Every year, millions of high school graduates and adults alike face deciding where they would like to have their college education. Most likely, the names that come to mind may be the Harvards, Yales, Stanfords, etc.
How about considering other colleges which may not be as popular? Have you ever considered the fact that not all colleges might be suited for you? Instead of looking for the “best colleges” in general, what you may wish to ask yourself is, “What college is best for me?”.
To help you with this decision, here is a list of things you may wish to consider when looking out for a good college.
Qualities of a Good College
- Accredited Academic Programs – a good college will offer a wide variety of academic programs that are accredited. When looking out for a college, you would like to consider whether the college offers the programs you are interested in and likely to pursue. You would also have to consider programs that will benefit you in life after college.
- Graduation Rate – a good college should have a track record of a high graduation rate. In looking for a college, this is worth considering. If a college has a low graduation rate, that is already a red flag, and it will not be advisable to apply to that college since the main aim of going to college is to graduate with a degree.
- Student to Faculty Ratio – the ratio of students to that of the faculty or teaching staff is something to consider as it may go a long way to influence your learning process. For example, if someone studies best in a small group and requires more attention from a professor or lecturer, it is best to seek a college with a lower student to faculty ratio.
- Financial Aid – not everyone may be able to roll up to Mom and Dad for their checkbook to pay for school. Good colleges offer financial aid options allowing those in need to apply for scholarships or loans covering part of their tuition. Look up the colleges that have a variety of financial aid options. Consider grants, scholarships, and if all else fails, loans. In taking loans, be careful not to take so much that you have difficulties paying back.
- Extracurricular Activities – a good college should have a wide variety of extracurricular activities to nurture and develop their talents. Look for non-standard clubs, especially ones that help you build leadership skills. Ie. Student association executive, Rotary clubs, debate team (if that suits your taste), etc.
- Opportunities for Internships – a chance to undertake internship programs during your time in college is an important thing to consider. Colleges with internship programs allow students to boost their resume and gain valuable work experience.
- Alumni Network – alumni; refer to former students of an institution. One way to know if a college is a good one is by looking at its alumni network. An active alumni network opens doors for networking, internship, and job opportunities. Does your prospective college have a long list of successful people that have exited its door? That may be a big clue as to the quality of the school.
Your college choice is an important life decision. Hopefully, the qualities of a good college discussed here can help you make the right choice for yourself! All the best!