Selecting the right university can be a daunting task. It could stir a student’s mind from looking at the university’s profile to making the decision on accepting the admit. To streamline that, it is important to see if the university will cater to the specific academic and non-academic needs that a student has. Throughout this process, it is important to not lose sight of one’s final educational goals and find the best mix of academic advantages with supporting non-academic curricular activities.
Factors to consider could be:
1. Accreditation and ranking
It is recommended, to check the program ranking of a particular program and see if the program is accredited.
2. Alumni network
The strength of an Alumni network could land you your future job. It acts as a future gateway to the professional world from the academic world.
3. Campus recruitments
Students’ academic success depends on the quality and quantity of hands on experience through projects, internships that they acquire during their studies. It is important to see what company tie-ups does the university have and how becoming a part of such internships will enhance students’ profile.
4. Class average profile
Getting an outlook on average class profile would help to understand if the course environment will be fit for a particular student and how it will enable the student to receive an enriching classroom experience.
Universities on the west coast tend to be liberal, and value community service, positive regard more as compared to those on East coast, where emphasis is on following the guidelines and analytical approach towards problem solving. Along with that on the West coast there are more programs related to software and IT, on the contrary, on the east coast, there are programs related to finance and management.
6. Profile of professors and faculty
It is a good step in the application process, to know the previous and current work of the professors that you plan to take your class with, to plan your coursework in term of research activities and projects better.
7. Cultural ‘fit’
‘Diversity’ is a key word in today’s educational world. Any program if it has the perfect mix of right people will foster necessary life skills into a student.
8. Class size and student to faculty ratio:
The ideal student to faculty ratio is between 1:25-1:30. In this manner, the student would get required attention from the faculty member and work well with his academic advisor on his or her career goals.
9. Financial aid:
Most certainly, as an international student scholarship and financial aid opportunities take away the extra burden of student loan and make the path of studies abroad smoother. Assistantships and on-campus jobs prove to be a help too.
10. Content of the program:
The content of the program is equally important as by taking different electives and concentrations, program could be customized as per the academic goal.
To conclude, the most important factor while choosing a university is how well a university’s mission and vision aligns with the personal values that you own, the closer the match, the better the decision will prove to be.