Choosing a University: What Colleges Don't tell you
Getting the right college degree from the right university will probably one of the most important decisions of your life concern. Some of the most important factors in selecting the right university are:
Where Should You Attend?
The first decision should be whether to attend a school in your home state, out of state or a school in another country. One thing that will influence this, aside from cost, is whether you want to be close to your family and friends. Some college students enjoy the sense of freedom and adventure of being in a new place.
Think About the Career You Want
Not every school offers the best training in the field you want to enter. Some universities have a reputation for offering excellent courses in some fields. For example, MIT is known as a top-class university for people who are into technology. Check the website and look at the course listings and the curriculum of the schools you are most interested in attending.
What Can You Afford?
The amount you can afford to pay will have to play a big role in choosing a college. If you will have to depend on scholarships and financial aid to get through, make sure to find out what is available. Some schools will have more scholarships and funding opportunities.
If you are big on a particular sport, you should make sure that you choose schools that participate in these sporting activities. If you are a player, choose schools that will make it possible for you to play. If you enjoy going to clubs and giving back to the community, the school should offer these opportunities as well. Any college you consider should ideally have an interest in culture, sports, volunteering and being socially active.
You also need to be realistic about your choices. Some schools are extremely difficult to get into, so make sure to apply not only to the top schools but also to good, middle-tier schools. Other things that will help you in making a decision when doing your research are:
- Your emphasis on religion: If this is important to you, find out if places of worship are on campus or if they are close by
- What others think about your choices: Talk to current students and alumni about their own experiences in college. Alumni are a great source of information if the programs helped them meet their career expectations. Current students can share their feelings and insight into the university
- Available resources and facilities: If for example you are planning to study the sciences, look for schools with well-equipped labs
- The meal option that is available: For religious or personal reasons you might not eat certain foods. Make sure you will be able to get the food you want whether on campus or nearby. If this is not possible, find out if you can cook on your dorm.
After careful consideration, you should ideally have three or four schools that fit the bill. These schools should be at the top of your list. The advice as to how many schools to apply to varies, with some people suggesting a minimum of three, while others saying six. However, it is up to you to decide how many applications to send out. Talk to your school counselor and your parents to help you make a decision. Some students send out over 10 college applications to increase their chances of gaining admission to one.
Be practical in your selection of a school. With research and effort, you can find the ideal college at which to further your education. Just make sure that you are choosing a college for the right reason. Finally, if possible, visit the campuses to get a firsthand view of what is available.
Online Degrees- Futuristic Learning, or Scams
Since the year 2008, there has been a steady increase in the number of online degrees offered. Such a supply is complimented by an ever-increasing demand from students all over the world. There are upsides and downsides attached to this form of education. So before you decide whether you would like to pursue your degree in the online world or in a brick-and-mortar classroom, here are a few things you should keep in mind.
Pros of Online Degrees
Quite apparently, there are several benefits associated with online degrees. For instance;
Convenience at Its Best
Online degrees offer the best of every form of convenience. You are not bound to reach a specific location at a specific time. All you need to do is login from your computer and attend the classes as and when you desire – even if it means at midnight in your pajamas!
You may be living in a place where colleges and universities may not be easily accessible. Online degrees make sure you do not need to sacrifice your academic desires in face of such a crisis. It also saves you from relocation costs that would be incurred if you choose to move to another place near your college.
Interacting With Students from Anywhere In the World
The internet has made it possible for people from all over the world to come together on a common platform and indulge in a shared academic experience. So regardless of where on earth you and your classmates are located, you will always be able to interact with each other and learn about the various cultures and traditions celebrated in different parts of the world.
No Discrimination – Equal Opportunity
Online education programs do not require you to share your background information, picture or any other personal information that may be used against you. Hence, no discrimination is practiced. Online degrees provide equal learning opportunities to all those who are enrolled in the program.
Setting Your Own Pace
Cannot keep up with the pace being followed? You can always alter it to your convenience. This means taking classes more frequently or the converse. You get to set the pace/frequency of classes most suitable for you.
Less Expensive (Parking, Housing and Food Expenses)
Online education is comparably less expensive than traditional classroom education. This is because a major cost of the classrooms is eliminated from the tuition fees. Moreover, you are able to save quite a significant amount of money in the form of transportation expenses, food and housing costs and other similar expenditures.
Interactive Learning Environment
Online education involves the use of interactive mediums like presentations, videos and other similar resource material. Therefore, you get to experience a high quality interactive learning environment. This not only improves your academic experience, it also ensures you are able to retain more of what you learn.
Cons of Online Degrees
There are a few downsides of online degrees.
You do not get to enjoy campus life. This restricts your networking opportunities – with your professors as well as other students. You cannot meet them physically which proves to be a major drawback in improving relationships. Moreover, you are devoid of campus experiences that are a part and parcel of college life learning.
Waiting on Feedback
It is very difficult for you to get prompt responses. If you have a question, you do not get to raise your hand and ask. Instead, you need to drop an email which will be answered at the convenience of your professor. Consequently, this may mean delayed feedbacks and hence impaired learning.
Technology is not always blissful. Technological menaces like corrupted operating software, power failure, damage to hard disk and/or other computer parts and other similar problems do exist. Consequently, it diminishes your ease of acquiring education.
If you would like to have your credit hours transferred to an ongoing degree, you may be faced with problems and/or a straightforward rejection. There are credibility issues associated with online education that makes it difficult to trust such qualifications. Consequently, accreditation issues may arise, posing significant threat to the viability of online education.
Self-Discipline Is The Key!
You cannot pursue an online degree unless you are self-disciplined. There are no professors and/or classmates to push you through the challenges. Unless you can convince yourself to complete the degree, you might never be able to do so!