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10 smart steps to pick the right college for you

May 25, 2014 13:05 IST
Unless you're going to stay in a hostel, it's important to pick a college that's not too far away from home.

Irrespective of the stream of your choice, choose a college that best meets your requirements and offers a healthy mix of academic and skill-based knowledge.

It is mid-summer. While most of the school students are enjoying their vacations, those who just finished their class 12 are awaiting their entrance examination results.

Be it medicine, engineering, law, fashion or commerce, choosing the right college for under graduation is a crucial career decision.

For those who have obtained high scores and have cleared exams like the IIT-JEE Main the decision is less challenging because they're aspiring for an IIT seat.

Obviously not all students get to study in top ranked institutions. 

A lot of new institutions have come up across the country. While they may not be spending enough on marketing and publicity, if you do a thorough research you may realise there are some good ones that offer state-of-the-art infrastructure and faculty.

But how does one make an informed choice?

Here are the ten steps to choose the right college.

1. Prepare the list of colleges

Based on the past years' report, it is pretty easy to know the expected rank.

There are a host of rank predictors available in the market too.

Once, the tentative rank range is known, the past reports will also give information on the list of colleges you are likely to get through.

Keep this list handy for the next set of steps.

2. Filter the colleges offering the course of your interest

Not all the colleges in your list might offer the course of your interest.

Visit the websites of all these colleges to check the courses offered.

Now make a fresh list of the colleges.

3. Check location and distance

Some students prefer to be a day scholar while others prefer a hostel life.

Check the location details of the colleges and further filter the list based on your preference.

It is always advisable to choose a college which is closer to home unless you don't mind wasting half of your day travelling.

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4. Check the college website for further details

May 25, 2014 13:05 IST
Refer to college websites, social forums and discuss with seniors before making a choice.

A lot of colleges have a jazzy website. But all that glitters is not gold.

It is advisable to look for important details like past placements, alumni credentials etc.

Always look for the minimum package than the average package.

If you are among the top lot of that college, you would be above average.

However, in other cases, you really need to know which companies come and hire in this college.

5. Join social groups

Based on the filtered list of colleges, join related social forums.

A lot of students would have already created these groups online to share information with each other.

For instance, if you want to look for XYZ college of engineering, find a group specific to this college.

You would meet a lot of students who are also looking for information like you and others who are already a part of that college. 

Interact with them to find out more details about the courses offered, faculty etc.

6. Speak to seniors and elders

They have gone through all this once upon a time in their life. Talk to them.

You might get some information which would never be found on any websites that might aid or influence your decision making.

With this, you have further reduced the number of choices.

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7. Check the faculty strength and qualification

May 25, 2014 13:05 IST
Consider institutes that offer a healthy profile of doctoral professors and research facilities.

It is advisable to choose a college that has more PhDs as professors than mere graduates or post graduates.

Many colleges, as you might be aware hire graduates and post graduates who have just completed their education. Find out these institutions.

Remember that institutions that hire PhDs have greater scope for research-based education.

8. Check the infrastructure and facilities

Gather all information on the infrastructure of these colleges.

Good laboratories, research funding and world class equipments are few things you may consider.

A college that invests in good faculty and facilities is obviously going to give a better output.

At the same time, marketing frills like air-conditioned buses and climate controlled class-rooms serve no real purpose in a student's academic excellence.

9. Visit the college and validate

After taking the above factors into consideration, you will realise that your list is quite shorter than what it originally was.

Now visit the colleges personally and validate all the details you have collected till now.

Meet a bunch of students who have passed out from these institutes and take feedback on the course you wish to take in the college.

Ask about the resources and placement information.

Remember you are just cross-checking the details you've collected from your own research.

10. Select the college and take admission

From the final list, choose one that fulfils all your requirements and wait for the counselling day to finalise your college of choice. Good luck!