Universities that provide strong academic support should definitely earn some extra points in your shortlist. Academic support staff can aid you during the course of your program by providing you with valuable resources.
Many universities have a separate building for academic support staff. Support can be in the form of counseling in terms of career guidance, emotional well being, part-time jobs and assistantships, credits and extra classes, accommodation, networking, and internships.
For those students that are unsure of their career path, these counselors can not only help them figure out the best career path but also advise them on the best courses to take to help them along the way. In addition to this, if students have trouble understanding how many credits they need or how to divide them between semesters, the office can guide them on how many credits they need and how to balance them out during the course of their study.
When it comes to part-time jobs, the support staff can help students find jobs on campus or provide them with details on available teaching and research assistantships. The support staff can also help students find internships and connect students to alumni that can potentially help the students.