What are Students Looking for in a College?

With a huge amount of colleges and universities around the world, sometimes it may be difficult to choose just one. Throughout time, senior high school students have always been faced with the confusing and, often, difficult decision about which college or university to go to. Never mind which course to major in — sometimes what makes the cut is the institution itself.

Here are just a few things most American students look for in a college or university.

Great academic opportunities and reputation

As with almost anything else, an institution’s academic reputation and the chances it offers its students are paramount to its success. It may depend on the number of alumni that have moved on to bigger things after graduating, or simply the quality of education they offer. Whatever it may be, incoming college students always look at the reputation of the university or college they are entering or wishing to attend.

Of course, the success of an individual will not always depend on the character or status of the university or college. We’ve always seen special cases where people rise above their situations to greater and bigger things. However, no one can argue that a college or university with the right reputation can make or break the decision.

Job prospects

Aside from choosing the right course to major in, the students also look at the job prospects that the university may be able to give him or her after graduating. This also goes hand in hand with the reputation of the institution. When reviewing a resume, most employers will look at the school from where you graduated. And, though this may not always be fair, it is a reality.

A discerning employer will want someone, who comes with a good educational background. Therefore, students, who are still deciding in which school to study, will always want to take this into account.

Financial aid possibilities and choices

One of the reasons why some students cannot pursue higher education is the lack of financial capability. What is sad is that though some students have the capacity and the potential to do well in college, they do not get the chance because they can’t afford it. If a university or college can offer reliable and fair financial support to its students, then it can become a deciding factor.

There are other ways for an incoming college student to support a college career. However, no one wants to spend 10 to 20 years, after graduation, to try to pay off loans. Hence, students look for possible financial aid or scholarship opportunities in the university they wish to enter.

Tuition cost

For those who cannot avail of any scholarships or are not eligible for any of the financial aid being offered by their university or college of choice, they then look at the cost of tuition. As one would expect, prestigious institutions, such as Ivy League universities, will have tuition not everyone can afford. However, there are still great universities out there that are just as good without having to break the bank.

The key here is to plan well. Students may avail of student loans, but they have to make sure that the terms are doable and fair. One should not be scared off by the cost of going to college. Do not lose the chance at education just because it may be expensive. Eventually, the rewards will be far greater.

Choosing a college will not always be easy, but students who are dedicated and who persevere enough will find one that opens numerous opportunities.

Maria Dublin
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Maria is a writer, an editor, and a law student. She plays for the Philippine national touch football team, and does a lot of travelling during the holidays.