7 Things to Know While Applying To a College

It’s that time in our life when we consume most amount of caffeine & write most number of inquiry emails. Yes, the title of this write-up has already given it away but you’ve still guessed it right, I’m talking about the most important stage of our youth when we apply for college admission and come across difficult choices and obstinate rules with even more intransigent procedures. Now this was what you and your family were waiting during all your high school years. Significant amount of savings are going to be utilized in securing your future prospects by sending you to a reputable college. But the excitement of going to a college can soon be overwhelmed by the difficulty of application procedure, so to your rescue, I have listed here the most important things a college applicant should know about his/her next alma mater before spending time and money on completing university application process:

  1. Know the current accreditation status

The main consideration while evaluating a college should be its current accreditation status. Many colleges & universities lose their accreditation after few years so always make sure the college you’re applying for has valid accreditation for offering your preferred degree program. Colleges with dual accreditation offer more value compared to colleges with single accreditation. Similarly, a college that’s nationally accredited has better acceptance compared to one with only regional recognition. Websites helping students with college matches can also help with this information.

2. Go through college rankings and alumni reviews

The academic quality and performance of a college can easily be gauged by going through a major college & university ranking source. Times Higher Education, QS and U.S. News are few reliable sources to check college rankings & ratings. Besides ranking, alumni reviews can help you with assessing the overall quality offered by the college in consideration. There are many websites out there filled with valuable alumni reviews to help you with making a right choice.

3. Check employability of college alumni

Most of us go to college so we have better careers that can support a quality lifestyle. Not every degree holder gets calls from employers soon after graduation but there are few colleges that have become favorites among HR community. So checking the employability of college alumni can help you with assessing your career prospects after graduation. Websites like LinkedIn can help you with your research. You can also message an alumnus of a college on Facebook to get some feedback.

4. Calculate tuition fee and cost of living

Studying at some colleges is more expensive than others. So make sure you calculate the tuition cost beforehand to avoid any financial difficulties during your study program. Most of university websites have online cost calculators to help you with evaluating the tuition and living cost with slight margin for variation.

5. Confirm scholarship and financial assistance programs

If you’re seeking scholarships or financial assistance then it’s important that you properly go through the details on the website related to scholarships. Some colleges offer with zero internal scholarships. Also, if you already have financial assistance approved from some external organization then it’s advisable that you confirm if college that’s being considered is among the list of accepted institutes kept with your sponsor.

6. On-campus environment

You’re going to spend years away from family while studying at college. So it’s wise if you visit the campus to have a taste of its culture and environment. Especially if you belong to a racial or sexual minority, take risk of bullying very seriously and go through online news archives to learn on the culture and safety of campus in question.

7. Fun & sports

College days are not just about worrying for exams and grades, it’s the time in your life when you should have the most fun and make exciting new friends. So go through the college calendar to find out what kind of fun activities are there for you to experience. And if you are a sports enthusiast then go to a college with best sports team and reputation.

Now, let’s hear it from you. What advice would you like to give to folks applying to colleges? Comment with name of your college & city.