Selecting the Right College
You've had the farewell, filled in the slambooks, taken pictures and said your goodbyes, and now, after all that, you have your exam results -- your ticket to entering college. But which college or university is right for you?
There are so many options and so many choices to make. Close to home or in another city? Government-funded or private? The one with the more reputable faculty or the better job placement? What is a fresher to do? Take a deep breath, relax and answer the following questions before you make your decision.
Is this the right college for the subject I'm pursuing?
Some Indian universities are known for their high academic standards, others for their sport, their arts or their parties. With more than 80 colleges under its umbrella, the University of Delhi is one of the most coveted university in the country today. It offers a 447 different courses under various disciplines. However, selecting a suitable subject comes first. Before you start listing out colleges and submitting applications, really think about what you may want to study and which colleges would be the best fit for those subjects. This is not difficult information to find, though it can be a bit time-consuming. Start by reading newspapers, visiting websites and talking to friends and family
How good is the faculty?
If you're pursuing a course in journalism, you want to pick a college where the journalism faculty is top-notch. Are the professors known and credited in their fields? Are they quoted frequently in newspapers and magazines? Are they seen as experts? Have you, or your peers, heard of them?
While you likely won't get a straight "yes" answer to those questions, it's important to know what the teaching staff is like. Also keep in mind that the most knowledgeable people aren't always the best teachers. To get the real scoop, ask former students about the professors they liked and didn't like. This should give you a good idea of what you could be facing.
Is the school's location a help or a hindrance?
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The location of an university can also be an important factor in determining which college you would choose for higher education. If your choice of college is in another city, this won't be an issue, but if you've decided to stay put, you'll need to consider whether you'll be living with your parents or moving to student accommodation. For students in Delhi, for instance, the choice between South and North Campus often comes down to which part of the city they live in and whether it's feasible to make the daily two-hour trek to the other end of town. Or, is it better to live in a hostel (or to choose a college closer to home)? Like it or not, your parents will likely want a say in this, as well, so sit down with them and think of the best way to reach your classes in time.
What facilities are available at the college?
If you're going to study computer engineering, does the college have excellent computing equipment, including the latest gadgets such as iPads? If you're studying science, will you have access to a lab? You'd be surprised by how frequently these things are missed, and how many colleges that offer computer science options have no more than five ancient PCs. Make sure you snoop around before you sign up, so you know you'll be getting sufficient hands-on knowledge and skills.
Is there a campus placement program, and if so, how good is it?
Knowing what lies at the end of your three or four-year journey is vital. Some colleges and universities establish relationships with large and successful companies that offer very high starting salaries. Others, despite their name and prestige, aren't too good at campus placements and may simply look good on your resume.
No matter what you study, make sure to get a feeling for where you might stand in the real world after you graduate. Do students from this college get jobs easily? Are the campus placements for a select few or for all students? What is the highest salary a campus placement has resulted in and how does it compare to the current marketplace?
Unfortunately, there isn't one perfect college that fits everybody's needs; there is only the college that is right for YOU. When researching potential options, trust your instincts and remember -- there is no wrong answer.
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