If you’re thinking about applying to college, either as a mature student or straight from high school, you’ll know that it’s not always easy to decide where you want to study. There are loads of great institutions out there, each with its own unique atmosphere and individual quirks. While one option is to simply go with your intuition, it can be helpful to take a more logical approach to choosing the best college for you. With that in mind, here are six factors to consider when making your decision.
1. The location
Where a college is situated can have a big influence on your experience there. For example, studying abroad in a whole new culture is vastly different to studying in your home country. On a smaller scale, you’ll also want to think about whether you’d prefer to live in a bustling city or quieter suburb, how close you’d like to be to your family, and even what the local climate is like.
2. The degree programs
One of the most important considerations is the specific program that you’ll be studying. Once you’ve picked a major, you’ll need to check the individual curriculums of different colleges to make sure that the modules they offer are of interest to you and fit your career goals.
3. Its entry requirements
Another issue to consider is whether you’re actually eligible to apply to the colleges you’re looking at. Each institution and individual program will set their own entry requirements – both in terms of the grades you’ll need and what subjects they should be in – so for instance, take a look at the LA University GPA and admission requirements and make sure you stand a good chance of meeting them before applying.
4. Its reputation
Employers give a lot of weight to the college that you study at, so don’t forget to think about the reputation of those you’re interested in. Check the academic rankings for both the college as a whole and the specific subject or department you’re considering and see how they measure up. Having a qualification from a top college is a great way to make your resume more impressive!
5. Its facilities
You want to make sure that the college you attend has excellent facilities for you to use during your time as a student there. For example, these include:
- Well-stocked academic libraries with a productivity-boosting atmosphere to study in
- Subject-specific facilities such as laboratories and workshops
- Careers services
- High quality computing facilities
- Spacious, clean and comfortable accommodation
- Great extracurricular facilities for sports and the arts
- Student bars, shops and cafes
6. The culture on campus
Every college has its own unique culture, and ideally you want to choose a university that suits your personality. The best way to get a feel for a place is to visit the campus in person; however, if that’s not possible for you then try reading blogs by current students and watching videos that take you on a virtual tour of the college. Nowadays lots of institutions also run online open days that can be a great way to get a glimpse of life on campus, talk to people studying there, and ask any questions you may have.