The selection of an educational facility by prospective students is frequently guided by the number of tuition fees. This consideration is complemented by the opportunities an institution offers to students, including but not confined to employment options. Extracurricular activities are viewed as important factors affecting one’s preferences in this respect as students can explore their creativity, achieve some athletic goals, build social links, or develop some professional skills. Nevertheless, even though tuition fees, job prospects, and societal participation are crucial for choosing a college, substantial financial assistance, employable skills, and projects suitable for career promotion seem more critical due to their long-term orientation.
Long-Term Financial Assistance
Many students choose a college based on the availability of financial assistance (such as scholarships and grants). The prices of tuition are significant for the majority of young people pursuing higher education. Therefore, they attempt to reduce financial stress levels by addressing this aspect in the first place (Denning, 2018). This position seems well-justified since tuition fees can affect the decisions regarding the selection of one or another educational facility; however, there are concerns in this respect, which are more critical for making a well-thought-out decision. They include the considerations of monthly expenses, such as housing or food, and should be examined thoroughly instead of focusing on the direct costs of education. The failure of individuals to graduate is primarily connected to the former conditions (Denning, 2018). This fact contributes to the idea of viewing the provided long-term financial assistance as an appropriate measure, which is more efficient than simply covering the tuition fees. Hence, students should choose the college based on the financial opportunities this educational establishment provides, such as scholarships covering tuition and housing fees, as well as some other expenses.
When choosing a college, it is also critical to ensure that this educational facility and the chosen program can equip the potential student with the necessary skills and knowledge that will be valued by employers. Students should remember that the employer expects to hire people who are able to complete particular tasks and create value. Even if a college offers employment options in some companies, students should have particular skills and knowledge for professional growth or even lasting employment to perform tasks properly. That some students still think that employment opportunities provided by some colleges are more important as they think that this provision allows receiving a more positive professional experience and becoming a more qualified specialist (Kang et al., 2020). Nevertheless, the results of a recent study among hedge fund managers show that their efficiency is primarily conditional upon the presence of skillsets contributing to better performance of tasks rather than formal education (Kang et al., 2020). Thus, choosing an institution that ensures the development of abilities necessary for achieving success in a field is a better reason than focusing on the options of future employment.
The final factor affecting the choice of a college is linked to students’ employment prospects after their graduation. Students try to focus on the long-term outcomes of the extracurricular activities that would help them be effective employees. For instance, such projects as the launch of a project aimed at solving a specific issue in a community or the educational establishment can be a good extracurricular activity. The work on such projects will enable students to acquire skills in working in teams, time management, and conflict management. Such projects are also helpful in developing social links that can be the basis for further professional life. Meanwhile, many extracurricular activities offered in colleges do not ensure the correspondence of abilities acquired in this way with workplace needs in the future (Hayes, 1989). For example, participating in volunteer projects might be useless for the efficiency of a sales manager. This condition means that social activities can be critical when selecting a college only if they correlate with long-term goals. Therefore, students should pay attention to the social aspects related to the educational establishments that are on their shortlist.
To summarize, the selection of an educational facility should be guided by its long-term benefits for students. It means that financial assistance should be sufficient to cover the essential costs, skillsets should be prioritized over employment options (if offered), and other projects complementing academic programs should be aligned with employers’ expectations. It is pivotal to remain concentrated on the chosen career path, preparing the background for one’s professional success. From this perspective, choosing a college is a complex task which the reasons should correspond to young people’s expectations and values related to their work in the future.
Denning, J. T. (2018). Born under a lucky star: Financial aid, college completion, labor supply, and credit constraints. Journal of Human Resources, 54(3), 760-784. Web.
Hayes, T. J. (1989). How students choose a college: A qualitative approach. Journal of Marketing for Higher Education, 2(1), 19-28. Web.
Kang, B. U., Kim, J. M., Palmon, O., & Zhong, Z. (2020). Are college education and job experience complements or substitutes? Evidence from hedge fund portfolio performance. Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting, 54(4), 1247-1278. Web.