Planning your future and considering furthering your education by studying a course or degree at university? It is important to realize that this isn’t necessarily the right path for everyone. Here are a few important aspects of student life to consider before making that life-altering decision and sending out your application to your dream school or schools.

Consider All Your Options

There are several options available to you at this moment. Aside from jumping right into the working world or taking a gap year, you may choose to attend university full time, part time, or perhaps you’ll consider enrolling in night school or studying online. There is also the opportunity to study abroad if you wish to combine your tertiary education with travel.

Along with this, you will also need to consider your options in terms of the different educational institutions and universities that you could attend. Look into the various requirements and research how you can boost your chances of being accepted. A lot of the world’s leading universities’ acceptance rates can be lower than 20%. As shown on the CampusReel website, the UCSD acceptance rate, for example, is currently 33.74%, whereas the UCLA acceptance rate is around 17%!

Consider Cost

There are several variables to think about when it comes to determining what you might pay to study at university here in the United States. According to research conducted by Top Universities, it is estimated that studying at a top tier university, such as Harvard, could end up costing around US$60,000 per year if you factor in both fees and living costs. However, if you opt to study at a slightly less high-profile university, you are looking at a total cost of around $26,290.

Obviously, this is a sizeable sum no matter how you look at it. You will need to decide if you’ll be willing to take out a student loan or find access to other means of funding your studies. There is also always the option of getting a part time job; however, while it is possible if you put your mind to it, juggling coursework and shifts can prove challenging.

Consider Your Career Aspirations

It is important for you to take the time to assess your career aspirations and goals, as these will play a huge role in determining not only whether university is the right path for you, but whether it is even necessary. Not all careers will require a university-level education. However, there is no denying that an excellent alma mater looks great on your resume regardless of what job you apply for!

Your career aspirations will also impact which universities you apply to attend. For example, UCLA is known for its psychology and economics programs, while UCSD is celebrated for its computer engineering and mathematics disciplines.

At the end of the day, this is not a decision to make lightly. Do your research, speak to current and past students, and follow your heart. If you do choose to go to university and further your education, best of luck on your new and exciting journey!