Congratulations! You just accomplished another feat in your school life and now’s the time to move to the next level: college. You’ve probably decided by now which course you want to take, ready to fulfill that profession you put in your school yearbook. Running through a list of the top universities in the country, your heart is filled with that “I-will-be-my-best-self” spirit. But with all the suggestions from your parents, friends, or mentors, regarding choosing a college, why do you still find yourself in the middle of a crossroad?
Surely, academics is an important factor, but it’s not the only part of the equation! Determining the right university for you does not only depend on the school’s program offerings. If you want to get the best out of your college experience, make sure to study these 10 other factors:
Is your school near from where you live or are you required to commute? School location is one of the most important things you have to consider first because it can affect your overall learning experience. Are you someone who prefers to stay with your family? Or do you want to explore and experience dorm life? Answering these questions can give you a better picture of how your everyday campus routine will be like.
As much as you want to be in some of the most prominent colleges in the country, the reality is that not everything comes for free. While some schools no longer require tuition fees, expenses are still part of your education investment. You still have to shell out money for other expenses such as books, miscellaneous fees, school projects, campus trips, food, and transportation. Research about your university’s cost of living and try to consider if that could fit into your allowance or your parent’s financial capacities.
3. Financial aid
After considering the overall cost, one good thing to do is to look for available scholarships you can apply for. Schools provide different programs such as full and partial scholarships, book or uniform allowances, or monthly stipends to help deserving students. If you need more help in getting a scholarship, you can research different scholarship listings here.
In recent years, school facilities have been a key factor for students in choosing a college based on the report by Times Higher Education. An institution’s facilities and equipment affects everyone- from the students and faculty to other school personnel. This is essential if the course you are going to take requires a more technical or specialized skills especially in the fields of medicine, engineering, or multimedia. Before you enroll, make sure to check first the environment. How quiet and conducive the classrooms are? Are there open spaces where you can freely study? Is there proper lighting and ventilation for each room? How about the chairs, tables, and other equipment, is there enough for every student? Is the school also accessible for differently abled persons? Keeping these things in mind will help you better assess the school during your campus tour. Remember, you are going to spend the next four to five years of your life in these buildings so staying there should be worth it!
5. Campus Size
How big is the school area? Size and setting of schools vary per location. Some universities are known for their large campuses and greeneries while some are prominent for their modern structures. Are you more comfortable studying in a small class or would love to be in a theater-like hall while listening to your professor? Each student has their own preferences so it’s best to ask yourself which setting is more conducive to you.
6. Extracurricular activities
Are you involved in theater, sports, arts, dance, or any other interest in Senior High School, and wish to continue it to college? Or do you want to learn a new talent or be involved in an advocacy? Then you might want to check out if the college you prefer provides these opportunities. What kind of extracurricular activities are available? How many students participate?
7. Campus Culture
How does the school handle academics and social life of students? Is the campus spirit alive and well? Schools who are more involved in athletic events are popular for their “die-hard” student and alumni support during collegiate competitions like the NCAA and UAAP basketball tournament. Even if you are not into sports, you can still find your heart in a rush once you hear famous chants like “Go USTE!”, or Ateneo’s “One Big Fight!”, and“Animo La Salle!”. Your college will be your second home for the next years so you don’t want to be in a place where you don’t feel like you belong.
In choosing a college, one important thing to take into consideration is safety. Find out what measures the school take to ensure the safety of their students as well as parents’ peace of mind. What is the overall environment like of the school? Do they have enough guards that secure the school vicinity? Are there security protocols being followed by students and personnel? This does not only include campus perimeters but also inside classrooms. It would also be helpful to know how the school deals with bullying and other cases like hazing.
9. Career Services
The purpose of college, after all, is to prepare you for a career path that will lead you a successful future. A school’s career services department is one of the most important offices that you should know. Does the school have internship and job listings? Is there a licensed career or guidance counselor that you can meet with? Do they conduct seminars and activities that can help you harness your job readiness? Joining these career enhancement and alumni mentorship programs will not only help you gain more knowledge, but also make you become a marketable job candidate when you graduate.
10. School Process
Do your inquiries get answered or does the school take weeks to provide a response? When applying, is their process tedious and confusing? And when you’re finally accepted, what’s the enrolment process like? Knowing how the school operates can also help you avoid stress in the future! Luckily, many schools now in the Philippines allow their students to apply online so you and your parents can be sure of a more convenient way to get into your dream university.
So, you think you’re now ready for college? Start by visiting Edukasyon.ph and browse through thousands of schools, courses, and scholarships that suits you best.