It could be one of the biggest decisions you ever make. Your post-secondary education is the impetus for your career trajectory, maybe even until retirement.
While we typically focus on biking, education is a very important aspect of your overall lifestyle. We’ll be focusing on the importance of choosing the right post-secondary education, with the city, course flexibility and social aspects all playing an important role in your future.
It can be the place where you form friendships that last a lifetime or even just learn lessons about yourself.
Sometimes the decision is made for you if you only get into a single place. Many times, however, students have a decision to make that extends well beyond the reputation of the school.
Firstly, University rankings by Maclean magazine tend to be the go-to by parents and students across the nation. Their weighting system takes into account a variety of factors that are key to making your decision.
But reputation isn’t everything whether you are applying for a science, business or arts degree.
Here are some often overlooked areas:
- The City- A city and its resources should be a factor in where you decide to go. You may be attending a school but you are also living within its city limits. Does it have adequate transport? What sorts of activities and services are available outside of the University or College? It is somewhere you may want to get an internship in, if there are opportunities. It may be the city you reside in for years to come.
- Cost- Though most universities and College are in the same sort of price realm that are a few that have the most expensive programs and while it may only be a few hundred dollars, this can quickly add up.
- Funding options- Look at the number of awards the university gives away per year internally. This could help subsidize living costs over the 3 or 4 years.
- Your program- Who has graduated from your program and gone onto big things? Is there a specific professor who is famous for their work within the program? Are there strong job placement statistics?
- Learning style- What sort of educational methods are explored within your program? Is it more experiential or is it more technical?
- Social life- Let’s be honest. This is a factor for everyone. While not everyone has the need to go to large parties, there needs to be opportunities to relax after high stress exams and midterms. Check out local restaurants, lounges and bars (if you are of legal age of course).
- Course flexibility options- A lot of students drop out in year 1 or switch programs due to the options that are available. How much flexibility do you have in terms of pursuing a second degree or minor?
There are more factors to consider when deciding a school that can be explored. Do your research and don’t jump to any conclusions. Feel free to take a campus tour to get a vibe around the school. Sometimes instincts are everything.