Congratulations! After all your hard work studying, prepping for your tests, and writing your essays, it’s all paid off—you’re into college! Moreover, you’ve been accepted to more than one school. While many students are lucky enough to have a top-choice school that has accepted them (maybe even through an early decision program), others find themselves torn between multiple offers of admission from two or more colleges. With decision day fast approaching, how to choose which school to attend? Here are a few things to bear in mind as you make your college decision:
This one is well known. A school’s reputation matters. With sources publishing lists of the best colleges in the country every year, sometimes sorting by reputation, it’s easy to find out where your offers of admission rank. Whether you’re looking for the best all-around rankings, or the particular major you’re interested in, it’s easy to compare the academic rankings and reputations of your college offers and see how they stack up.
It’s no secret—college is expensive. With costs rising every year, and many students taking out extensive loans to cover their undergraduate education, the cost of college is going to be an important factor in many students’ decision-making process. Luckily, there are a variety of options to help defray your total bill. In fact, each year across America, 13 million students receive $150 billion in financial aid. If one of your college admissions offers comes with a scholarship, either need-based or merit-based (or a combination thereof), that can be a crucial factor in your decision. A college education that leaves you less financially burdened on graduation day is always a good thing!
Experience and Testimonials
Past experience can be a great indicator of future experience—so talk to current students and alumni! You may have already reached out to staff and students when you were doing your preliminary research before applying, but now is a great time to call upon that knowledge. This is also a great way to weigh up factors like extracurricular activities, work-life balance, and campus culture. Seeing these testimonials side by side will help you make an accurate comparison between your offers and give you a sense of what might be the right “fit” for you.
“Go With Your Gut”
It’s a cliché, but sometimes clichés exist for a reason. The “gut check” is just another way of describing your instinct—something that everyone has. If a particular offer “feels right” (or “feels wrong”) to you, that’s worth paying attention to. While it’s important to weigh all tangible, material factors, the decision is ultimately yours and can’t be forced. Once you’ve considered everything and it’s time to decide, you’ll know—when a decision is right, it’s right.
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