10 Factors to Consider while Comparing Colleges to Study Abroad

10 Factors to Consider while Comparing Colleges to Study Abroad
3 months ago
10 Factors to Consider while Comparing Colleges to Study Abroad

Selecting a college can be a daunting task. The college you select will have a life-shaping effect on your professional and personal life and hence needs careful consideration. Several Indian students, planning to go abroad for higher studies face this dilemma every year. How should they select the colleges to apply to, should they give preference only to academics? Or should they consider the location and kind of after-college life that it offers? Well, give all your doubts a rest as this blog will discuss the top ten factors that you should compare when selecting the colleges for your study abroad dream. So, without further ado, let this blog dive straight into the top factors in choosing a college

  1. Cost of the Course - This should be at the top of your list when selecting factors to consider when choosing a University course, especially at a foreign soil. Since the cost of education is substantially high for studying at a foreign destination, comparing the cost of the course will help you budget well and plan ahead. No point selecting a college with too high a tuition fee if you can study the same course at a lesser cost but at a college having fewer clubs! Whether you plan to fund your education or take an education loan, this should be one of the top factors when selecting a college. Students can visit the college website and find out the break up of tuition fee as well as other study-related costs for the colleges they have in mind and then compare them. A few dollars here and there would not make much of a difference, but any stark differences in cost should be factored in. 

  2. Financial Aid Available - Students who have a strong academic and extra-curricular profile should also compare the financial aid available at the colleges. Scholarships and other financial aids play a huge role in reducing your financial burden and hence students should certainly compare the different financial aids they would be eligible for by enrolling for a course at a particular college. They should also compare the amount of education loans available for the colleges. Some colleges qualify for a lower education loan limit while others qualify for a higher limit. Students who plan to take an education loan for financing their education abroad should definitely include this in the things to compare between best colleges

  3. College Ranking - Comparing college ranking is another important thing to tick off from your ?choosing a college checklist?. If you aim to make your career in a competitive field, such as engineering, law, etc; then the ranking of your college will matter a lot - beginning right from attracting the top companies in your field during campus placement.  This is also true for students who wish to pursue higher studies later on as it will help them improve their overall profile and apply to colleges of their choice later on. 

  4. Work Options Available - Students should also compare the work options - both on-campus and off-campus - available to them during their study period. This is especially true for students who plan on taking an education loan as it will help them put their free time to constructive use and earn a few bucks. Some colleges have plenty of on-campus job opportunities while others have very limited options. And if you plan to take up off-campus part-time jobs, then you should compare how feasible that option could be. Earning while studying can help lower your debt and thereby should be in your list of things to compare between colleges

  5. Alumni Records - Comparing alumni records of colleges that you are considering will also help you select a better college. Alumni are the best people to tell you about how great or average your chosen course is, how good the career services offered by the college are, etc. Thus, getting in touch with the alumni of the colleges and learning more about their college experience and how the college helped shape their career should be on your list of things to know about your college. A good alumni network is also a tremendous opportunity for professional guidance and mentoring as well as for prospective employment opportunities too. A college where the alumni network invests their time and money must have provided them with a positive experience and thus should earn more brownie points than others when comparing colleges. 

  6. Size of the Campus - This is important for students who have certain fixed criteria regarding the campus size. Are you one of those who is comfortable taking a bus or train to go from one part of the campus to another or are you someone who would like the buildings to be close to each other? Also, smaller college campuses might not offer a number of extra-curricular activities because of a lack of space. Since the size of the campus affects you in your daily life while studying and also the activities you will be part of during your study, this should also be an important consideration when selecting colleges. 

  7. Accommodation Options- Comparing accommodation options is another vital point. Some colleges make on-campus accommodation compulsory for students while some allow both on-campus and off-campus accommodation, some have coed dormitory rooms, some have different buildings for different genders, some have common bathrooms, etc. Understand the accommodation being offered and select the one you will be most comfortable with. 

  8. Student-Teacher Ratio - This is another important thing to consider when comparing different colleges. A lower student-teacher ratio will ensure that you get individual attention and more opportunities to interact with your professors. Students must also remember that the number of students in freshman classes are larger than in majors, so take that into account too when comparing colleges. 

  9. College Placement - If you do not plan on pursuing further studies after this course, then you should compare the college placements too. Some colleges have excellent career services while others barely manage to attract potential recruiters, so it is always better to compare the college placement and career services being offered if you plan to take up a job after your course. 

  10. Get help from University Compare Tools 

Now that you know that comparing colleges before making the final decision is advisable, the next question is how to compare? Well, students can do so by using any of the numerous University comparison tools available on the internet. However, most of them source their data from other websites, whose information is not credible. On the other hand, GyanDhan?s college comparison tool and University Comparison tool have consolidated data from credible sources such as the government-approved websites of that country. 

The comparison done by GyanDhan?s tool is therefore reliable and thus students can use it without any worries when comparing colleges in the US. This tool compares various factors such as cost, expected income, top recruiters, employability, annual RA/TA appointments, net fees, college ranking, etc. This tool is helpful both when a student is confused about which universities to apply and also when they have received multiple admits. Being easy to use, it is quite user friendly and all students need to do is enter a few details such as undergraduate grades and specialization, GRE scores, work experience, etc. 

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