Factors to be considered while selecting an engineering college for admission.

My request: Please read this completely before taking any decision. Not only students but also parents should read this.

1.   placement quality and percentage
Main objective of studying engineering is to get a good job. So, one should know the placement activity of the college for the previous 3 to 4 years. In some colleges, placement percentage will be high but most of the students will be place in low salaried, low quality jobs. Also, core branch placement is important, that is, a mechanical engineer must get a job in mechanical industry and so on. If a mechanical engineer goes to software job, almost all the knowledge that he had acquired in four years of engineering will be a waste. Also, he cannot perform better than a student who studied engineering in computer science.
2.   laboratory facilities
Before finally selecting a college, one should see the laboratory facilities in the college. Engineering is more of practical than theory. If the laboratories are not up to the mark, the knowledge gained by the student will be less. This will finally reflect in poor performance in the campus interview and also in the job.
3.   transportation facilities
If the parents can provide vehicles, it is ok in one way. Otherwise, or for one or two years till the student will be able to manage with the vehicle, a good transportation facility is a must. Otherwise, most of the time will be wasted in travelling.
4.   Quality of education and examination result.
For understanding most of the engineering subjects, fundamentals are very important. So, experienced teachers are required to teach some of the difficult subjects. This information can be had from the students who are studying in the college. If the teaching is not good, whole infrastructure is a waste.
Examination pass percentage and overall grade is very important. But in some autonomous colleges, syllabus is made very simple so as to get good result. This is because the autonomous colleges are having freedom to modify the syllabus. But some autonomous colleges are having very good syllabus and having good overall result.
Note: Getting knowledge is more important than getting degree certificate.
5.   canteen quality
Many times students will have to depend upon canteen for lunch of for coffee and so on. A good canteen facility is a desirable thing. If all other things are good, then one can think of giving less importance to this and manage with lunch box.
6.   Infrastructure
It includes spacious and ventilated class rooms, good quality desks, advanced teaching aids like LCD projectors, good toilets, play ground, big auditorium, seminar halls, grass lawns and trees, places to sit and relax, computer internet facility for students and so on. 
7.   Braches (engineering streams) availability and selection.
In some colleges, only few branches are available. It is better to select an established college having many branches. This will automatically ensure good infrastructure and other facilities. Selecting a branch has been discussed later in this article, under the heading ‘misconceptions’.
Note: Do not sacrifice your favourite branch for the sake of college. But if you are not particular about any branch, then give preference to college.
8.   Hostel facility: If you select a college away from your hometown, you have to consider the facilities of the hostel, availability and such other factors.
9.   Library: a good library normally gives an indication of a good college. With the new technology, e-books and online facilities are there in many colleges.
10.                     Distance from the house: Some students do not want to go to a college which requires about two hours of travelling daily. It is understandable, but if the college is very good and if you can get a seat, you can think of selecting such a college.
11.                     Fee structure: this varies from year to year, college to college, but in a broad sense, it will be as follows:
-Government engineering colleges – lowest fee
-Aided engineering colleges- little higher fee
- Private engineering- still higher fee
- Donation seats – donation + private college fee.
In case of donation seats, one should consider affordability, against the quality of the college. Donation varies from college to college, branch to branch, year to year and time to time in the same year!
12.                     Reputation of the college: If the college is having good reputation, placement will be easy. Also, if the student wants to go for higher studies in other countries, then it is the college name that counts.
The procedure:
(i)                          Filling the form to  select the college and branch:
This varies from year to year. All the colleges will be listed and therefore, it will be a big confusion.
Shortlist the colleges based on the factors which are discussed already. If possible, go and have a look at some colleges, before selection. Then select the colleges.
Selecting a branch has already been discussed.
(ii)                       Second and subsequent rounds.
If you are not satisfied about your seat in the first list, do not worry. Fill it for the second round. Many seats in many colleges which were
Not open earlier, will be available in second round.  You can always have the chance to select
better colleges in the second and subsequent rounds.

·       Getting transfer to  required branch or college in 2nd year
This is the biggest misconception. In some colleges, seats for some branches will not be easily filled. To fill those seats which are otherwise difficult to fill, some people will assure you that you can select those branches and later in the 2nd year, you can get a transfer to your desired branch. In some instances, they even assure you to get a better college. Remember there are conditions for branch transfer or college transfer.
As an example, say, if you are in mechanical branch and want to get computer science in 2nd year, then:
a] You  must be in the top 10 rank in the college result of your first year, because the transfers will be considered on merit basis.
b] At least one student should get a year back or change his branch in computer science branch, so that there will be a vacancy in that branch.
c] In case of other college, there must be another student willing to come to your college against you going there, with the additional condition that both the college principals should agree.
These are all the very remote chances. It is better not to think of it. So, it is always better to select the required branch initially itself.
·       Any branch will be good
Some branches are not suited for you, say, marine engineering. It is a very good branch for having inclination in that direction. Therefore, depending upon your interest, select a branch first and then the college.
·       Scope of a branch
Most of the parents will ask this question,
 “Which branch is having scope?”
Never ask this question to anyone. This is because of the fact that scope will be changing. As an example, civil engineering, which was not having that much scope about 10 years ago, is now having too much of scope!
Now you are joining for 1st year and by the time you complete, whole scenario of the world will be different. So, no one can correctly predict the so called ‘scope’ of a branch. It should be selected by student’s own interest. Parents should never force their children to any branch or any course.
·       Trends of friends are good
Normally, students say “all my friends are joining to a particular college or branch and so i should also join. It is similar to getting down from the bus in a stop where your friends are getting down, even though your stop is far away! Become a leader and not a blind follower.
·       If I cannot get placement in the college campus, I will not get the job:
No. This is not fully correct. There are many of campus open interviews and many will get jobs in such places. But only thing is, it will be more difficult to get jobs in such places, compared to in campus interview.
·       It is a big turning point in life and any small mistake done at this stage will be disastrous and irreversible.
Parents will normally tell this too many times to their children, especially in 12 standard or 2nd PUC. This will actually make the student nervous and thus results in getting low marks.
In my experience, it is not the only turning point. Life is a long journey and there will be many turns that one has to go through. This stage is also one such small turning point. Many engineering drop outs whom I know, have achieved many things even a good engineer cannot do. You should not neglect the procedure but you should not worry, if you cannot get the best. There are thousands of ways of leading a success full life in this world, other than getting a popular degree.

If you have any quires you can mail me for the email Id : surya.jayaram@gmail.com.