Every one who wants to go to college want to go to a good college. But one of the main challenges for students selecting a suitable university is cost. This includes tuition, fees, dormitory charges, lab/technology fees, books, stationery, insurance, food and other related costs. In most cases, the universities that are highly regarded in terms of educational excellence tend to be more expensive.
Because of all the costs we just mentioned, you’ll want to narrow the university search to those that are roughly within your budget. Why roughly? Universities tend to want to accept students who add the most value to them. Which is why some universities do offer financial aid and either partial or full scholarships to needy students as well as to those who are high achievers in athletics and academics.
So if you’re talented, athletic, and have good grades, it’s not unreasonable to apply for universities outside of your budget. If you’re still in High School and you’re good at academics or sports (or maybe both), know that these skills will likely come in handy.
Generally however, narrowing the pool to those that fit your budget expedites the process, as it will enable you to focus on a number of universities that are affordable to you.
One important thing to considering whether the universities actually offer value for the money they’re charging. Things like the reputation of the university, its ranking, facilities, faculty and student life can help you decide that value. If you live near or are visiting the area, it’s always worth looking round the university to see if it’s the sort of place you think you can fit in.
In most cases, the process of choosing a university boils down to cost. Regardless of how much you would have preferred other universities, if you cannot afford their fees, you may not be able to go there.
The question you have to ask yourself then is, given few choices between universities that fit your budget, which one of them offers the best value for your money. Having a limited budget doesn’t have to mean compromising on quality of education. You can still look for better value for whatever money you’re paying.
At AUS, we’re fortunate to be one of the few universities in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region that works with a local bank to provide a competitive education financing plan to students. The plan helps qualified students with financial difficulties to access affordable education financing that will set them on the right path towards their future career.
Gureni Lukwaro is a Writer, Editor and Social Media Manager at the American University of Sharjah.