During your last semester in high school, you receive countless brochures, texts, and emails, all asking you to enrol in their college. You will find in these pamphlets a list of the reasons why these colleges are better options and what you will get once you register. In addition, the enticing content of students posing for photos, tossing their graduation caps in the air and laughing together beckons you to join their community without second thoughts. But the things we tend to overlook are the additional factors that determine our academic challenges.

This article will help you escape all the marketing hype and determine which college is right for you. The key is to know what you want out of your academic career. And with a list of pointers in hand, you can easily navigate your journey.

Availability of student loan

The cost of college has risen dramatically in New Zealand, leaving many students unable to afford it. Many students cannot afford learning materials and equipment due to the recent spike in tuition costs. According to StatisticsNZ, the average student in New Zealand owes $16,000 in student loans.

Personal loans from banks or credit unions can help bridge this gap since they offer lower interest rates than most other borrowing options. The best way to get a personal loan for student is through an institution. Many companies offer loans that cover all their expenditures and their college fee.

While some colleges partner with companies that provide personal loans, they can be lengthy and require a lot of paperwork. You don’t want to get tangled in it. In contrast, stand-alone firms offer an easy application process.

They also have user-friendly mobile apps, where one can easily apply with just one click. With a personal loan available at a reasonable rate, you don’t have to work part-time at a restaurant. Instead, you can spend time studying and making the most of your time in college.

Availability of the program

Colleges have a list of programs that they offer. But it is important to check if a college offers your chosen program. There are countless majors under the broad categories of art, science, medicine, law, etc. All will not be available at the same college. So, you have to know what specialisations and degree programs are available and if they match your career aspirations.

Some colleges are very good at offering extracurricular activities and may have their own sports teams. But if they don’t have the program of your choice, what is the point of going there? If you are interested in Biology, look for the college’s majors. These benchmarks will narrow down your options and make the decision easier.

Choose the college with many majors

Some students know what they want to study and ultimately do in their life. But many are often confused when it comes to the choice of major. But even if you are not sure what specialisation to choose, this is usually okay too! Many colleges offer the option to change the major during the degree program. In this case, you must select a college with a wide variety of majors that seem interesting to you. This way, you can transfer to another major if your chosen one does not suit your personality.

Cost of the degree

The cost is an important factor to consider when choosing a college because the price can have important implications. There is more than a program fee; you must consider other living expenses, accommodation, travel, books, and day-to-day college expenses. The higher the cost, the more loan or savings you will need to pay for it. Ultimately, it will take longer to pay back the degree’s total cost. So, find out the program’s total cost, factoring in all the expenses mentioned above to see if the chosen college is affordable.

At the same time, you must not be scared by the price tag of the college degree; often, good colleges are offering financial aid and scholarships. Besides, there is an option for getting a personal student loan too. Often these facilities make the cost of the program extremely reasonable. Hence, enrolling in your dream university becomes a reality. Overall, you have to see how much finance you can get through scholarships and the total loan amount you are ready to accumulate.

Entrance requirements

Even if you have the finances to pay for your degree program, you must still meet the college’s admission requirements. Be sure to review the admissions requirements of your shortlisted colleges carefully.

While some universities select students based on their school or board exam grades, others have admissions policies that include tests and interviews. These colleges will filter the candidates based on merit calculated by factoring in students’ test scores and physical appearances.

It would be wise to check the admission criteria of several universities and apply to them simultaneously. This way, you will still have some chance of getting enrolled even if you don’t fulfil the requirements of a few of them.

Location of the college

Location is an important factor too. Is your chosen college near your house or in the same city where you reside, or will you go to another city? If it is in another city, check out the accommodation details, transport costs, weather conditions, and shops close to the campus. Moreover, inside the student hostels, check the rooms and the amenities available.

Having your accommodation near the college is the best scenario. If not, make sure it is not too far. A reliable internet connection is a prerequisite for students to do their assignments, projects, or part-time work.

Make sure you follow if your hostel offers free Wi-Fi before checking in. Furthermore, check the situation of food. Will you prepare the food or will it be served to you? Consider all these factors when choosing a college away from home.


Choosing a college is a big responsibility. You will commit to this college for a few years, so choose it wisely. Make an inclusive list of all the factors you will consider when shortlisting the colleges. They can include the availability of the major, personal loan, scholarship opportunities, and part-time work opportunities. You also need to consider the location; the nearer it is, the lesser will be your expenses paid for accommodation, food, transportation, and the like. Finally, your chosen college should be one where you see yourself thriving and excelling academically and personally.