Leaving a community college and deciding on what university you want to go to can be a daunting and difficult task. Perhaps it is the first time you have left your family home to live independently? Maybe it will involve you moving away altogether? Starting a new chapter of your life is bound to cause you some stress and will present you with a number of challenges.
However, you can feel rest assured that there are a wide range of courses available at universities all over the world.
Before making this decision you need to consider the following:
Which university will offer you the best course for what you want to do?
Choosing the right course for you can be the first challenge you may come across. Perhaps you have left college without knowing what subject you would like to study for 3 years or more?
If you are unsure about what course will be best for you, note down your strengths, weaknesses and what you like learning about the most! Try not to be influenced by your friend’s choices, or the benefits of each course as you need to be sure that you will enjoy your course long-term.
Take a look at the kind of assignments you need to complete to do well on this course, as this will help you to decide if you are dedicated enough to see it through to the end!
How much are the living costs in that particular area?
Before being attracted to the great nightlife, the shopping or even the facilities at the university, try and seek advice on how much it will be to live in that area. If you only receive a certain amount in student loans, you may fall short of money and struggle to pay your rent and utility bills. When choosing a suitable university location you need to consider the following costs:
- Travelling home
- Disposable income for general household items
- Social Life
- Council tax
Once you have worked out how much it will realistically cost you to live there, you will have an idea of whether it is the right choice for you!
Will you be looking to stay there after your degree?
Although it may seem a little early to be thinking about the employability within that area, it is likely that if you have a great experience at university you may wish to stay and live in that town or city. If you know there will be job prospects in that area, you can feel rest assured that it is a good move for you.
How much will your travel cost you?
Travel is one cost that many people forget to factor in to their overall outgoings. If you know you might want to travel home quite frequently, especially at weekends, you may want to consider how much those journeys will cost. Whether you will be travelling by car, train or bus you need to make sure you have the finances to make these journeys! Investing in a student rail or bus card can often help to resolve this problem and will help you to receive a substantial discount.
Will you get any help financially?
With course tuition fees rising, you may want to consider saving for university as early as possible. If you have a gap between college and university, consider getting a summer job in order to save money that will go towards your food and general living costs.
This will help you to get started at university and mean you can take out a reduced student loan. Although student loans and overdrafts may seem like free money, everything will need to be paid back eventually. Ensuring that you have some savings, even if it’s only in the hundreds will give you less debt to manage when you leave.
When considering universities, make sure you think about which course is going to give you the best qualifications for the future as well as considering the financial impact the chosen area may have on you.
This article was written on behalf of Lord Wandsworth College; a leading institution of education in Hampshire. Take a look at the Lord Wandsworth College website for more information.