Are you also graduating from high school soon? If yes, you might wonder which university is the right choice. But with so many universities, how do you pick the right one? After all, choosing a university is a significant decision and shouldn’t be taken lightly. Even though it might not be the final determining factor in your life, it considerably impacts where you land.
However, for many students, choosing the right university can be overwhelming. Additionally, the idea that you’ll spend a couple of years of your life in university makes it an even bigger responsibility, adding to your stress. But remember that choosing the right university for yourself doesn’t have to be stressful.
Before deciding to attend any university, there are numerous factors you need to take into account. From teaching format to campus location to university facilities, various elements will formulate your university experience. Here’s how you can choose the best university for yourself.
- Figure Out Which Class Format Is Best For You
You might already know that universities offer on-campus, online, or even hybrid instruction, making it vital to choose a university that offers your preferred format. But how can you decide which format is best for you? If you want to work and get an education simultaneously, earning an online degree is better.
For instance, if you’re deciding to attend a university in Michigan, looking for accredited online colleges in Michigan allows you to take your classes whenever it’s convenient for you. Unless you have discussion groups or concrete lectures, studying online programs from such a university allows you to control your schedule.
On the other hand, if you want to get the feel of leaning over and whispering to the person sitting next to you to share your ideas, on-campus learning would be better. Additionally, looking for a university that offers in-person learning allows you to get immediate answers to questions and direct attention from the lecturer.
- Think About The Costs
Remember, the cost is a significant factor in helping you choose the right university. When the time to pick a university comes, you need to ensure that the school fits in with your budget, even after accounting for living expenses and fees.
Along with tuition, fees, and accommodation, you need to consider the area’s cost of living and expenses like extracurriculars, entertainment, and transportation. Knowing the average costs allows you to predict your financial needs and decide whether the university is the right choice. These city guides for students seeking accommodation can be especially helpful, as accommodation is often the most significant cost.
- Check The Rankings
Wondering why it’s essential to check the university’s rankings? The university’s ranking can help you learn more about its global standing and reputation. Besides that, before deciding to attend a university, remember to check the subject and department’s world ranking too. In fact, ranking your selected faculty or subject is more essential than the university’s overall ranking as it gives a more precise indicator of the experience and quality of education you’ll get. For instance, your shortlisted university might be in the world’s top five universities, but the subject or department you’re interested in could only rank in 100 or 150 worldwide.
- Explore The Extracurricular Programs
University isn’t just about the classroom. Hence, your university criteria must include extracurriculars. But why are extracurriculars essential? Extracurricular activities allow you to pursue interests outside your degree. If you’re studying biology, you can still pursue your interest in writing poetry.
Not just that, extracurricular activities might look like games and fun, but they’re more than that. After you graduate from university, you need an impressive resume. Such activities help develop your skillset and improve your resume, making it easier for you to get your dream job.
So, what extracurricular activities do universities offer? Well, it depends. Many universities have athletics courses like intramural sports where you can play soccer, baseball, football, or basketball. Many schools also provide more niche sports, such as lacrosse, crew, or golf.
Besides sports, you can join the debate team or choir, participate in volunteer activities or work on theater plays. Additionally, if you have any niche hobby, check whether your potential university has a club for that extracurricular activity.
- Define Your Non-Negotiables
One of the best ways to choose the right university for yourself is by defining what your non-negotiables are. These are things that are crucial to you and that your university must provide. For instance, if you’re a water polo athlete, your non-negotiable thing could be for the university to have a water polo team.
On the other hand, your non-negotiable might be a year in the field included in your course, a short commute from home, or attending a campus university. Highlighting your non-negotiables allows you to factor in your requirements and make better choices while choosing your university. But how can you define your non-negotiables? You can figure out your non-negotiables by doing the following:
- Be clear: Go through your list and separate what is actually non-negotiable and what is only ‘nice to have.
- Stay current: Review your list several times yearly to ensure your non-negotiables still resonate with you.
- Consider The University Type
The layout and location of a university can play a vital role in your everyday experience as a student. Hence, before choosing a university, don’t forget to consider its type. So, ask yourself whether you want to be in a city or campus university. But what’s the difference between the two?
A city university is generally included within a town or city, and its buildings are regularly spread out from each other. In comparison, campus universities are situated outside of towns, with buildings within walking distance.
Remember that both the university types have their perks, but you should think about which of the two looks more appealing to you and fits according to your lifestyle. Besides that, you need to consider whether you’re looking forward to studying on a big or small campus.
The number of students attending the school could vary from less than 4000 to over 20000. Smaller universities generally have a more selective course outline, while bigger colleges might provide a diverse range of majors.
If you’re unsure how to choose the best university, check out these factors. Look at the factors mentioned above and see how you can choose the perfect university for yourself and make your experience memorable.