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7 Things to Consider When Visiting a College Before Attending

A great college can give you an education that you can use throughout your life. An even better college will give you experiences that you will remember and help you forge life-long relationships and skills.

You should visit a college before you choose to attend it if possible. A college visit will entail many points like:

  • Going around many academic halls
  • Getting a tour of various on-campus residencies
  • Looking around at the technology on a campus
  • Seeing what student life activities are available
  • Learning about the clubs that are available for students to participate in

You should visit a college to see if it’s the right one for you. There are many great points to see when visiting a college.

Look At Different Departments

You should take a look at all sorts of academic departments on campus. These include ones you are interested in as well as others that might be of use to you in the future. Think about your interests for your studies and think about how well the departments on campus will help you with those studies.

Talk With Professors

Try and schedule a talk with a professor or two while on campus. A professor can give you a good idea of what classes are like and how the school’s philosophies for teaching students work.

You may also get to tour different classrooms. You can get a better idea of the learning environments on campus while also considering how large or small classes in your field of interest might be.

Visit Student Life Spots

You’re clearly going to do more than just study at a college. Visit the student center or one of the dining halls on campus to get an idea of where students meet while on campus. This can help you get an idea of what life is like on campus.

Check On Financial Aid

It’s always a good idea when visiting a college to see what student services are available. One of the best services entails financial aid. Check to see what opportunities are available for students through scholarships or work-study programs. You can learn more about financial services through a college visit than what you might learn by just perusing the college’s website.

Read the Student Newspaper

Get a clear idea of what is happening on campus and what attitudes and values are all around by reading the student newspaper if there is one. This can give you an idea of what events take place at a campus and what issues and points students might care about.

Talk With Students

See if you can talk with students at a college while visiting. You should always ask students what they feel about certain things on campus and what they like about the school the most. Getting the word from students on campus who are working hard to attain their degrees will certainly give you a firsthand idea of what a college is like.

Consider Your Comfort

The last tip is to think about your comfort level while you are on campus. You need to feel confident in how safe you might be while on campus. You must especially think about if the college has enough services available for students like counseling, job-searching help and much more.

Your college campus visit can make a real difference when it comes to figuring out where you should attend school at. Make sure you think carefully when getting a great visit going so you could potentially feel positive about the school you want to attend.

Guide to the Costs and Payoff of Attending University

With the cost of attending university rising every year, parents are concerned about what to expect when it’s time for their children to go to college. Funding is a huge issue for parents as well as students and it is important for parents to have all the information they need to see if their investment may pay off in the future or if attending college from home makes more financial sense.

Tuition fees

Universities in most countries today charge tuition fees and if your child is enrolling in a foreign university you may expect to pay a higher price in comparison to domestic students. Tuition fees vary greatly from university to university so parents will have to research and compare the costs of each university and course before they pick one. Tuition fees will also be different for private universities and state universities. As a general rule, private universities tend to have higher fees. The fees will also depend on the academic program you choose.

Living expenses

Other than tuition fees, parents will also need to factor in living expenses. Your child will need funding for accommodation, food, books, study materials, activities, transportation and more. Add health insurance, visas and other additional costs if your child will be attending a university abroad. In most cases you will be able to get an estimate of expected living expenses from universities before you enroll. You can also check government websites for local living costs to get better insight into what to expect when you budget.

Student loan

If your child plans to take a student loan to fund the expense of university, you should take the time to understand how these loans work. Student loans are made up of two parts: tuition fees and living expenses. The amount that you can borrow will depend on several factors such as grants they receive, household income, location of university and more. The living cost and tuition fee loans combined will provide you an estimate of the total debt your child will have. Student loans have to be repaid once your child graduates and starts working. Interest rates vary based on the source of the student loan but if it is a national scheme student loan, interest rates are generally very low. Use online calculators to get a close estimate of what kind of debt you can expect with different student loans.

Financial assistance

Most universities today provide fee waivers and bursaries to students from low income families. Scholarships and grants are also often available so you may want to first contact the shortlisted universities to see if your child is eligible for financial assistance. In certain cases, you may be able to make multiple payments towards the tuition fees throughout the year instead of paying the entire amount upfront. You may also be eligible for many government grants and financial assistance schemes based on your household earnings.

Student jobs

Most students attending universities take up part-time jobs to contribute towards their living expenses. Search for job options available on campus as well as off campus and estimate what your child may be able to earn. If your child plans to study abroad there may be restrictions on the type and amount of work that is allowed. It is important to understand that students do not spend too much time on a job since it may negatively impact their academic performance.

What is the payoff of attending university?

When you are investing a considerable amount in your child’s education, it makes sense to ensure that there will be some financial payoff from the money you invest. Graduates tend to typically earn more than those who do not have a degree. Before you pick a university and a course, consult reports, job market news and labor reports to get an idea of what type of jobs are available, salary expectations and estimate of future demand for graduates in a particular field. You may also want to select a university that provides your child career support, advice and internships.

Studying abroad definitely makes a student more employable as employers generally value international experience. Parents should also spend some time finding out how a particular university ranks in world rankings and if it is viewed favorably by employers.

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.

Extra-Curricular Activities

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.

A Guide to Finding the Right University

When deciding which university to attend, you may receive a lot of instructions, tips and guidance from others. There’s too much information to analyze and understand and much research to do, leaving you feeling lost and confused. There are several factors that need to be considered when selecting a university. This guide will provide you a list of things you should look into so you can find a university that truly fits your academic goals:

Admission requirements

Every university has different admission requirements so you will need to find out if you have the relevant prerequisites to get admission for the program you want to enroll for. Talk to the admission representatives of the university, the guidance counselor or search the university website to get more information about whether or not you will be able to get in.

Location

Moving away may help you feel and become more independent. However, you may want to be close enough to home so that you will have easy access to your family when you need their support the most. An ideal university should be no more than six hours away from your home. The geographical location of a university is a major factor that should be considered.

Cost

One of the most important factors to consider when comparing universities is the cost. Ensure that you include the tuition, program quality, board and room, transportation cost and the cost of social activities, when you calculate a year’s cost of studying at a particular university.

Financial aid

Studying at a university can be quite expensive today and not everyone can get full financial support from their families. It is therefore important to get more information about the financial aid options available at the university. While bursaries and entrance scholarships are available in almost every university, you may want to learn more about the requirements to determine which university will accommodate your financial requirements the best.

Academic program

The quality of programs within the university will vary greatly. For example, some universities offer excellent art programs but may not have equally good technical programs. Learn more about the kind of offers students get after graduation, program duration, class size and other details that will help you understand how well a particular university is suited to your needs.

Student feedback

Talk to other students at the university to learn more about their experience. It is important to understand that every student will have a different experience at the same university. Keep an open mind and gather more information about what others think about the academic programs, professors, job prospects and class sizes. Don’t be afraid to ask questions to students.

The university you attend will have a long-term impact on your life and is therefore a decision that should be made after much deliberation. Prepare a list of universities that perform well on all the factors discussed above and visit them all personally. This will help you make an informed decision that works well in your favor.

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