Choosing a College
Choosing a College
Choosing a college is not always an easy task. There are many things to consider before you make that final decision. One person’s dream college might be another’s worst nightmare. There are common questions to ask when choosing a college.
Questions to Ask When Choosing a College
At what type of college do you want to study?
Before anything else, you have to decide on the kind of college you want to study with. In South Africa, there are two types of colleges you can choose from; private and public colleges.
What is the difference?
Private colleges manage their own funding and make their own decisions regarding course material. They do not get any financial help from the government. Governmental issues also do not affect them in any way.
Public colleges operate under governmental laws and regulations. They receive funding from the government. This allows them to offer bursaries to students who do not have the means to pay for their studies.
Both private and public colleges have advantages and disadvantages. If you would like to learn more about these two types of colleges, visit our Types of Colleges page.
Where do you want to study? Which location?
Many students choose a college based on its location. Where some students want to get as far away from their home as possible, others like to stay close to family.
If you would like to study away from home, there are a few things you have to keep in mind:
- Where are you going to stay?
- How are you going to get to campus every day?
- Will you be responsible for your own meals?
- How are you going to do your laundry?
- How much is all of this going to cost you?
- Do you have enough money to pay for your studies, accommodation, and meals?
Studying close to home has its perks. Also, you don’t have to worry about food or laundry when you live near or with your parents.
Think carefully before choosing a college thousands of kilometres away from home. Even though it may seem very exciting, you might regret it a few months later. Consider your budget, and what it means to study in a different city.
Campus life or study from home?
Not everyone wants to experience the buzz of campus life. Some students prefer studying on their own, or in a relaxing environment.
Luckily there are options for both.
If you don’t like the idea of campus life, there is the option to study from home. Yes, you can further your studies without leaving your house. This method of education is called distance learning.
Distance learning education has become quite popular over the last couple of years. Not only does it allow students in isolated areas to further their studies, but it is also much more affordable than face-to-face classes.
If you want to experience campus and student life at its best, there are many colleges to choose from. However, before deciding on a college, do yourself a favour and visit the campus. This way, you can experience what it is really like and whether it is what you had in mind. If you do not like what you see, you can always visit other colleges or choose the distance learning option.
How much money can you put towards your college studies?
Unfortunately, money makes the world go round, and without it, you will not be able to further your studies. That said, there are many ways in which you CAN further your studies, even if you don’t have the money.
Public colleges, for instance, offer bursaries to students in need. However, to qualify for a bursary, you have to meet certain requirements.
Many TVET colleges, such as College SA, offer easy payment options to their students. This allows many students to further their studies, and pay it off in easy-to-manage instalments. To learn about these affordable payment options, visit the College SA Why Choose Us page.
Does the college you are interested in offer the course you want to study?
One of the most important things you have to remember is to check whether the college you are interested in actually offers the course you want to study.
If they don’t offer the course you want to study, widen your search.
You can do a Google search for the specific course you are interested in, and in the province you are located. For example, “Study business management courses in the Western Cape .”
You should generate a whole list of colleges or other learning institutions that offer business management courses.
Mistakes to avoid in choosing a college
- Don’t rush the process. Take your time and carefully consider each and every college on your list.
- Don’t choose a college simply because your friends are going there. Choose a college that is right for YOU and your future goals.
- Don’t feel like you have to study at the same college that your brother, sister or parents studied at. What was right for them might be entirely wrong for you.
- Don’t choose a college in another province just to get away from your family. You might just end up regretting it.
- Don’t choose a college just because they host big parties and student events.
- Don’t assume a college is good or bad just by the way they present themselves. Do your research, ask the right questions and make an informed decision.
- Don’t let your family and friends force you to study at a college you don’t really want to.