives.

Research the background of the college: Perhaps you have decided to pursue fashion designing. No problem. But has the curriculum been designed properly? When was this course started? How many students have enrolled into this course? How successful have they been in finding jobs after they completed their course? What kind of infrastructure is being provided by the college for this course? Are the lecturers experienced experts of their field? Will you get a valid degree from a recognized university after finishing the course?

The answer to the last two questions alone may change your decision.

Do your research thoroughly: Most students are highly tech-savvy. But when it comes to doing all the ground work, they are miserable failures. Explore all those avenues and options and unique new careers that are opening up for you. We are not asking you to take up any of those courses. But going this extra mile will help you understand the competition. Something might just pique your interest suddenly …….several clicks, a few phone calls and voila your life has just taken a brand new turn altogether.

I say this from personal experience. Believe me when I say so!

Location, Tuition fee, Placement record: Most students factor in these three aspects when they finish their 12th standard exams. They are mentally prepared and know that their life is going to change. They are mature enough to select colleges keeping in mind these factors and their scores.

Financial aid: Students with exemplary results are never denied access to quality education. Some colleges offer this kind of aid to a small percentage of their students based on certain criteria. Find out if you fall in that category. Else supportive parents unhesitatingly take loans/financial aid because they want at least their children to lead a better quality of life. They know that the returns will come in the form of great salaries after the course is completed. So, though these things are crucial, they are manageable.

Faculty members: Expert experienced faculty members make a world of difference to the quality of education that we get. Several colleges go out of the way to bring in visiting faculty members to give special lectures to their students. Workshops are conducted, demonstrations are given, live interaction is encouraged, and guest lectures and presentations are scheduled into the curriculum, student exchange programs are woven into the curriculum etc.

If a college is consistently providing this kind of exposure to the students, it will garner a great reputation for itself through its satisfied and stimulated set of students.

Chat: Go visit that campus and meet the students studying there. Whether it is an offbeat course or a regular course, take your parents along with you so that you can get an extra pair of eyes and ears to get a true picture out of it.

Ask them if they regret taking up the course or are happy about it. What kind of challenges did they face? Go and visit the hostel and meet a few lecturers and see the department that you are likely to get admission into.

Infrastructure: Check out the facilities that are being offered here. Never mind if this is still in the nascent stages. If they have started a new thriving line, it takes a few years to set up a department properly.

As long as the college is progressive in its outlook, the faculty is experienced and mature and the course offers you value for your time and effort – it should definitely work out to be a good deal for you in the long run.

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