Counselling for admission into engineering colleges in Tamil Nadu is about to start. There are more than 550 such colleges, many of which are located in rural areas. The quality of these colleges varies. As per the available data, they can be classified as very good (10%), good (20%), average (30%), bad (30%) and very bad (10%). About 40% of colleges are not even worth considering. Thus, choosing a right college can be a daunting task that may leave you dazed and confused.
College education is one of the most important investments in your life and it is, therefore, crucial you make the right decision. While no college will score well in every factor you consider, choose one which fits best your interest and needs. Keep in mind that this will likely decide where you want to be in your career and what you want to be in life.
Suggested below are 10 guidelines which students need to consider when choosing the right college...
- Understand yourself: Analyse your strengths, weaknesses, interests and aptitude. If your scores in maths and science are less than 50% do not join engineering. Know who you are and find a good fit.
- Choose course first: Pick the course (over college) depending on what appeals to you. Do not yield to parental and peer pressures or the course’s current popularity. Only then will you put in your best.
- Shortlist a few colleges: Considering your marks and investment capacity, select at least five colleges where the course is offered.
- Rank the list: Rank the selected colleges considering the factors such as faculty, infrastructure, support facilities, extracurricular activities, pass-out percentage, etc, preferably using a 5-point scale.
- Beware of the brochure: Colleges brochures are biased and will tout only the positive aspects. They may also contain some false claims such as ranks, accreditations, awards, and fictitious faculty names.
- Don’t rely on advertisements: Many colleges, usually mediocre ones, place huge advertisements in both print and electronic media. The larger the size of these ads, the lower the quality of colleges.
- Don’t get attracted by freebies: Mediocre colleges offer liberal fee concessions and scholarships for students with high marks. Do not fall prey to gimmicks, look for their reputation before acceding to offers.
- Make a campus visit: Make sure you visit the labs, library, classrooms, hostels, extracurricular facilities, etc, and get a feel for campus life. You may also talk to people around there.
- Seek out personal information: Seek opinions from the people who have connections with the colleges like old students, faculty members, parents of old students and educational counsellors.
- Understand college management: Most colleges are run on a business model and their commitment to quality and social values is questionable. There’s likely to be a huge gap between theory and practice.