Choosing the Right College
1. Curriculum - Look for the schools that offer the right courses and facilities offered for the kinds of studies you are interested in. Students who are undecided should focus on schools that offer a strong liberal-arts program. If you are a science whiz, choose a school that has top of the line labs, computers and other facilities.
2. Academic Standards – Not all schools are created equal. Perhaps your dream is to go off to the US but consider whether the cost and standard of the education you will receive there is competitive with one that you would receive by staying locally or regionally. The value of the education should be paramount in your decision making.
3. Cost - Find out what the tuition, fees, room and board charges will be at schools you are interested in. Factoring the cost of an education is an important part of the decision making.
4. Size – Coming from a small island, you may be overwhelmed at a large university or you may welcome the opportunity to broaden the range of people you will meet. If you think you might be overwhelmed at a large university, look for a school with a smaller student population. But remember, even at a larger school, after your Sophomore year, the size of classes begin to dwindle and you will have the opportunity to get to know the students in your area of study better.
5. Location - Decide where you want to go to college. If you need to live at home, then online classes maybe just what you need. Do you want to live in a big city? Do you want to explore colleges around the world?
6. Extra-curricular Activities – A vibrant social life is a major part of college. Find out if the school you're interested in has clubs or other organizations that are of interest to you. If you are a sports fanatic, make sure your college has the teams in the sports you want to watch or programs that offer you the chance to play.
7. Religious Affiliation – Almost all colleges have campus-based religious activities and places of worship are most often not far from campus.
8. Visit the Campus - Make visits to a number of schools if you can. If traveling to visit a school is not an option find out if they offer "virtual tours" on their website.
9. Talk to Students and Alumni - Nobody knows as much about a school as students who are currently enrolled and alumni who have graduated. The students can tell you about campus life and academics. The alumni will tell whether a degree from this institution fulfilled their educational expectations and how it helped them in their careers.
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