Once accepted, how do you choose between colleges?

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Our counselors answered:

Once accepted, how do you choose between colleges?

Carita Del Valle
Founder Academic Decisions

Once accepted, how do you choose between colleges?

You look at the financial aid packages, graduation rates, and student load indebtedness for starters. Then you identify that the academic program will suit your needs and the university is in the right place with the rights folks for your to thrive. Once this is all done, you look at your campus tour notes and do some soul searching to recall which one felt right.

Zahir Robb
College Counselor The Right Fit College

Once accepted, how do you choose between colleges?

Assuming you have only applied to schools you want to go to (highly recommended), the next step is to make a decision. Many factors can determine where you decide to go. Look at financial awards, compare your pre-admission ranking lists and look over all the options. You should here back no later than April, giving you about a month to make that final decision. Use Spring Break to visit the campuses and look at what each has to offer. In the end, think about what made you apply to each school and make a decision based on what you want, not what others may think is best.

Mark Gathercole
University Advisor Independent University Advising

Once accepted, how do you choose between colleges?

You didn't believe it, did you, when someone told you that the final choice of colleges would be tougher than deciding where to apply! If you did your research well and all the colleges you applied to were places you would like to be for four years, it makes it a tougher decision, but a nice problem to have - because you can't make a bad choice. It's a nice problem to have, but is still confusing. Go back to your research, read about the choices again, visit their websites - then go with your instinct, without second-guessing yourself. Going to college is partly about taking steps forward that involve a little risk - and this is the first big one. Chances are huge that you will like the school you choose and make it your place; and in the unlikely event that doesn't happen, transfer is not that difficult. So make your choice, get the t-shirt, don't look back, and make it your school!

Reecy Aresty
College Admissions/Financial Aid Expert & Author Payless For College, Inc.

Once accepted, how do you choose between colleges?

Often it's financial aid that matters, even though that shouldn't be the deciding factor. The best curriculum is the #1 priority - and always will be!

Joyce Vining Morgan
Founder and college counselor Educational Transitions

Once accepted, how do you choose between colleges?

Make a list of all the elements you can compare and contrast: the academics, the finances, the facilities, the “vibes” … and consult your heart: which most appeals to you? As you compare and contrast, the obvious will emerge – whether it speaks through academics, finances, extracurricular opportunities, or the people you met there.

Lora Lewis
Educational Consultant Lora Lewis Consulting

Once accepted, how do you choose between colleges?

In the current financial climate, I see more and more students using financial aid offers as the primary factor on which to base their decision. In some cases, it just makes so much more sense financially to select one school over the other that it's almost a no-brainer. If this isn't the case, do second campus visits if possible. Sometimes what seemed very appealing in spring of junior year has lost it's luster by spring of senior year, and you might be able to eliminate some options. Still stuck? Make a thorough list of what you want to get out of your college experience. Choose the school that meets the largest number of your requirements. It's a cheesy approach, but it can help clarify your priorities in your mind and see how each school really stacks up.

Rebecca Joseph
Executive Director & Founder getmetocollege.org

Once accepted, how do you choose between colleges?

First, be proud of yourself for getting into colleges that match your talents and interests. Next, eliminate the colleges you know you don't want to attend. Let them know so they can accept kids off of their waitlists. Then there are several things you need to do. 1. Finances. Did any of the colleges give you better aid packages? Talk with your family about how finances play a part in your decision. 2. Talk to kids who attend the college from your city or high school. Ask them about what makes the college a good fit for them. 3. Attend local admit events. You can meet people from the college--alumni, current students, admissions officers--you can help you. 4. VISIT. Please, please visit...spend the night in a dorm. visit classes and events. Research academic strengths, social life on and off campus, and support programs. 5. Then come home and make a list, a chart, a plan. YOU CAN CHOOSE THE RIGHT COLLEGE. This college will provide access to programs and people that will change your life for the better.