Tips on Making that Final College Choice
By now, most of you have received your college acceptance letters. First of all, congratulations! All of that hard work has definitely paid off; and now, it is time to make that decision on where you will continue your education.
If you are still considering more than one college, here are some tips to hopefully help you make that final decision.
1. Research Your Final Schools.
Do some final research on the schools you are deciding on. There is no excuse not to know everything about the school you may be attending the next four to five years. Ask yourself what majors does each school offer? What are the graduation and retention rates at each college? What academic and extracurricular opportunities are available?
2. How will Outside Scholarships be Treated?
Make sure that any outside scholarships you worked so hard to secure aren’t reducing the amount of aid you will be receiving from the college you want to attend. Since money is a huge and important factor for most students, knowing everything about your scholarships and the aid from the college is crucial.
3. Take Another Visit to the Campus of Your Top Two.
If it is at all possible before the decision deadline, revisit your top two choices. You might want to compare things like climate, student body diversity, weekend activities, class size, professor-to-student ratio, the dorms, off campus housing, and transportation around campus.
4. Compare Cost of Attendance.
If money is a factor in you final decision, you may want to ask yourself the following: What is the full cost of attending each school? How much will you spend on books? How much will you spend on transportation/travel? How much will it cost to live off campus? These factors may differ from college to college so see if there is a big discrepancy that may make your choice easier.
5. Research Your Potential Major.
For your final college choices, look at the classes you will be taking in order to graduate. Are these classes you will enjoy? How many students are in the major? Who are the professors of the major and what have you heard about them? Are they doing any amazing research in the major you want? You may need to call the department of your major and talk to someone to get answers.
6. Talk to Students at the College.
No one knows a school better than the current students. You can either talk to the students by visiting the campus or contact the Admissions and ask them to put you in touch with students who can answer your questions. Ask them what they like about the school and what they dislike. Also ask them what they wish they would have known before arriving.
Making that final decision may be difficult, but look at it in a positive way that you do have choices! You may want to ask your family, friends, teachers, coaches, and/or counselors what their opinions are about your final choices, but don’t let their opinions sway you as the ultimate choice is yours. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us. And again, congratulations on your acceptance letters.