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So, you want to go to college?

Higher education is in flux. There are mainly three factors that changed the way education is delivered: technology, migrating tendencies and emerging careers. It is now possible to earn a degree from your preferred university while sitting at the comfort of your own home. Besides, 25% of the college graduates are now working in fields that didn’t exist decades ago. So in such changing circumstances, it is necessary to reboot your preparation for college.

Over the next couple of weeks, we aim to unfold the myths and mysteries behind college admissions. The first in the series ‘How to choose the right college’ takes you through the questions you might ask and the points you may ponder.

1. Ranking

There happens to be a trend in deciding your college based on how they are placed in the rankings table. We advise you, not to get caught up in the hype. Colleges should be a personalised experience and rankings might not bring out the kind of experience you want. While rankings are based on factors like name/recognition, faculty, graduate student employability, student satisfaction, do they include you, your needs and your expectations from college?


2. Academic Fit

How well your academic preparation matches with the university’s requirements is very important. Will you sync in well with the cohort considering previous batches of that university?


3. Location

There are certain programs which require industry interface to get maximum experience. For example, if you plan to study fashion management and you choose a university where the opportunities are limited, it will affect your overall experience. So are you in the right place


4. Graduate employability feedback

The match between what graduates need and what employers are looking for is another factor to be considered. If the employability rate is high, that means employers have the confidence that they trust the standard of education and the quality of students from that particular university.


5. Duration

Beyond looking at the location and the rankings, you should also be paying attention to how long it takes for a typical student to graduate. Are you prepared to make that commitment?


6. Financial considerations

The total costs include the raw costs (tuition + living) per annum over the total duration of study. You could also factor opportunities of funding such as scholarships, financial aid, part time work etc. But you must be aware that such opportunities are linked to your academic performance at the university.


Thus going to college is a highly personalised experience. Don’t place ‘yourself’ out of the loop.


Our article published in Khaleej Times dated 31st October 2015