Choosing a University (Criteria to consider)

Criteria & How to Use this Page:

Use this Criteria In Choosing Universities that Match You. Place Universities of Interest into the Colleges I’m Thinking About Page on Naviance.
  1. University Major & Study Program 

    Program Strength is the most important criteria to consider in choosing a university. Please read through these other ideas before reviewing University Search Resources to get started…

  2.  Type of School

    Universities vary significantly between the type of education offered and it uniquely impacts the university experience of students: From university culture, to course selection & graduation requirements, to cost and tuition. 

    Please see this link to understand the differences:

  3. Location & Climate

    Each location offers a vastly different university experience from staying in Hong Kong to traveling overseas.                     In choosing universities consider:  Do you know anyone in the location of the university? This helps in times of emergency or adjustment.
    You can also seek out university counselors as needed.

  • Climate – 4 seasons, long winters or hot summers
  • Class Size –  Small: Less than 50 to Large: Up to several hundred in large auditoriums
  • Culture also can also have a huge impact: City or Rural, Climate, Traditions & Customs etc.
  • Identify which type of location you’d like to be in.
    • Example: Mr. Gartz attended a small college in Hawaii and enjoyed living 5 minutes from a world-famous beach.

    4. Parents Accept This Choice 

    In identifying the kind of university you prefer – speak with your parents about your choices.
    They should respect your ideas while contributing to your decisions.
     5. Cost: Parents & Students are aware of the cost (Tuition. Books & Housing) and are comfortable with it.
Here are a few other topics to consider in making a university choice:

Available Financial Aid 
Identify loan, grant and scholarship sources available to international students
Please see University Search Resources tab to identify by country. It is also helpful to ask the universities individually 
  • Student Loans: Offered primarily by a national government – difficult to receive as an international student
  • University Grants: are gifts of aid from federal, state, or university sources. They are awarded to students on the basis of need, and they do not need to be repaid. You must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to be considered for grant awards in the USA.
  • Scholarships: is an award of financial aid for a student to further their education. Scholarships are awarded based upon various criteria, which usually reflect the values and purposes of the donor or founder of the award. Scholarship money is not required to be repaid.

Study Options

Does the University offer:
    •   Student Internships (both local & overseas): can improve the quality of your education experience while providing professional networking & employment skills.
    •    Accelerated programs: Some programs allow you for example to finish a Masters, Law or Medical degree in less time saving you valuable time and Money.
    •  Double-Majors: What type of opportunities do you have to double-major choosing two or more different fields of study to concentrate it takes longer to graduate but may help you broaden your career path. (Engineering/ Psychology)
    • Pre-Professional Programs: Is the university well-known for its leading you to a successful Law, Medicine, Business career etc.
    •     Rankings: Does the ranking reflect the criteria that are important to you in a university & attract attention.
      • Where have graduates been hired? What does the university career counseling office do to help you land your dream job? Do they have statistics or means to help you?

International Student Population
(Look for 5% and above if your concerned about fitting in with others like you in a foreign place)