Co-Founder & Director of Communications, Project Uni
Project Uni tackles the big questions of post-secondary education. Today, we’re answering: “How do I pick the best university?”
The modern post-secondary-bound student faces a daunting road. With applications in full swing, students encounter the same questions as those before them — most famously, “What’s the best university?”
While many have their own “factual” ranking, the answer is subjective in nature. Different students have different needs to prosper in a post-secondary environment. Let’s examine some key criteria to find your best university.
Academics and opportunity
Academic excellence is the most important tenet of any university. Researching teaching styles (for example, lecture-style versus flipped classroom), mandatory courses, electives, and difficulty helps gauge what might be a good fit for you. Contacting current students and alumni with real experience via social media is invaluable here. Think about career opportunities you can take advantage of at a given university. For example, attending one school may offer certain business opportunities, while another may offer political prospects.
Housing and lifestyle
Attending higher education can significantly impact your lifestyle, with the big choice being between staying at home or on campus. Living on campus, you’ll enjoy more independence, comfortable scheduling, and networking. But campus living also means evaluating housing prices, location, access to grocery stores, potentially sharing an apartment, and so on. Living at home gives you the luxury of being with family and generally having fewer living expenses. However, living at home could mean less independence, and having to account for transportation.
Campus and community
Carefully consider the school’s campus and its attendees. If you’re paying to be there, then you should enjoy being there. Take a tour of schools you plan to attend — visit lecture halls, labs, and classrooms. Is there a gym nearby? Is the library quiet and well-kept? Is the campus navigable and well-connected? Consider the student reputation — do you prefer party schools or academic schools? Furthermore, the quality of staff and student support within your desired faculty or program is key to success. Websites and student opinions are priceless here!