Top 3 Considerations When Choosing a University or College
Written by Jennifer Duong
Deciding which university or college to attend is often one of the most life-altering choices a student can make. And often one of the scariest. Of course, pursuing post-secondary education is not for everyone, and this decision may not be one you need to make. Here are the 3 most important things to consider when, and if, you make this decision.
The first and foremost question you should ask yourself is: do you need to attend university? What about college? Gap years are becoming significantly more normalized- for good reason. For many students, they allow time to discover passions and forge clearer career paths before diving into post-secondary education. Following high school graduation, many people choose to take some time off to refrain from spending tuition money to pursue careers they are uncertain of.
A factor that most students initially consider is the location. Where do you want to live for an average of 4 years? Do you want to stay in the city you live in? This element is the most personal, as it has to do entirely with your own wants. This is the first time in your academic career that you get to choose where you go to school. And that can feel like a major choice. Try not to let where your friends are going or where your parents want you to go affect your choice.
Cost may be a factor you can disregard if your parents already saved enough money for tuition. Though, for most students, loans and debt are considerations that must be taken into account. This can affect every other major and minor choice that goes into what school you end up attending, including location and academic quality. It can be easy to blow past annual tuition and moving and living costs, placing it all on your future self to pay off. Try to be rational. Take into account some cost-cutting or scholarships when making your decision to avoid staggeringly large debt.
Sometimes a university or college are more acclaimed for certain programs than others, which may come into play with the institution you decide to attend. For example, if you are interested in engineering, the University of Toronto and the University of Waterloo are notorious for offering 2 of the best programs in Canada. Studying at a reputable or widely-renowned school can offer professional advantages and, of course, a better educational experience. It can be an important factor to consider the faculty and the schools that offer the best, most credible programs.
Best of luck to those applying!