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A student’s guide to picking the right college in the USA

Consider the factors like career prospect, education progress, lifestyle, rankings while choosing the college or university in the USA.

Mahesh Ramani
A student’s guide to picking the right college in the USA

Key factors while selecting an institution are - rankings, quality of teaching, fees, career prospects, accommodation and support for international students.

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If you’re planning to study in the USA, how do you choose your college? With every major American city having leading universities and colleges, picking the perfect institution can be very tough.

When you look at finding the right university, ask yourself the following questions:
  1. What is the global ranking of this university?
  2. Will this uni help build my career?
  3. Does this uni support international students?
  4. What will be my return on investment?
  5. Will I have a great student experience?
Let’s look at how you can answer these questions and choose the right American college for you. 

Global Rankings

American colleges for international students are ranked by many magazines and news programs. Since you’re not going to settle for second-best, the college you’re applying to should be highly ranked. In many cases, colleges will have these rankings on display on their website, but you can also do a simple Google search to find outside opinions, such as “best public universities in the USA.”
Beyond these general searches, also look into the rankings given to the specific programs you’re interested in. For example, if you want to study architecture, then look for how the college’s design and architecture programs are ranked. Different colleges have different specialties, and this information will help you pick the college that’s right for you.  

Career Support

When you go to college, you want to build a career. That desire led you to travel the world, and to gain worldly experience. If you were to travel halfway around the globe only to spend all your time behind a book, it would be a shame. 
Employers also look for students with real experience. While good marks are important, it is experience that sets you apart, and so you should try to have as many different experiences as you can. A college can help this by offering internships in America, work placement programs, and even support the potential for you to study in yet another country for a semester. It is these opportunities that will help build your career, as you’ll gain the experience of participating in the American workforce. 
If the college offers not one, but many such opportunities? Then you’ve found one of the best colleges for international students

International Students

Being an international student in America can be tough. You’re in a foreign culture, you’re studying hard, and now you have to support yourself too. You need a college that supports you, so you can enjoy this great experience. 
Look for the number of support services given to international students. Do they help with Visas? Do they help with confusing—and important—issues like taxation? Will they support you if you decide to apply for permanent residence? All the best colleges for international students will help with these issues, so you can focus on studying. 
You can also get an idea of the support offered by the number of international students studying at the college. Does your chosen college have a large number of international students? If so, then you can be assured that many students made the decision to come here before you, putting you in good company. The college will have developed services to match the larger number of international students. 

Return on Investment

You’ve come a long way, and you’re paying a good amount of money to study in America. You don’t want to waste this on a college that won’t give you what you want out of an education.  
Don’t settle for second best. Make sure the college you’re applying to has a wide range of courses, so you’re assured of getting an exact match for what you want. The best colleges for international students have hundreds of undergraduate courses, and many options for continuing your graduate education. 
Many colleges will also offer scholarships. These scholarships aren’t always just open to the best students at academics or sports. Sometimes, a college will offer scholarships of several thousand dollars to many of its international students. Whatever the amount, these scholarships can still help you support your studies in the USA. 

Student Experience

Going to college is a lifestyle. In America, you don’t want to spend all your time trapped behind a book. You want to go out, have fun—enjoy yourself.
Your first opportunity is in the college itself. How does it help international students meet other students? The good ones will host plenty of student organizations and clubs, allowing you to make friends easily and enjoy college life beyond the books. It may even have programs to help you meet local Americans, so you’re able to experience the American culture first-hand. 
The location of the college counts. Different cities make for different experiences—and present different challenges. For example, while New York City has a thriving culture all of its own, it also has high living expenses, and you may have to spend a lot of money for basic necessities such as rent. By researching the college’s location beforehand, you’ll ensure that you’ll arrive at a city most suited to your idea of fun—and one that meets your budget. 
Get in touch with us for expert advice on an institution and programme that fits your budget and your skills.  

Have trouble short-listing universities?

Jyoti Sharma Jyoti Sharma,
Study abroad expert.
Given the number of options, it is a difficult task to short-list universities that you can apply to. Our advisors can help you out. So, request a call back today. Or call 1800 103 2581 / 1800 103 9634 (toll-free) today!