In today’s day and age, where competition is cut throat and skill development during the educational years becomes the key to success for a brighter future. 

Choosing the right college or Business School becomes a biggest worry.

While choosing a college or an institution for studies post schooling is a big challenge in the modern day and age. Most students choose to study in the best available institute as it makes a huge impact on the future as graduating from a reputed Institutes plays a vital role in the value of an individual in the job market.

Yes of course, IIM Ahmedabad or IIT Mumbai will be the answer or shall we say clear winner. But if you look at the situation sanely, not everyone can make the cut in these institutions, simply because even if you are really good at studies and score well, the seats in these institutions are limited and hence most of the students have to look for the alternatives. For a lot of students and parents it sounds like the end of the world but it isn’t.

Once you wrap your head around the idea that you might not find a place in the top 5 Business Schools or Medical Colleges or Engineering Colleges in the country the real search begins.

The selection of college or institutes is majorly affected by two factors along with many minor factors. Ideally one should consider two factors minimum before deciding on the institutions one wishes to study in.

The two major factors are 

  1. The institution itself
    1. UGC & NAAC certification
    2. Choice of course
    3. Infrastructure and facilities
  2. Total costs.
    1. How much the course will cost you (tuition fees and exam fees)
    2. Cost of living (rents, food, traveling, and overhead expenses)

Let’s look at the major factors in detail

  1. The institution

First and the most basic criteria without a doubt is the institution itself. One needs to look at various aspects and details of any institution to determine the best choice.

While shortlisting institutions you don’t know much about (other than named institutions like IIM or IIT) 

The first, foremost and most important certification you should look at is UGC Grant and NAAC certification. UGC is the central body and is recognised by all corporates in India and abroad. NAAC is a body that grades colleges and universities on the basis of their performance, facilities, faculties etc. Any institution with a grade of A or B by NAAC is great. Honestly there is very little difference between the two and if you get a college with good infrastructure and facilities you should take any one of them.

You also have to look for the choice of course you are  being offered, the subjects covered, syllabus and other things, as it will determine your future career line.

One of the most important factors to consider is also the infrastructure the university or college has. Better infrastructure is always desired and a lot of institutions promise a lot but don’t have the required infrastructure to support tall promises. Ideally you should look at

  • Classrooms
  • IT infrastructure and support
  • Size of the campus
  • Hostel facilities and amenities
  • Security
  1. Total costs

This is unfortunately the most important factor that any family has to look at. Yes you might find a great college, yes you might be eligible, yes it might tick all the boxes of desired place to study, but it has to be in budget and the costs have to be justifiable.

This is where choosing an institution in a Tier 2 city is a lot better. Honestly if you look at all the factors mentioned in this article and judge the colleges and universities on the basis of it, 6 out of 10 colleges would be from tier 2 cities.

It is simply because of 

  • Cheap real estate which grossly translates to bigger campuses and more investments into infrastructure like classrooms, IT infrastructure etc.
  • Lower cost of living, which is mainly thanks to lower rents, and food pricing. Tier 2 cities have shopping malls and movie theatres and other luxury amenities but due to a distinctly lower population compared to metro cities the costs are lower.

One of the reasons for mentioning the cost of living and overhead expenses before the course fees or costs is simply because even though it might sound odd, the living expenses almost always are distinctly higher than the course fees any institution charges.

To keep the costs down, it is also advisable to look at all possible opportunities to get scholarships, discounts, and other financial aid available for students in the form of loans etc. A lot of universities give sizable scholarships to students on different criterias and it never hurts to do a detailed research on different institutions and costs you might end up bearing by choosing them.

A lot of big big institutions or Private universities make it very easy for students to get loans and scholarships.

In conclusion, we can ascertain with confidence that studying in tier 2 cities is a very lucrative and profitable venture.

Options available are

  • Study abroad : Obviously a lot of upper section students opt to study abroad after completing their basic education in India, and is a growing trend these days. However, depending on the country you choose and the University you will end up spending 60 to 80 lakh.
  • Study in institutions based in Metro cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Bangaluru etc
  • Study in hometown itself
  • Study in tier 2 cities (least explored)
    • Well connected via transport options (Trains, Buses, Airports)
    • Luxury living environment with infrastructure (roads, quality residential)
    • Shopping malls, eateries and star hotels available (lifestyle and luxury)
    • Cost of living (average)  distinctly lower than Tier 1 (Metro cities)

The factors that determine the institute you end up in.

  • College brand name, market value 
  • Infrastructure and facilities
  • Quality of life ( security, safety, living standards, facilities and luxury amenities, transportation)
  • Cost of living.