Things to Consider When Choosing a University

Choosing the right university for you | Image taken by Dom Fou, from Unsplash


University Choosing: Things to Consider

Choosing the right college or university to attend in is a crucial decision and arguably one of the most important decisions that can impact a student’s education and future career. In the Philippines, several top school, universities and colleges offer excellent academic programs for higher education for each academic year and a great campus environment.

However, with so many options available, the choice can at times put pressure on anyone and can become overwhelming. While there are many ways to seek advice in picking out the best choice, this article aims to guide any student with the factors that need to be considered when applying in a college or university in the Philippines.

Overview of The Top Colleges and Universities in The Philippines

The Philippines is home to several esteemed colleges and universities that offer quality education and a vibrant campus life. Here are some of the top universities in the country:

The University of the Philippines Diliman


The University of the Philippines, regardless campus, has a strong reputation for academic excellence. Known for its diverse academic programs and strong emphasis on research, the University of the Philippines Diliman campus is a leading institution in the Philippines.

Academic support in terms of scholarship is available. It offers a wide range of undergraduate and graduate programs across various disciplines with comprehensive course content. Most importantly, the general atmosphere in any U.P. campus is open and inviting to any new cultures. Any interested and accepted students, specially those coming to the big city, will not find the campus intimidating.

There are numerous study halls and dining halls in each campus where students can gather and learn together. Or simply to bond and get to know each other well during their free time.

De La Salle University – Manila

With its student-centered approach and commitment to academic excellence, De La Salle University – Manila is highly regarded for its business, engineering, and social sciences programs. It provides a nurturing environment for its current students to thrive academically and personally.

Situated near residential areas, the Manila campus is a mere walking distance to a whole range of accommodation options, from boarding houses, condominium projects, hostel, shared apartments, and co op dormitories, ensuring convenience and safety. With the current traffic situation in Manila, it makes better sense to consider any of these accommodation options when enrolled in DLSU.

Ateneo de Manila University

Ateneo de Manila University is known for its rigorous academic programs and holistic approach to education. It offers a diverse range of undergraduate and graduate programs and prides itself on producing well-rounded graduates who are not only academically competent but also socially aware.

There are actually 12 schools that make up the Ateneo University. Of the 12, nine belong to higher education that offer undergraduate education; graduate professional education in law, business, governance, medicine, and public health; as well as graduate studies in arts and sciences. Three of their schools offer education for other students within the K to 12 level.

The University of Santo Tomas – Manila

The University of Santo Tomas is a private Catholic university in Manila founded by Spanish friar Miguel de Benavides in 1611. UST as it is popularly known, is one of the  largest Catholic universities in the world that has the highest enrollment rating in a single campus.

Interested students can look into UST’s Manila campus that hosts 22-degree granting colleges, a church, and a teaching hospital. Within its grounds are the first and oldest engineering, law, medical, and pharmacy schools in the Philippines. UST offers programs in over 180 undergraduate and graduate specializations.

It offers a wide range of programs across various disciplines and has a rich history and tradition that adds to the student’s experience.

Things to Consider When Choosing a University

When selecting a university and available courses, there are nine factors that should be taken into consideration, to ensure a well-rounded education and a fulfilling university experience.

University Rankings

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College and University rankings can serve as a valuable tool when choosing a university. It is often based on academic performance, research output, faculty quality, and student satisfaction.

While these factors can provide a general idea of a university’s strengths, it is crucial to dig deeper and consider other aspects essential to your personal and academic goals.

Rankings can vary depending on the source and their specific criteria. Therefore, it is advisable to consult multiple ranking systems and compare the results.

Look for consistent patterns and consider other factors, such as location, facilities, meal plans, cost of tuition, and student support, to make an informed decision.

Location Considerations: Rural Area vs. Large City

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One of the first factors to consider when choosing a university in the Philippines is the location. The country offers a diverse range of options, from colleges and universities in rural areas to those in bustling cities.

Each setting has its advantages, and it ultimately depends on your personal preferences and goals.

If you prefer a serene and peaceful environment that allows you to focus solely on your studies, a university in a rural area might be the right choice for you.

These universities often have sprawling campuses with ample green spaces, providing a tranquil atmosphere that fosters concentration.

If you thrive in a vibrant and fast-paced environment, a university in a large city might be more suitable. In big cities like Manila, you will have access to a myriad of cultural events, entertainment venues, and networking opportunities.

Campus Life of Current Students

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Like most universities and colleges, apart from academics, campus life and student experience play a significant role in shaping a student’s university journey. Consider the school spirit and sense of community on campus.

Look for universities that have a vibrant student body and active student organizations. These factors contribute to a lively campus atmosphere and provide opportunities for personal growth and networking.

Extracurricular activities are also vital for a well-rounded university experience. Check whether the university offers a wide range of clubs, sports teams or fitness classes, and cultural organizations.

These activities allow you to explore your interests, develop leadership skills, and make lasting friendships.

Financial Aid and Scholarships for University Students

University education is an investment, and financial considerations are a significant factor when choosing a university. Look into the financial aid and scholarship options available at each university.

Many universities offer scholarships and grants based on academic merit, financial need, or specific criteria, such as leadership or extracurricular achievements.

Research the application process and deadlines for these scholarships. Prepare the documents and apply on time.

Consider part-time job opportunities or work-study programs that can help offset the cost of tuition and living expenses.

Courses Offered

Exploring different fields of study is also crucial when choosing a university course. Many universities in the Philippines offer a wide range of programs, allowing students to pursue their passions and interests.

Courses in various fields, such as engineering, social sciences, and the arts, ensure that students can explore different disciplines and make informed decisions about their academic future.

Student Accommodation

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Finding the right student accommodation is an important consideration when applying to a university. Most students prefer to live on or near the campus to have easy access to classes, libraries, and other university facilities.

The University of the Philippines Diliman, for example, offers on-campus dormitories, which provide a convenient and safe living environment for students.

For those who prefer off-campus living, there are plenty of options available near universities. It is essential to research the local area and consider factors such as safety, accessibility, and cost when searching for the right place.

Many universities have resources and support services to assist students in finding suitable accommodation, so it is advisable to reach out to the university’s housing office for guidance.

University Education Abroad

Studying abroad can be an incredible experience that broadens horizons and enhances personal growth. When considering universities in the Philippines, it is important to look into their study-abroad opportunities.

Exchange programs with various international universities allow university students to immerse themselves in different cultures while pursuing their education.

These programs also enable students to gain a global perspective and expand their networks, which can be beneficial for future career prospects.

Further Education

When choosing a university, it is essential to consider the opportunities for further education and career prospects.

Graduate programs are an important factor to consider, as they provide students with the opportunity to specialize in their chosen field and enhance their knowledge and skills.

Career Prospects

Job placement rates and the strength of the alumni network also open doors to opportunities hence, it is part of the most important considerations. Colleges and universities with high job placement rates show that their graduates have good employment opportunities upon completion of their studies.

A robust alumni network can provide valuable connections and mentorship opportunities for students as they navigate their careers.


Choosing the right university is a significant decision that will shape a student’s educational journey and future career prospects.

By thoroughly researching and considering these factors, students can make an informed decision and ensure that their university life is fulfilling and impactful.

It is important to remember that each individual’s college experience is unique, and finding the right university is a personal journey that requires careful consideration and research.

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