Tips For Carefully Choosing a University

Either you are currently or soon will be in the choosing a postsecondary institution for the first time, or you are already at one and want to continue your courses somewhere else, choosing a university is not something to be easily overlooked and should be carefully planned and thought out.

This is where you will most likely spend the next four years (at the very least). It is where you will spend a significant amount of your (or someone else’s) money. The decision will almost certainly change your life in ways you have not, and perhaps cannot, foresee. You owe it to both the present and future, you need to carefully consider your options. Here are some suggestions for picking a university that will help you get the most out of your postsecondary experience.

Choosing a university necessitates a review of the rankings

According to a 2017 study published by the website The Student Room, one in every five university students regretted their choice of school. Twenty percent of university students are dissatisfied with the school where they chose to study, which is an alarmingly high figure. It’s understandable as well. Most undergraduate students enter university at a point in their lives when they are, at best, uncertain of what they want out of life and, more often than not, completely unaware of the options.

Fortunately, for those willing to put in a little effort, there are plenty of  university ranking websites and organizations out there that spend a significant amount of time analyzing schools and curating lists based on specific factors – often providing schools with overall aggregate rankings. While you’re narrowing down your list of schools, spend some time looking through these websites. This leads us to our next suggestion: make a short list.

Do not put all of your eggs in a single basket

A significant number students, current, new, and soon-to-be, make the mistake of choosing too few schools where they want to study. Mostly, schools are chosen because a close friend or friends are studying there, or because a girlfriend or boyfriend attends there. The reputation of a school as a “party school” has become the worst probable reason for choosing it. If you do anything, don’t pick a school based on its nightlife. Since many young people get together, it’s unavoidable for all schools to have a fun nightlife.

It is critical that you go into the shortlisting process if you are trying to decide where to study and spend a significant amount of money. This entails evaluating several schools that you want to study at (and, more importantly, know you can get into) and devising an evaluation system that allows you to narrow down your top ‘X’ number. You should take the time to carefully complete applications to all of those schools. The greatest mistake to commit is to either take whatever you can get (if you don’t have to), or hope you get into the one or two schools you selected.

Examine the course syllabus

Choosing a university and determining which courses to take go hand in handAt the undergraduate level, the lecturer and what course material they have chosen for their syllabus is not as essential as it is at the graduate level (though it can still make or break a course), but it is essential to question yourself if you truly want to study at a given school.

If you already know what courses you want to take, all you have to do is look at the course outline and see what the professor plans to teach. Spend some time evaluating the course material as well as the professor. Conduct some background research on both the person and the subject matter. Do you think they’re both interesting and compelling? Is this a course you’d be interested in taking?

Universities offer a wide range of courses and employ a diverse range of people with varying styles and goals. Knowing more about those people and their goals will help you choose the school that offers the courses that interest you the most. When you are certain where you want to apply, there are services available to assist you in polishing and perfecting your admission essays and application letters.

Living Expenses

One of the disturbing facts of postsecondary education is that most of the factors that allow or disallow you to study at a particular institution are beyond your control. If you do not come from a family that can actually afford for your education, you will have to consider loans or starting to work while studying (or both), and also what you can afford. You might get an offer from the best university, in the country’s largest, most expensive city and have to turn it down because living there is probably too expensive.

One of the most important considerations when selecting a university is how much economic difficulties the decision will impose on you. Consider the cities of Vancouver, Toronto, New York, or Sydney. All have highly regarded postsecondary institutions. All are among the most desirable cities to live in the world, but all require a significant financial investment to complete a four-year degree. Every year, nearly 20% of students decline offers from top schools due to financial constraints. It is not always a bad idea to do so. At the end of the day, university is a financial investment like any other, and it should be treated as such.

Understanding where and what you want to study necessitates a great deal of consideration and soul searching. Selecting a university can be stressful, and application process can be even more so, so contact GradeOffice and have a professional writer assist you in planning and carrying out your application process.


Seltzer, R. (2017). “Turning down top choices.” Inside Higher Ed. Retrieved from:

Yorke, H. (2017). “One in five students regret their choice of university, study shows.” The Telegraph. Retrieved from: