You’re in! You’re in! You’re in! But now where do you go?
All you really need is one acceptance, but many of the students we work with rack up several. That seems like a great situation to be in, but the decision can be tough. If you’re deciding between programs, here are few tips to make your decision easier:
1.) Make a list of the ideal qualities in a school. You may have done this when you started the application process, but you’re more knowledgeable now, so make a new list. What are you looking for in a location, size, reputation, faculty, dorms, etc.? Measure up your acceptances against this imaginary perfect school. Which school matches most closely?
2.) Ask for advice. Talk with your counselors, your teachers, your family, alumni of the college, and your fellow students. What is their impression of the school? Remember that everyone has a different experience, so be sure to get multiple view points.
3.) Visit the schools again, if possible. You may have visited before you applied, but the school may look different to you now that you’re in. Many schools hold an accepted students weekend. Go if you can, and enjoy it! Ask questions to current students, make friends, try the food in the dining hall. Eavesdrop on conversations, what are current students talking about? Sit in on a class if possible. Look around the campus, can you see yourself there?
4.) Consider the finances. If a school has given you money, be sure to take that into account. Ideally, money shouldn’t drive your entire choice, but it is a big bonus.
5.) Above all, go with your gut. What school feels right to you? You’ve done all the research, so trust yourself. Are you still not sure what your gut is telling you? Try this trick: make a final decision, but then wait twenty-four hours to officially act on it. Tell your parents where you are going to school, and celebrate that night. If you’re still feeling happy the next morning, you made the right decision.
And after you make your decision? Well, first send in your deposit and then go buy yourself a sweatshirt emblazoned with the school’s name. You’ll start to feel like a real college student!