7 Ways Students Get Their Best Start On A Degree

Local, student-focused college campuses help students find success
By UW Colleges

A college degree can open up a world of new opportunities for any student. Better pay, lower unemployment and greater career choices all make pursuing a degree a worthwhile investment.  

For new students looking to go to college, a strong start can make all the difference in their future success. Here are a few ways new students can get their best start on a college degree.

1. Consider a local institution

Students interested in college should think about the benefits of going to school close to home. Strong ties to friends and family can help reduce the stresses of college life, and living at home can help students save thousands on room and board. A supportive environment and fewer expenses are a great way to start an education.

Students walking toward school

2. Attend a public university

The rising cost of college is a well-known issue. Students looking for a great start should consider the price tag of their education. Publicly funded schools are still a great value compared to private schools. If you can find a major you're interested at a state school, give it a shot even if it doesn't have the name recognition of a private institution.

students sitting on a bench

3. Enjoy more attention at a smaller school

It can be easy for new students to get lost on gigantic campuses or fall behind in hundred-person lecture halls. Attending a smaller school means exceptional faculty has more time for you. It also means staff and peers recognize you, know your name and are invested in your success. Attending a smaller campus gives faculty and staff the chance to invest in you.

Student and professor in a greenhouse near plants

4. Find ways to get involved

Your college experience is what you make of it. Getting involved in a student organization, joining a sports team, or conducting research on campus can be a rewarding and beneficial experience. You'll make friends and connections, grow as a person and earn valuable skills to help you in your academic journey.

Student on stage with lights

5. Get your general education requirements, then transfer

As a new student, maybe you're not quite sure what you want to major in or you just want to get your general education credits out of the way. Earning those credits locally and then transferring to a different school can be a great way to save money and get the same quality education. 

Student writing on a whiteboard

6. Make use of tutors, libraries and other campus resources

College students have a variety of resources at their disposal, and learning to use them early will help you get off to a great start. Learn to use library collections, visit tutors regularly and form study groups with your peers. Knowing and using these resources will help you on your journey to a degree.

female students studying in library

7. Apply for scholarships

Getting a great start on a degree is a little easier when you have help paying the bill. Many institutions have scholarships from campus foundations and other sources to help students pursue their degrees. Earning a scholarship can help set you up for success down the road.

Student working on a worksheet near microscope

College is an investment that can help students achieve the life they want. Find out how UW Colleges can help you get your best start and apply today.