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Every decision you made dictates your future.

When you think about which college you intend to apply, you should think twice before submitting your application form. This is a life-changing choice that defines your way of life in the future.

Prestige

The first thing one comes into mind is always about the college’s reputation. It is the easiest yet manipulative indicator for college applicants to take into consideration before enrolling a bachelor’s program.

A college’s ranking usually consists of five areas–teaching environment, research reputation, citations, international outlook and industry income.

An A-list college doesn’t necessarily imply that it mattes to your future. Therefore, once you have shortlisted some desirable colleges, you should also see whether they can offer you exclusive work placements, applied studies for hands-on skills or academic excellence in research.

Resources

A prestigious college doesn’t mean that resources are more available for you, since sometimes a more competitive environment means you have less access to different resources–scholarships, academic support and alumni network.

For example, some colleges require you to get an almost perfect GPA (Grade Point Average) in order to receive financial assistance from a rather prestigious college for funding your studies; quite the contrary, it’s often the case that you have more funded opportunities when you study in a less prestigious college.

Just because a college has a good reputation, it doesn’t always tailor-made the type of academic support for you. For instance, if you are the marginal student who merely reached the basic requirements of a reputable college, you would have a hard time struggling to learn because everything is too difficult for you.

A full-fledged alumni network is an ideal asset for any college student, if other financial and academic resources are not quite available for you. The more people you know from your desired work field, the more likely you will be employed.

Community

The surrounding neighborhood of the college also matters. If you study in a university town like Oxford, then you are more likely to learn, socialise and live with like-minded students who share a similar background with you.

On the other hand, if you live in capital cities like London, then it’s likely for you to find a job but also makes you less likely to concentrate on your studies. Chances are, you will meet people from all walks of life–the employed, the unemployed, and the retired in your everyday life.

But there are small towns that build up your competitive edge, even though they are neither university towns nor capital cities. A good case in point is your plan to learn a foreign language throughout your studies. If you choose an unknown town with few or almost no foreigners living there, then you will be able to pick up a new language within a short period.

In conclusion, you should be clear, realistic and open-minded when you think about what matters to you when you choose a college. It would be ideal if you can choose a college based on its reputation, resources available and surrounding environment.