Often, in deciding what to do after 12th, we take lot of effort to determine the course - say, Engineering - we are taking. However, the same rigor is not shown in deciding the college we take to undertake the course. For instance, we are not even aware that the best Civil Engineering Course in India is available at IIT Mumbai.
Best colleges for a course offer 3 advantages for excelling that are unbeatable. They help you develop the necessary confidence in your core abilities by using these three mechanisms. Core abilities are the abilities for which you are doing the course: For instance, in Engineering core ability is technical logical, For commerce graduate it is technical commercial( or accounting), for graphic design graduate the core ability is 'designing page'.
First mechanism is the student community. Better colleges attract better students. Better students force you to 'equal' them and therefore create a 'natural pull' of motivation. This factor is one of the biggest reason why IIT's today offer the best place to do a course.
Second mechanism is the academic professors and the 'eco-system' of the college ( such as visiting lecturers, connection with other institutes, alumni connection) create 'learning crucibles' that are hot and vibrant. These learning crucibles promote fast and varied learning. This formation of academic community is the one big reason for doing post graduation in US universities.
Third mechanism is the industry linkage. Industry linkage of the college allows you to get better jobs, do better assignments, attract the right visiting professors and offer you more options to deepen the advanced learning in the same course. This is why, colleges in bigger cities are better colleges.
For instance, there is a world of difference between doing MBA course in one of the best colleges and doing it one of the colleges. For instance, MBA done from a Tier 3 college today is not useful, because they fail to offer the three above mentioned benefits.
This also means that if you are compelled to do MBA from Tier 3 institute, you must make extra efforts to design your strategy to get the first job after finishing MBA course. Sometimes, the amount of extra efforts required are so huge, that it is better not to do MBA course from such a college !
How to find the best colleges for a course that will help you develop the core ability?
Best way to find the best college for a course is to ask an experienced professional in that course. If, for instance, you are planning to do fashion designing, find an experienced fashion designer and ask him the list of best colleges.
Another way is to find independent surveys done by third party institutes like India today or Business World. They provide an 'objective list' of colleges, for courses say in Law, Hotel catering, fashion designing and others.
Another way to find best colleges for a subject is by visiting websites of Institutes such as QS. They regularly do these surveys and list the best universities and colleges for a subject, say Electrical Engineering, History and Languages. For instance, even among IIT's, IIT Delhi is a better college for Electrical Engineering, or JNU is a better college for English and other subjects and so on.
Infact, given today's huge number of colleges, one must take extra care to find the best available college for the chosen course. Choosing the best college is a sure shot way of finding the right nurturing soil and the background to deepen one's abilities. They provide such a rich environment of learning that even an average student manages to become an expert.