4 Signs to Find Your Best Fit University | Chuyện Du Học 101

The university threshold is an important stepping stone for us towards our “dream” jobs with good incomes. This is supported in the “impressing” numbers in the U.S. Bureau Of Labor Statistics’ most recent 2020 report. According to data, the average person with a university degree earns $1,305 per week, nearly twice as much as someone with a lower degree. Furthermore, the unemployment rate is only 5.5%, compared to the national average of 7.1%.

Regardless of how important it is, choosing the right university so that you can devote all of your efforts to studying over the next four years is complicated. How do you know if a school you’re considering is the best fit for you? This article will go over 4 main criteria that will help you “identify” your future university.

Consider These 4 Following Factors When Deciding On A University


1. Academic

Ask yourself: (i) whether the school offers a major that you’re interested in and (ii) whether the teaching quality meets your expectations. Although the school’s official website quite often describes all majors as “attractive,” in fact, it is difficult for them to meet the same quality for all available programs, even at prestigious universities. A trustable university review website, such as the U.S. News or QS World University Ranking, is a great tool that helps you to soft choose a future school initially.

>> Learn more about Top 3 Best Liberal Arts Colleges and Top 3 Best Universities for Computer Science in the U.S.

You now have some potential names popped up! It’s time to seriously assess your chances of admission to that university – a crucial step in determining the best university for you. Narrow down your school list based on your GPA, standardized test scores, and other study skills.

When the list of possible schools is narrowed, you may look into the qualifications and achievements of the university’s lecturers and professors. Also, the school’s teaching style and how it compares to your own learning style (leaning towards classroom learning or hands-on learning, group work or individual assignments, etc.) If you have any further academic questions, don’t be afraid to contact the school.

2. Financial aspects

The cost of college is a big issue for both parents and students. The above image is from The Princeton Review’s 2021 College Hopes and Worries Survey, which said the cost of attending college is the biggest worry. Up to 63% of people believe that the cost would be around 75,000 USD (approximately more than 1.7 billion VND) – a number that is not insignificant for most families. However, while you should always be realistic about your finances, don’t rush to cross a school off your list just because the tuition is too high.

Universities and colleges are currently offering a variety of financial aid packages based on students’ needs. This is an opportunity to reduce your financial burden. Find advice and guidance about grants, loans, scholarships, and work-study opportunities from your academic advisor and the student support center right at the university.

You should also consider living expenses, travel expenses, textbooks, supplies, and other study expenses in addition to tuition fees.

>> The guidebook “U.S. Financial Aid for International Students” will help you better understand the different types of financial aid available in the United States and how to apply for them.

3. Campus Culture Fit

Vietnamese students commonly overlook culture fit, one of the most impactful factors to consider when choosing a school. Keep the following questions in mind: How does the campus look like? Do you prefer a large or small student population? Is the school’s location important to you? And, perhaps most notably, does the campus community culture fit your personality?

In Chuyen du hoc Podcast, Ms. Anh Thu Ngo, a College Compass counselor who has many years of experience teaching and studying at Harvard and Princeton, explained that national universities have a much larger scale than liberal arts colleges – where professors often maintain closer relationships with students in small communities.

>> Listen to Ms. Anh Thu’s podcast with Chuyện Du Học at:

A campus is also a place for you to grow as an individual, broaden your network, and take advantage of future opportunities. Therefore we highly recommend students take campus culture into consideration when filtering out schools.

When you visit and experience potential universities, speak with students and lecturers there, and relate to your interests, personality, and viewpoints, your list of schools will be significantly whittled down. The dormitory, the area surrounding the school, and the local facilities should also be researched.

4. Future Career Development

An ideal university will help you advance in your personal and professional development in the future. To accomplish this, you should do initial research into the school’s learning resources, such as student support centers, career centers, and even mental health facilities.

>> Harvard ranks near the top when it comes to tremendous resources and support ranging from academics to mental health. Listen to Le My Hien, a current Harvard student and a former College Compass student, talk about her real-life experience at Harvard in Chuyen du hoc Podcast.

These university resources can be found on the university’s official website or during their admissions counseling sessions. You can also check ahead of arrival to see whether student clubs, alumni, or career counseling courses are functioning. University connections always pay off in the long run.

After considering all of the possibilities, we hope you have some early ideas for your future university’s “identity.” There will undoubtedly be many challenges to overcome during your study abroad experience. Counselors from College Compass will be with you every step of the way on the long journey from choosing schools to completing applications, writing essays, and extracurricular activities. We seek to instill the essential skill sets, critical thinking, and confidence in our students to advance in their careers. If you’d like expert assistance, please get in touch with us.

College Compass is a college admission consulting program by Everest Education. We offer strategic solutions to help aspiring high school students (Grade 9-12) and gap year students get into the best universities and colleges in the world. 

Our program is led by experienced admissions counselors/coaches who graduated from top US universities (Harvard, Stanford, MIT, UPenn…) and thoroughly understand the US education system. Our students have been accepted to many top universities globally, including Harvard, Stanford, Cornell, Duke, Williams, Amherst… 

We offer you a personalized pathway and strategies, including school selection, standardized testing, extracurricular activity guidance, essay writing, scholarship applications, etc. No matter which phase you are in, we offer a tailored package to your age, preferences and study goals to help you achieve your dreams.

>> Learn more about College Compass here.

References:

  1. How Do I Know if a College is a Good Fit? by Olivia Pittman
  2. How to Find Your Best Fit College by Rob Franek

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