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How to pick the right college and course

How to pick the right college and course
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The United States of America (USA) unquestionably is the most preferred higher education destination. With rich academic setting, international...

The United States of America (USA) unquestionably is the most preferred higher education destination. With rich academic setting, international exposure, flexible programme, up-to-date infrastructure, and over 4,500 colleges to choose from, it has every reason to be the most sought after destination. The decision to pursue further education in a particular university requires careful considerations. Here are a few important points to keep in mind before you select a university:

1. Sign up with a genuine overseas education counselling company

Never hesitate in enrolling with an authentic counselling outfit, which can aid you in short listing the right schools on the basis of your GPA, standardised scores, aptitude and career inclinations. Blindly applying to top 50 without knowing your stakes will only make your plans go pear-shaped and leave you disappointed.

2. Ranking

University ranking is a great way of assessing the overall academic environment of such institution. It is indicative of the pedagogical approach, quality of infrastructure, qualification of faculty and employment opportunities one can expect upon graduation.

3. Knowledge of programme you are going for

It is important to ascertain a strong understanding of the programme you are applying for and ensure that the programme is recognised and credited. This is particularly relevant when you are going for rare specialisations such as Radiologic Sciences, Oriental Medicines, Archeology, etc. Relying just on the university ranking is not enough to make up your mind to pursue the programme from a particular college.

4. Campus placement and recruitment initiatives

It is imperative that you do your bit in researching about campus placements and job opportunities post acquiring degree from the university in question. After all, a foreign degree is going to cost you a pretty penny, and the best return on investment is to get a lucrative job that ensures a bright future and a fat paycheck.

5. Student-Faculty Ratio

It is important to be aware of student faculty ratio before you enroll in a particular university. Chances of getting personalised attention are higher if the student-faculty ratio is lower. Besides confirming this ratio, it is also important to know the average batch size to get a complete picture.

6. Research opportunities, Co-op programmes, and Alumni network

These are significant benefits that a university can offer and therefore you must always enquire whether the college encourages students in assisting professors in their research undertakings. Some colleges set aside funds to support capstone projects and individual research initiatives. Also, get an idea of whether the college aids in facilitating summer internships for students.

7. Do a reality check

Getting admission to well-known and prestigious university is a matter of pride but the completion of the degree is proportionately challenging. What is as important as the school ranking is the how well the programme is designed and how well it resonates with your interests.

8. Location of the university

Geographical location of the college is more important than you may think. Remember that you are not going on a holiday but going to be residing there for an extended period. In some areas, you must be mentally prepared to weather harsh and extreme weather conditions if you are not accustomed to.

9. Educational expenses

When you are planning your overseas education, this is one factor that must never be discounted. Your cost of education does not only cover your tuition fee but also involves your living expenses. While private universities are costlier, they offer better facilities and professor to student ratio. State universities, on the other hand, offer competitive fee advantages to students facing budget crunch but may not pay as much individual attention as private universities do.

10. Accreditation

It is crucial that the school, you intend to attend has earned an accreditation certificate that demonstrates its high academic excellence. In case the university does not meet recommended standards, you may not be able to transfer your credit to another university and which will also dampen your job prospects.

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