Tools for Success

5 things to consider when choosing a University

By Sergio A. Lagunas @SALagunas 

The season is almost approaching when students from high school or community college begin to connect with a public college or university they applied to in the fall. Before setting your mind on one specific place, be sure to go over the following 5 things to consider when choosing a university.

1. MAKE A LIST

Make a list of all the universities you have sent an application. Set a deadline to explore each college or university, or schedule a specific time to do more digging on each university you are considering to attend. This will help you get organized. Remember to focus on one university per day so that you have all your attention on just that one college or university to norm your decision.

2. READ THE FACTS

Look at all the facts about each university inclusive of demographics, geography, size, and much more. It is important to look at all the facts before you make this major choice of where you are going to live and with who. When you see the numbers and the percentages of how a university is measured, you get a better picture when you visit each campus because you already know a thing or two about the place. Look at the diversity at each college. This is so that you get an idea of the cultures you will be exposed to at each campus. Read about the surrounding cities and downtown areas. This can help you learn about the social environment at each campus. Reading the facts is all about learning more of the people, the academics and reputation from each university.

3. CHECK YOUR WALLET

It is a good idea to see how much you are going to spend at each university. You should get out the calculator or use your phone calculator of course, and you may search for the financial aid website for each campus to look at the student budget samples. Each campus is different specially when it comes to finding out the total expense during your tenure at the four-year university. If you are a community college student transferring to a four-year university, look at the total expense for 2-3 years. For all other students the total expense should be calculated for 4-6 years. The time you will invest at a university depends highly on your college major.

4. TOUR THE CAMPUSES

Venture out to each university you have applied and take a self guided tour or sign up for a campus tour at each office of admissions or visitor center. Make the effort to visit all universities that you have an interest in no matter how small. Even if you have visited a campus before, the experience as an applicant is much different. Be able to explore as much as you can while you visit a university. Talk to people as you walk to the library or the student center. Get the real feeling of living at the university because you are not only choosing a place to study for your degree. This is the place you will be fully integrated in for the next few years. The people you meet at the university will shape your life and career.

5. REFLECT AND CHOOSE

Write a reflection about your experience at each university. This will help you narrow down your top picks according to real research you have invested in to find out where you belong. It is easy to claim that your parents or friends desire a certain university for you, but you have the ultimate challenge of choosing where you will be best fit for your success. Your academic and social networking success is what will determine the worth of your college degree.

So, do the five things that are necessary when choosing a university; make a list, read the facts, check your wallet, tour the campuses, and reflect and choose. This will help you see where you will acclimate as a student, a leader and a scholar.