It would be considered, by some, the biggest decision of your adolescent life. It exceeds the days where you struggled between wearing blue or black to prom, or deciding if you should take that extra AP class to bump up your credits. Because as you’ve spent a good twelve years in school, you’re finally put on the spot.
And where to start?
Well, for starters, know your priorities;
A degree at MIT or Harvard might be able to turn heads and be regarded worldwide, but it doesn’t cater to a variety that might be offered by universities elsewhere. The option of electing minor subjects from a different school of learning, to accompany a degree would most probably be non-existent.
Students who want to take up a Law degree would highly desire an admission into Yale’s Law School – a higher institution with reputable standards in teaching law. But, little leeway is given for a student who intends on applying for a foreign language class in an Ivy League syllabus.
If you’re thinking of pursuing a degree in Law; an admission into Yale’s Law School would most probably be your desired school of choice as the recognition could earn you ample opportunity and favour in the workforce. However, if you are also a linguist who would want to bump in a foreign language class into your semester, you might not have the option to do so.
So, when it comes down to the final decision, it would depend on you opting for a prestigious education or a flexible one.
Next (and probably the most important) is financial aid;
Let’s face it – education is not cheap. With the increasing demand of study abroad opportunities, tuition fees have risen dramatically in the last ten years. In addition to that, student loans have rolled in to an amount surpassing the hundred thousands, while the enthusiastic young learners are caught in a lifetime of debt before their first pay check.
So, it is crucial to try and look at things on a different perspective. There is an abundance of private organisations, scholarship offers and government aid that offer financial support to students who wish to continue their education. It usually ties together a working contract or a set CGPA that the student must achieve each term; but free education, or a discounted one should always be the first choice.
As a Malaysian, you’re offered a variety of monetary support. The government’s PTPTN loan is one of the more popular options for students to apply to. The amount differs to the applicant’s household income, and could stretch to cover your entire tuition fee. However, there are also competitions and fellowship programmes that fund a student’s higher education.
But, what’s next?
Some universities now offer the option to be culturally invested in a semester abroad, while others allow an entire year of working experience within a student’s course-related industry. Higher education has expanded to the brink of providing its students with a global platform of learning.
With the trend of a personalised degree, your ambitious university plans might just turn out the way you want it to. As the aspiring lawyer you are, you might also want to participate in a study abroad programme in China and an internship in Singapore – and with a little research, a university or two might be able to offer that curriculum.
Making the right choice of university is stressful, especially when you start to understand the amount of time and money going into your education.
Hence, choosing the wrong course is one of the main reasons why students drop out of university or college. As the process can be difficult, lengthy, and often costly; they would need to be certain with the type of education that they want to pursue through market surveying and research.
It would be a lot easier once you’ve checked off Priorities, Finance and What’s Next? Your list of choice becomes narrower, and before you know it; you’re one of the 93% of student population to see your degree through to the end.