Choosing a college is not the kind of decision to take lightly because it involves numerous considerations such as cost, location, postgraduate success and other aspects that will have influence on your student experience. From a personal point of view the college choice will influence friendships, extracurricular opportunities, daily life and your routine on and off campus.
Considering the weight of this decision, an applicant should take a hard look at what are their best options. To make your experience a little bit easier, here are 5 tips to help students make the final decision on college choice.
Photo Credits: <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/photos/school’>School photo created by karlyukav – www.freepik.com</a>
- Focus on making your choice ‘fit you’.
Experts say that students should put a heavy emphasis on finding the “right fit” when choosing a college, and by that we mean to find a place that will embrace your values and who you are. Remember that your education will colour many aspects of your life. Also, it is a long-term commitment since you will be attending to this place for the next 3…4 years or more, so you need to feel comfortable where you are enrolling.
- Explore campus beyond the tour.
Campus tours are informative and often enthusiastic. It’s a great way to see much of campus and hear about it from a student’s perspective, but we believe that applicants should seek out other stops and students. In addition to the tour, try to spend some extra time on campus, look for some information online and reach out to other students to ask about their experience and recommendations.
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- Consider price and quality.
Economic specialists encourage students to consider schools that are the best value for them and fit their budget. It is advised to always carefully research when considering the cost of the colleges you’ve been accepted to, and analyse both quality and price. The same measures applied if you’ve been offered a scholarship, carefully research its conditions. If you need a loan, be aware that loans taken out in college may follow you into your adult life, making it for a long-term commitment which will influence your finances in the future.
- Know how your major/degree influences career options.
There are two significant decisions for students looking ahead to their future: which college to attend and what major to choose. A college major or degree will serve as a launching pad into the workforce, and can influence future earnings of your career. It is said by experts that students should choose a major in a discipline that they enjoy, while also being aware of other important aspects such as:
- Job opportunities;
- Earning potential;
- Barriers to practicing in a particular field;
- Need for advanced degrees;
- Professional licensing requirements.
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- Pay attention to institutional values.
Some says you can learn a lot about an institution’s values and mission during hard times, just like the one that we are facing now, a global pandemic. So, pay attention to how the schools and related businesses are providing board refunds, have set up emergency relief funds, or providing alternative grading for their students. It is important to engage with organizations that share human values over business.
Bear in mind that no college decision is truly final because a lot of things can change during your journey. Maybe change of major, opt for a cheaper school or want to move closer to home… there are countless reasons for transferring colleges.
If the circumstances change for you, don’t panic and study the available options. There is always a solution, whether you transfer to a school you think will be a better fit, taking a gap year or come back when you feel more prepared to overcome the challenges college brings to the table.
If you have already made up your mind and decided to study in Ireland, don’t hesitate to contact us to provide your home away from home in your next academic year.
Swuite is well located both in Galway and Dublin, close to the best colleges in Ireland to give you what is the best in student accommodation.