The value of a college needs to be decided by factors other than the cost. In fact, just because one college costs more than another one does not mean at all that it is a better school. Here is a look at what things you need to consider when you determine what college has a good value.
Differing Ways to Evaluate Schools
There are different ways to evaluate schools. Time uses a chart that reveals the cost of a degree, the graduation rate, the percentage of students who get merit debt, and the average salary as the students enter their careers.
Consider the Teachers
Every school will have its share of teachers. The thing you want to know about them is whether or not they ever worked in the fields that they teach. Some colleges only have instructors who have a degree in the field, but no experience. Instruction from those who have actually been in the field is more valuable than from those who never were.
Consider How Much Debt You Will Have Afterward
Going to a prestigious school may help, in some cases, to get a job, but it will often also leave a large debt behind. It can take years to pay off college debt, which could really put a crimp on the life of a person just entering their career and possibly marriage. The earning potential should be considered, says collegechoice.net, because it needs to be high enough to offset the debt, enabling the graduate to pay it off rather quickly but still enjoy life.
This also makes it important to find out how many people are unemployed in their chosen field. A high unemployment rate may be enough indication that a lot of debt coming out of college may be a risk not worth taking.
Know What Employers Think About the College
Find some employers in the field you want to work in and ask them what they think about the particular college you are interested in. Their answer might surprise you, but it could also steer you in another direction if they do not think much of a particular school. Other schools may not be as prestigious, but they may be well-known for turning out graduates who are hotly pursued in a particular industry.
The College Needs to Help You Find Employment
Before enrolling in a college, find out if that school will help you get a job, and how they do it. While some promise to help, their help is only minimal, or token. Real help comes from putting you into contact with alumni who are in the field, and they have a constant contact with employers asking for graduates from that college.
The Percentage of Students That Actually Graduate
Taking a look at how many students actually graduate from a school is important to know. The higher the percentage, it suggests that the more help that there is available to enable students to pass their academic studies. This also indicates, says Kiplinger, that more students are graduating on time and with less debt than a school where students often need more time to finish their degree.
Other Personal Factors to Consider
When choosing a school, everyone has their own personal tastes to think about. Some prefer a smaller school with smaller classrooms, and others like a party atmosphere, with lots of people everywhere. Some like the idea of a college near the ocean, but others prefer more secluded schools in the mountains. While these features may not reflect the quality of the school, location may help to determine whether or not there are jobs available – or potential spouses. Also, the overall price may be cheaper for schools in your state, as opposed to ones located elsewhere.