After finishing higher secondary school, one is very excited to join college. Once the stream of future education is decided, one starts choose a right college of his choice.
Once the list of probable colleges is prepared one has to narrow down and pick a handful of colleges in which you wish to take admission. It is better to do some homework like how many marks/grade you are expecting in your higher secondary school, the combination of courses you wish to apply for, etc. It is better to get beforehand knowledge of colleges.
Visit the colleges
Take a tour of those colleges of your narrowed down list. Visit office, take a round in the campus, visit the library, classrooms, canteen, hostel/dormitory, laboratories etc. Talk with present students, academic and non-academic staff, and ask questions about what to expect and what not to expect.
By seeing things first hand, you can judge whether you will be comfortable in the prevailing environment or not. A campus of each college varies and so does its environment and culture. There is a big difference in colleges located in metro cities and other cities. Some students are more concerned with the openness of campus, some have more tilt towards teaching staff and library, others may be more interested in extracurricular activities.
If you have chosen your field talking to the alumni who have passed out with the same course will be more beneficial. You can get contact details from the college office. Talking with few alumni will give you a unique perspective. You will get an insight of the institute like how the teaching faculty is, can you get help and guidance from them, how helpful the education that is provided in the practical world. Many alumni will be happy to share their college experience and cheerfully answer questions about their alma mater.
Note down the details
If you have visited many colleges than it is better to note down your experience in a diary. Day by day, and event by event. What you liked, what you disliked, your overall observation. Because after a passage of time things will start getting blur. It is better to be organized when comparing different colleges. You can also take video on your smart phone, which will help you to remember things instantaneously.
Factors to consider to choose a Right College
The factors in choosing a college are many. Here are certain key things that you should know when you will compare colleges. They are as follows:-
Even before taking admission one should check and compare numbers of companies coming for campus placements. And also their reputation and standing in the industry, the average salary package offered, and the number of students they have recruited. This information can be obtained from training and placement officer (TPO) of the college. This assures that after passing out you have a better opportunity of getting employed just after graduation.
It is one of the most important factors for many students, especially if they are coming from the economically weak background. The tuition fee is just a part. Other costs include room rent/hostel, books, transportation to and fro college, college development fund, building fund, computer fee, etc. when you compare to be sure to include every related cost. Just like CTC to an employer, it will be your education cost to you.
Students should compare ranking on certain parameters of different colleges. College standing and prestige has an impact on your career. In certain industries, it is irreverent from where you did your schooling or college. But in this competitive and professional world name does raise few eyebrow.
College ranks can be compared on the government portal. There are magazines that come out with the ranking of colleges on various parameters before admission season begins. Like does it have digital classrooms and digital library, job placements, accreditation, Wi-Fi campus, campus area, build up area etc?
This is one of the factors considered by many students. The size of a class determines whether the teacher will be able to pay individual attention or not, is one to one interaction with teacher possible. One can check average class size from admission office and compare with other colleges to choose a right college. Educational qualification of teaching staff, their teaching experience should also be compared.
Look out for education loans, sponsorship, and/or scholarships available. Many colleges have tied up with banks to facilitate the easy procedure. It so happens that some costly colleges have good scholarship structure for meritorious students, which ultimately decrease your costs, and helps to tackle financial angle easily. Some colleges have chairs which are sponsored by alumni or company or trusts. In short, look for complete offer the college can provide.
Working option to decrease debt
Another aspect one can consider working part-time, in-campus or off-campus. This will limit the amount of loan which you take, as the loan has to be repaid in future and is a debt presently. If working off-campus you will have to think how practical it is. Depending on your college timing and number of hours you can possibly devote to working.
On many college websites, advertisers advertise for part time jobs suitable for college students. Few give private tuition to school kids to support themselves financially.
Apart from the above things one should compare size of the campus (some are so big that they are like township and others so small that they fit in few rooms), on-campus hostels (mixed or separate for boys and girls), number of students enrolling and average time taken for graduation (number of enrollment to percentage of pass out) and choose a right college. It shows the quality of education in that institute and accreditation from government agencies etc.