Decision time for students
Graduating students are receiving their college and university acceptances. There are many factors that play a part in deciding where to attend school. One of the most important, of course, is cost! Going away to college is not cheap! To give you an idea of how much it can all cost, a breakdown of the approximate price tag for a year at sample universities in the USA, Canada and the UK is shown below. Please note that these figures were completed in September 2010, so readers should take inflation in to account.
US University range: US$30,000-$40,000 per year
Towson University for 2009/2010
Books & Supplies: US$984
Medical Insurance: US$900
Personal Expenses: US$2,500 approx.
Canadian University range: US$12,000-25,000 per year
Acadia University for 2009/2010
Tuition (international students) Can$12,939
Residence (double room) Can$5,000
Athletic and Health Service fees Can$247
Medical fees Can$677
Student fees Can$568
Total (for international students) Can$22,816
UK University range: US$25,000-$30,000 per year
Exeter University for 2009/2010
Tuition- British Dependent Territory £9,000 ($14,500)
Room and Board £4,000 ($8,000)
Books/Supplies £300 ($600)
Total (British Dependent Territory)GBP13,300 ($23,100)
Beyond cost, how do you select the best university for you?
Wherever you are and whatever you want to study, there is best-fit university or college for you. To find it, you have to do your homework. What matters to you? What are your personal preferences? Start the process by asking yourself the following basic questions:
- Which subjects interest me?
- What are my talents?
- What job would I like to do?
- Which academic skills would I like to improve?
When you have the answers to these questions, get on the internet and find out what universities and/or colleges offer programmes in your preferred study area. There are many websites and books to help with this process, depending on the country in which you think you would like to study.
Websites for study in the United Kingdom www.ucas.co.uk
www.ucas.ac.uk/students/beforeyouapply/wheretostudy — take the “Stamford Test”
Websites for study in the United Stateswww.usnews.com/usnews/edu/college/cohome.htm (US News main college website) US http://features.yahoo.cm/college/search.html (Yahoo College Search)
www.review.com/college/ (US Princeton Review Online: “The Best College For You”)
www.collegeconfidential.com (Discussion groups and reviews)
Websites for study in CanadaThe American Colleges and Universities website has a useful overview of Canadian universities at http://www.acuinfo.com
The Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada website (http://www.aucc.ca/) has a page linking to all Canadian universities
Helpful reads- The Directory of Canadian Universities- useful profiles of Canadian universities, updated annually.
- The Book of Career Questions: 200+ Questions Which Will Change the Whole of Your Working Life by Max Eggert
- Encyclopedia of Careers and Vocational Guidance by Ferguson Publishing
- 100 Best Careers for the 21st Century by Shelly Field
- Quick Prep Careers: Good Jobs in One Year or Less by Paul Phifer. These are jobs you can prepare for quickly, with no college education required.
- The Everything Resume Book: Great Resumes for Every Situation by Burton Jay Nadler
- The Complete Q & A Job Interview Book by Jeffrey G. Allen
- Work Worldwide: International Career Strategies for the Adventurous Job Seekers by Nancy Meuller.
Once you have identified potential universities consider the following list of factors for each of your potential choices, to help you narrow your focus:
- Location and setting
- Length of degree
- Academic and career focus
- Admissions requirements
- Scholarships and financial aid for international students
- Academic curriculum and assessment
- Campus life
- Student/teacher ratio
- Distance from home/family
- Ethnic diversity/religious affiliations
- Living facilities
All of these factors play a part in the overall college experience. Some of them will matter more to you than others, so it is a good idea to consider what is most important to you.
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