Deciding on which school to choose for your education can be a difficult endeavor, especially if you receive acceptance letters from your top five choices. But there are a few things that can be beneficial to consider when making your final choice.
Look at the university and program reviews online. Most universities have student satisfaction statistics listed on their site to establish transparency with future applicants. Considering these statistics allows you to see what current students think about the content being taught, program and teaching satisfaction, and areas where the university may be trying to improve.
If it is an option, I would suggest reaching out to student services at the university you are considering. Generally, advisors are more than happy to set prospective students up with current students in the same faculty. It gives applicants a chance to get a feel for how the university generally functions and a first-hand review of it all. Current students who are also familiar with the program may be able to answer any questions regarding the program content and structure.
Remember to consider the living experience in the city in which the university is located. What are the renting prices like? Are there living spaces near the university if you do not have access to a car? Are there areas where transportation is more accessible than others? Are there areas where groceries and fuel are generally more expensive? These are all things to consider, as the quality of life may be something we tend to overlook when making these decisions; but has a huge impact on our academic and personal success.
Lastly, consider your resources. Most universities have various financial awards which you can apply for, to help manage your tuition fees. Most available scholarships and bursaries are easy to access as they are generally listed on university websites. Sometimes prospective students can get discouraged when it comes to applying for these awards, but I encourage you to take full advantage of the opportunity.
Although making this decision has the opportunity to feel intimidating, when you break it down, it makes it a lot more manageable. Above all, I encourage you throughout this process to remember to focus on how exciting this experience is going to be. You are starting a new chapter in your life, and that’s something to be incredibly proud of!