Everyone seems to want to know - Which colleges are the best? The best college is the one that is best for YOU!
The best college for you will likely be very different than the best college for someone else. There are so many highly personal factors to consider, and most of these are not measurable in ways that sell magazines. College rankings exist and abound, but do not give them too much importance.
Looking for the right college:
- Does the school have the things youre looking for?
- Size, Location
- Program of study, level of academic pressure/rigor
- Balance between academics and social life, the "feel" of the campus, extra-curricular and social activities (sports, arts, and Greek life, etc)
- Faculty (ratio to students, quality, availability, how many classes are taught by TAs?)
- Cost of attendance and availability of financial aid for you
- Special facilities or services for your own needs?
- Is the school accredited? Is the program of study that you want accredited? In some cases, the strength of the program can be evaluated by whether they offer bachelors, masters, and Ph.D. programs in your field of study.
- What degrees are available?
THOSE are the things you should focus on. The rankings are not like Consumer Reports... the quality of a college just cant be measured that way. Think for yourself... this is a personal decision and a personalized process.
Websites about rankings that you may want to check out:
There are some mistakes that you should try to avoid:
- Choosing a college for its prestigious name, without finding out if its the right fit for you.
- Choosing a college because someone else goes there and he/she likes it.
- Choosing a college because your friends are going to apply there.
Searching for Universities
There are many tools for searching for universities on the Internet. Below is a list of sites that will be useful for university searches.
- www.collegesofdistinction.com This a listing of US colleges that are well recognized by educational professionals as providing an excellent undergraduate education, along with innovative teaching, a high quality residential environment, and wide recognition among graduate schools and employers. The schools are organized by region or state within the US.
- https://www.usnews.com/best-colleges U.S. News and World Report publishes an annual ranking of more than 1,800 US universities. U.S. News offers rankings and lists to help prospective undergraduate students compare schools based on the qualities that matter most to them, such as school’s cost, financial aid policies, admissions requirements, student body and more.
- https://www.univcan.ca/ The Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada website provides a comprehensive list of Canadian schools with detailed profiles and includes a search engine.
- http://www.macleans.ca/education/unirankings/ Maclean’s Magazine rates Canadian universities every year.
- www.studyincanada.com Provides good information on options in Canada.
- http://www.anuies.mx/ The Asociación Nacional de Universidades e Instituciones de Educación Superior, provides a state-by state listing of affiliated Mexican universities as well as a catalog of careers (Licenciatura y Posgrado) in Mexico.
- http://www.universia.net/ Provides a fairly comprehensive listing of universities in Mexico and in Latinoamérica.
- https://www.collegeboard.org/ College Board is one of our main tools for College Planning and offers a "College Matchmaker" which asks you some questions, and then gives you a list of colleges that might be a good match for you.
- https://www.princetonreview.com/ Asks you some questions about your college preferences, and then gives you a list of colleges that might be a good match for you based on that data. They offer interesting data about each college, both from the school and from the students. If you find a school that you really like, click on "other schools to consider," and you’ll be able to find more information.
- https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/es US Federal Student Aid College Finder - A division of the US Department of Education. This is another college finding service that asks you questions and then gives you a list of possible college matches. This site also has good information for international students, and also about finding funding for college.
- http://www.collegedata.com/Offers a college matchmaker, and a number of interesting features that appear to be unique. You can calculate your chances of getting in to a particular college and you can also use the admission tracker to see sample students and whether they got in. There are also financial aid resources.
Application procedures vary enormously by country and school and are explained at each school’s website. Almost 300 U.S. colleges and universities use the Common Application, which can be filled out online. You can download and print a paper copy to use as a rough draft. There is a list of participating institutions on the website. http://www.commonapp.org
Some of you will decide that you want to apply to colleges in Mexico, some will apply outside of Mexico, and some will do both. The reality is that applying to colleges in Mexico is a simpler process, and will require somewhat less support that applying to schools in the US or other countries. If you decide that the TEC, UDEM, or another school in Mexico is the right school for you, you probably wont need as much help with the application process as the students who apply outside of Mexico.