Congratulations! You’ve worked so hard to get into college and now you’re almost there. You may be stuck between some schools or you may not know what to look for when comparing schools. I’m going to tell you the most important things to look for when choosing your home for the next 4 years that you may have never thought of. Comparing school mascots and location might be important to you, but there are actually so many important factors that matter more.
Your professors are the people who will make or break your future. Being on their good side is the one thing you always have to do besides attending class. If you already know what you want to major in, then this process is very simple for you. Look up all the professors that teach in your specialized college. You can find this on your university’s website under your college of study. For example, if you plan on majoring in Electrical Engineering, find the College of Engineering tab on the website. Then, select the Electrical Engineering study and find the faculty and staff tab. After finding the long list of professors and lecturers, go to ratemyprofessor.com and search every single one of them. You want to see good reviews for all of your future professors or you can kiss your future goodbye. Good reviews can range anywhere from a 3.7 to 5.0 rating. Reading exactly what the negatives and positives are can also give you a better understanding of what the professor is like and how that will affect you based on your habits. If most of the professors in one university have higher ratings than the other university, you may want to consider the higher rating school. Remember, sometimes you can’t get through your class without your professor. If they’re good, they can raise your grade at the end of the semester, give you practice problems which are similar to exams, and provide extra help for you to succeed. Not every university has caring professors who will do this for you. Obviously every university will have bad apples, but try to look for a higher average. If you don’t want to spend too much time on this, you can look at an overall rating on niche.com.
If you want to make the most out of your tuition, you probably want to participate in as many programs as possible to get the most worth out of your college experience. Researching to see if your school gives you opportunities to further succeed will give you a better idea of which school is more worth it. Some programs you may want to take advantage of are study abroad, double majoring, accelerated masters, cooperative education/internships, specializations, and research. You should find out if your school provides you with all of these resources so you can graduate being one step ahead of all your competition. Remember, after graduating college you need to find a job. It is usually very difficult for college graduates to find careers right out of college because they lack experience. Making sure that your school helps you gain experience in college itself is important so you can reduce your risk of unemployment. If you’re paying the same money to get more experience/education, why wouldn’t you do it? These are all programs you need in order to stand out among your classmates so you are chosen over them in a job interview. I know that’s very far away from where you are now, but this is why I’m mentioning it. This is something students at your age don’t think about and end up regretting in the future. If you set yourself up for success now, you will thank yourself later.
Clubs and Societies
Clubs and societies are what employers expect you to be a part of in your college days. Making sure you’re involved in extracurriculars which will enhance your intelligence and experience is crucial when selecting a university. There are many well renowned clubs and societies that have large alumnae groups. This means when you graduate, the person interviewing you could have also been a part of the same group as you when they were in college! Having a connection with someone in the industry gives you a MAJOR advantage when applying to internships and full time positions. Research popular societies and clubs and see if your university has these. For example, if you’re a finance major who wants to go into investment banking, you want to make sure your university has prestigious societies that will get you employed by the top banks. Not only will clubs and societies give you a connection, but when employers visit your university for the career fair, your club will have exclusive interviews! Many times big employers don’t have time to sit in a job fair for hours in the day, so they only interview students in certain clubs and societies. If you’re not in that specific club, sorry, you’re not even getting an interview to show how good you are. Research and make sure your university has these advantages so you can be assured you’ll have a great future!
Universities and companies always have partnerships which help students get employed. Universities with many partnerships usually promote that in their recruiting advertisements. Attending a university that has many partnerships or is partnered with companies you want to work for is extremely important for you. For example, if you want to work for NASA, you might want to attend a university that is located close to its locations, invites NASA to their career fairs every year, and has many graduates who work at NASA. Companies also have top universities they recruit from. I got an interview for internship at a company because of the university I go to. My school is that company’s top university to recruit from so everyone who applies from my school gets interviews over those who don’t go to my school. If you can’t even get an interview at your dream company, how will you ever get a chance to show them how good you are? If you do some google searching, you will be able to find some of this information to give you a better idea of which school will get you hired to your dream company.
If you have questions about the universities you’re considering, don’t hesitate to message current students on any form of social media (LinkedIn, Instagram, etc.)! Students will be glad to guide you in the right direction to help you choose the best university for you. Remember to consider important factors that will affect your career as well, not just your college experience. Your college experience is important, but life after college should be amazing as well! Try to find a good balance between the two to set yourself up for a great future. Congratulations again and good luck!