Choosing your degree, as well as the college or university you’ll be taking it in, can be considered one of those life-changing decisions. No wonder it’s extremely important to take all factors into account when shopping for colleges, with the tremendous list available and all the varying courses that come with it.
So, how do you at least streamline this overwhelming list of choices?
Is Your Preferred Major Offered There?
This should be a no-brainer, since your choice of university is strongly influenced by the major that you’ve decided to take, not the other way around (except for some cases). But sometimes this is often overlooked by students and a lot of precious time and effort is wasted by going personally to the college for your application only to realize that your preferred major is not listed there. Do a quick search beforehand to make sure first, this could almost immediately shorten your list by half.
Does The Location Suit You?
Students often neglect to do enough research on their prospective university before enrolling, relying mostly on second-hand information from aunts, uncles, and classmates (who also haven’t been there yet). To prevent disappointing yourself over these things, ask yourself: Do you mind the business of city life or not? Would you prefer something closer to home or don’t mind if it’s far from it? Universities like the University of Santo Tomas and De La Salle are located in Manila and are as bustling as it comes, while the University of the Philippines in Diliman gives off a cool, rural feel. It all falls down to your preference.
Can You Handle The Costs?
Sometimes, students measure the cost of studying by the face-value of the tuition fee presented to them. A good rule of thumb is that, if adding half of the tuition to its current value is too much already, then it probably is. You should also account for the costs of your meals every day, dorm rent, your daily commute expenses, and your probable project expenses as well. Do not force yourself to go to a college just because your friends are going there. Let’s be practical, see other much affordable ones for you.
Are You Comfortable With The Size Of The School?
With thousands of schools accepting enrollees every year, there are also different varieties of sizes that tell you more about the institutions itself. Larger colleges/universities have bigger resources, but of course, expect the population to be proportionate to this as well (and I mean full cafeterias, long lines on the registrar, etc.) Sometimes, smaller colleges offer courses that those larger ones do not. So see carefully whether you’d like to have a broader or a much more intimate college experience.
Is Academic Quality Good?
This might need a little bit more than your typical research, but asking around for people with actual experience inside the college can provide you invaluable insight on what to expect regarding their academic quality. This goes for their faculty as well. Most of the time, you’ll be unable to glean this sort of information on their websites, so a thorough, personal inquiry will be needed often. Make sure you’re okay with whatever you hear, and if you feel even a bit uncomfortable with what you didn’t know before, then maybe it’s time to consider other choices in the meantime.
With all this to take into consideration, sometimes a regular student can feel overwhelmed. But remember, in the end, it’s YOU who has the final choice and only you who can decide where your preferences will take you. Nothing ever came out bad out of a well-researched decision.