What is the time by your clock, did you say College O’Clock?
High school years are officially over, you are taking home your knowledge and of course, all the fun memories that you made with your peers, especially with the parties and outdoor activities during summer.
You have a few college acceptance letters at hand that you have probably researched online and numerous options of courses to choose from.
Perhaps you are feeling a bit nervous about this new chapter of your life and the fact that the course you choose will contribute to the direction your life is going to take.
The elephant in the room is, what is the average cost of college? Will you afford to enroll in one? What costs are included in the total amount you will be required to pay? What factors should you consider when choosing a college?
It’s both exciting and scary, here take a look at the answers to these questions.
The Average Cost of College
According to Education Data, the average cost of college in the United States is $35,720 per student per year.
The average in-state student attending a public 4-year institution spends $25,615 for one academic year.
The average cost of in-state tuition alone is $9,580 while out-of-state tuition averages $27,437.
Tuition fees make up the bulk of most college students’ expenses, however, the cost of books, room & board, and other additional expenses, also contribute to the total amount you will end up paying.
Factors You Should Consider When Choosing a College
Most high school seniors often find themselves with hundreds of options of colleges to join.
The moment they switch on their laptop or tablet, an email pops up asking them to join a certain college. Some even have so many brochures for different colleges in their lockers.
It can be confusing because you need to choose the college that’s right for you. Here are some factors to help you in making that decision.
Just as the name goes, the cost of higher education is higher!
Once you decide on the college you want to join, find out what are the fees and whether they have scholarship and financial aid opportunities that can help bring down the cost to an affordable level.
Some colleges also have different rates for in-state and out-of-state students, it is advisable to have that information at hand.
Besides the tuition fee, find out what will be the cost of living in that particular state, especially if you have to move closer to the college, on-campus vs off-campus housing, and college job opportunities. This will help you estimate how much you will spend.
2. Academic Majors Available
Have you made the decision of what you want to study? If you have, please be sure to find out whether the college you intend to join, offers that specific major.
Alternatively, if you’re not sure what you want to study, most colleges offer a variety of courses. You can explore their list and maybe seek advice from your parents or older siblings on the best course to pursue based on market needs and job opportunities.
The location of the college will help you determine whether you will have to relocate, the climate of the place, and whether there are things to do while you’re not in class.
You do not want to end up in a place that will often inconvenience you.
4. Student Activities
It would be boring and tiring to spend all your college days and years not engaging in some fun student activities.
Find out what activities students engage in, if you’re a sporty person, you want to spend some hours sweating in the field.
5. On-Campus Amenities & Facilities
You will be spending the better part of your college days in the college compound. You definitely want to know what amenities & facilities are available. This will determine how comfortable you will be.
Look out for several things: the meal plans they have, lest you will always miss your delicious air fryer recipes at home, whether they accommodate a special diet, access to medical care, grocery stores, and bank services among many others.
6. Career Services
The moment you step foot in college, you picture a fulfilling life with your career on track and not going back to your parents’ house.
Research on the colleges that have career counseling services or get the statistics of career placement from the school.
7. Personal Growth
College time is time to discover yourself and the path you want to take in life, the people you want to associate with, expand your view of the world, and clearly define what you like and don’t like.
When you’re choosing a college, find out what the student body is, if it is exactly like you, chances are you will not grow or be challenged the way you would in a different setting.
Find out if the college helps students secure internships and whether the college invites talented and exciting people to give talks and just hang out with the students.
Tips For Choosing Your College Course
Choosing the course you want to pursue in college may be an easy task for some people, while others may need to sacrifice to the gods to get rid of the confusion.
Whether you are the former or the latter, you need to equip yourself with these tips in order to make an informed decision.
1. Do What You Love
When you are choosing the course to pursue, think of your interest and hobbies. Would those interests prompt you to get out of bed even during the cold winter mornings? Are they capable of earning you some dollars in the end?
Other people may be highly opinionated, telling you that a certain course is better than your choice. Be Self-motivated about what you want and go for it.
You already know what you would love to study in college, now you need to dive into the waters and research on that particular course.
Get facts like how long will you study, what are the possible challenges for that course, how easy or hard is it to get a job, among other facts.
Remember, your college years contribute to the path your life will take.
3. Your Study Style
By the time you are joining college, you have already established your style of studying.
Whether you love theory, practical, studying in groups, or individually, choose a course that suits your study style. You will be more confident and will look forward to succeeding.
4. Learn From Other People’s Mistakes
There are several cases reported of students dropping out of college because they don’t enjoy the course they chose.
Mostly, this happens because they either chose the course out of peer pressure or they didn’t research well about it, and now they’re in the third year and nothing seems to make any sense.
Learn from their mistakes and make better decisions.
5. Seek Advice
Speak to people who would help you with your career choices; they could be your parents, older siblings, friends, or career coaches.
They will help you point out the pros and cons of different courses, and at the same time encourage you to go for what you want.
Speaking to people who are already on your career path is also very helpful.
The above guide will take you a step closer to arriving at your college decision. Remember, there probably isn’t a school that will tick all your boxes, college is just what you make out of it.
If you’re still overwhelmed by all the factors we have outlined, you can pick a few that will work for you. Trust your decision, it will be the best!