If you’re one of the many high school seniors who applied to several colleges and got accepted to more than one of them, then you have a difficult decision ahead of you.
But first, congratulations! The daunting application process has paid off, and now you can relax… sort of.
These colleges may have chosen you, but how do you now choose the college that’s best for you? If you have no particular favorite in mind, then you have a little more work to do (sorry!). Luckily, we have some advice on how to choose the right college out of all those terrific options.
1. Return to each campus.
Take another tour, attend another informational meeting, ask more college visit questions, and meet more students. Pay attention to how you feel on the campus now that you know you’re accepted, and whether or not you can see yourself meshing with the social setting. Many colleges even offer prospective students the chance to do overnight college visits, which let you sleep in a dorm, experience student social life, visit what’s off-campus or even attend classes.
2. Double-check each college’s majors and requirements.
It’s been a while since you sent in your applications. You may have liked one college more than another back in the fall, but what about now? Consider what you want from your college academics now, and which college most closely matches your goals.
Get these questions answered (for the second time, if necessary):
- Would one college be able to accommodate your interests more than another?
- Is one college more flexible about changing majors, double-majoring, or letting you take a variety of classes?
- What majors does each college specialize in?
- How attentive is the faculty?
- How big are the classes?
3. Compare financial aid packages.
Talk to your parents about how to choose the right college based on financial feasibility. These days (as I’m sure you know) it’s all too easy to rake up a hefty college debt.
Compare the financial aid packets each college has offered. Additionally, look into other ways you can help fund your college education. Are there work-study options or additional grants you can apply for? Feel free to contact each college’s financial aid office for more information, but go in informed.
4. Look beyond college academics.
There’s more to your college experience than classes and exams. Consider your hobbies and see which schools offer extracurriculars that align with your interests. For example, maybe you want to write for your school’s paper or maybe you interested in playing college level sports. And don’t forget about study abroad!
Take a good look at what each college offers you outside of academics to determine where you’d be able to get the most involved and explore all your passions and interests.
5. Think about it.
Really think about how to choose the right college by answering these questions:
- Where can you see yourself getting the most out of your courses?
- Where can you see yourself living, working and eating for the next four years?
- Where can you see yourself feeling comfortable on campus?
- Where can you see yourself making the greatest friends?
- Where can you see yourself being happiest?
How to choose the right college depends on you and your values, so consider carefully and choose wisely!