Choosing a university is one of the most important decisions you will ever make. It not only affects your social life, what region you will live in for four years, and the value of the qualifications you gain, but also the total cost of investing in your education. So before you zero in on any university ask the following questions to ensure you make the best choice for yourself and your future.
1. What can I do with a degree from this university?
At the end of all your hard work, you’ll want to know that the qualifications you obtain will mean something and be useful in getting you into your chosen field. So it’s important to know what opportunities exist for your degree and the value it will carry from the particular university before you make your final selection.
2. How does this university compare to others?
You should know how the university you choose stacks up against other establishments not only in terms of cost but also in terms of the quality of the programmes offered, teaching methodologies, campus culture, accreditation status, and overall reputation.
3. Will I be able to get an educational loan?
It’s a fact that many Barbadian students turn to student loans to finance their education locally, abroad, and even online. If you’re planning to also follow suit then you need to ensure that the university you choose meets the requirements set by your lender.
4. What is the total cost of the degree?
It makes no sense to select a university if the cost is beyond what you can afford, even with a student loan. Also, why pay more for the same degree if you can pay less and still have access to similar opportunities?
5. What’s it like to study at this university?
The environment you’ll be studying in will have an impact on your overall success. Ask past students about their experiences and visit the university campus for yourself to see how it feels before you make your final selection.
6. Are there any unique opportunities attached to the degree programme?
There’s a popular phrase from a song that goes, “It’s a jungle out there!” and this certainly applies to the world of work right after university. Many employers want to see both qualifications AND experience. So check to see if the programme offered by the university comes with an internship, apprentice, or volunteer opportunities that can give you a leg up on the competition after university.
7. What are the admission requirements?
Admission requirements vary by school and programme. Research the requirements of various universities for the programme(s) you’re interested in so that you know what to work towards and can focus on the school and programme that is most in alignment with your career goals.
8. What, if any, type of help or support is available to students?
This question is especially critical for online universities and those studying abroad. If you run into difficulties as a student or need guidance, it is reassuring to know that you can have access to a mentor, advisor, or community that can provide support.
9. Besides academics what else does the university offer?
There is more to university than just your studies. It is also a great place to enjoy extracurricular activities and meet new friends with similar interests. The university you choose should provide plenty of opportunities for students to join sports teams, societies, and clubs. Future employers will also want to know that you are a well-rounded individual, so don’t overlook this aspect.
10. Can you see yourself studying there and being happy with your decision?
This is perhaps the most essential question of all! If you can’t say a resounding yes to this question, then it’s not the right university for you. At the end of the day, you don’t just want an education that can help you land your dream career, you also want to enjoy your time getting there.
Now that you know what questions to ask, it’s time to select your university!
Looking to finance your education? We can help! Learn more about our affordable student loans and how to apply.