First of all, congratulations on getting this far! If you are reading this article, you are likely at a point in your life where you are grappling with how to decide which university is the right one for you.
Now that you have been accepted into different schools, it is time to choose which offer you want to accept. Keep reading to discover five useful tips to help you choose which university to go to…
1. Tour your options
Would you buy a house without touring it first? Probably not. Therefore, the same logic should apply when choosing which university to attend.
You will be on campus for four years and it is important that you feel comfortable wherever that may be. After a long day of classes, you want to be in an environment that uplifts you. When I went on campus tours, I personally found that I felt more comfortable at smaller campuses.
A lot of campuses offer virtual tours but seeing the campuses in person, I was able to get a better sense of which university was the best fit for me.
2. Find out what each university offers you outside of academics
A degree is a degree. Of course, some comparable programs will have advantages over others, but for the most part, a Bachelor’s degree holds the same value regardless of which university you get it from.
What changes is the experience that you have on campus, outside of academics. I suggest making a list of things you like to do and checking the opportunities that each campus has. This list could include different sports, extracurriculars, and social events. I also suggest looking into opportunities for career development related to the program you are interested in pursuing. For example, I am currently halfway done with my Bachelor of Business Administration at Laurier and something that made Laurier stand out to me was that they have the largest business degree co-op program in Canada.
3. Reach out to people that study at the universities you’re choosing between
This information will likely be more honest than anything you can find online. By getting first-hand opinions from actual students on all things university-related (professors, academics, residence, social life, etc.), you will be able to understand what attending each university would really be like.
4. Discuss what your degree could look like with an academic advisor
The journey to get to the finish line of your degree might be different depending on which university you attend. For example, by talking to an academic advisor, you will be able to learn about different minors that are available at each school.
When I was in Grade 12, I met with an academic advisor from Laurier and learned that I could minor in User Experience Design. Fast forward two years and I am now pursuing a dual minor in both User Experience Design and Economics. My path may have looked different if I went to another school and I am happy that I learned about my options before choosing.
In addition to the classes you take, you also can learn about co-op, internships, and research opportunities. If you are interested in travelling, you can also discuss studying abroad. I’m planning on studying in France during my fourth year and it was reassuring for me to learn that the cost of tuition as a Laurier student is the same regardless of what country I study in.
5. Make a budget
Although they say human capital is priceless, it is not. In fact, Canadian student loan debt averages $26,000. Before choosing a university, comparing prices may be a good way to narrow down your list. When making your budget, a good starting point would be to include standard items such as tuition, textbooks, and school fees.
It is also important to factor in the cost of living depending on location, moving expenses, and scholarships that you could win at different universities. Before starting your scholarship journey, check out 5 tips that can help you win scholarships!
The biggest advice that I can give to you is to trust your gut. When choosing between different universities, you are typically choosing between multiple great options. Hit the ‘Accept’ button with confidence and be excited to know that the next four years of your life are going to be some of the best!
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*Opinions expressed are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Student Life Network or their partners.