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Seniors: Tips on Choosing Which College to Attend

Wed, Apr 20, 2016 @ 01:14 PM

Deciding where to go to collegeThere Are Many Things to Consider When Weighing Multiple Offers of Admission

 

We’re less than two weeks away from the college enrollment deadline, and for many students deciding among a few colleges there’s a lot to think about before making a decision about where to enroll.

Weighing multiple offers of admission is usually a good problem to have, as it often means that students’ applied to a balanced list of good-fit colleges and have some options. However, choosing among several offers of admission can be overwhelming, as students stress about making the “right” choice.

If you’re struggling with deciding where to enroll for the fall, here are some things to think about as you weigh your different college options.

Fit

Ideally, every college you applied to was a great academic, social, and financial fit, however, for some students what makes a college a good “fit” can change over the course of the admissions process. Anything from changing financial situations to changes in academic and personal goals can make a school that was once a great-fit not an ideal choice anymore, and vice-versa. When deciding among multiple colleges make sure to reconsider fit and how each of those institutions meets your needs.

Financial Aid

The cost of college can be a big barrier for some students, and many colleges offer a variety of financial aid options. If financial aid is a big concern, be sure to pay close attention to the details of each offer. Is one heavy on grants with little loans, while another has a lot of loans and not much grant or scholarship money? Make sure you’re clear on what you will need to contribute and how much debt you will graduate with if you do take on student loans. Here are some additional resources to help students and parents decode financial aid offers and make informed decisions based on their financial aid awards.

  1. 5 Financial Aid Tips That Help You Choose the Right College
  2. How to Use Financial Aid Leveraging When Deciding Where to Enroll
  3. Yes, you can haggle with your college over financial aid

Academics

You’re going to college to get an education, right? If you’re deciding among several different colleges, take some time to go back and review their course offerings, professors, academic tracks, and more. Ideally you will have done all of this research before applying, so you’ll just need to review your notes, but if not, take some time to thoroughly research everything from class size and professor availability to general education requirements and any special academic opportunities. Make sure the college you choose meets your academic needs and offers the support you need to have a successful college experience.

Your gut!

There are going to be A LOT of opinions about where you should go to college from parents, friends, teachers, counselors, and others. There will be a lot of voices in your ear, but remember that at the end of the day it’s you who is going to this college – not them! If all else fails go with your gut. You know your needs and which college is most appealing to you. Follow your instincts!

Dr. Kat was also on the TODAY Show recently with some additional tips for students who were accepted, rejected, or waitlisted at their top-choice colleges. Check out the video below!

IvyWise

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