If you have received multiple letters of acceptance from colleges and the deadline to make a decision about where to attend is quickly approaching, then you have some decisions to make! If you did your homework when deciding where to apply, you already know that the colleges that accepted you meet your academic needs and provide the type of social setting on campus that you prefer.
But there are some additional factors that can play an important role if you are trying to decide among two or three (or more!) colleges:
Many students make a campus visit before they ever apply to a college. Even so, you may want to visit again before deciding which college to attend. Guides and college officials can answer any additional questions you have during a campus visit. More importantly, you will get a chance to discover if you think you can be comfortable on campus. If an in-person campus visit isn’t feasible, watch online tours and videos of campus, if available. Even if you have seen them before, something you see may trigger a strong feeling for or against a college.
Student housing at US colleges can range from a one room with two loft beds to suites for six or more roommates. Some dorms have private bathrooms, air conditioners and mini-fridges. Others have far fewer amenities. If living off-campus as an upperclassman is important to you, find out what off-campus housing options are available to students. And remember: At some schools nearly all students live in the dorms and few live off-campus.
At many colleges, all traces of “mystery meat” have long since disappeared. Some schools are replacing traditional cafeterias with options like vegetarian dining halls, ethnic food nights and more. Give it a try! Visitors often are welcome at the cafeterias to sample the food offered by the college.
International students also may want to consider the off-campus food options, including restaurants and grocery stores. Foods from specific cultures may be difficult to find near some college campuses.
Deciding which college to attend takes time, care and lots of thought. After all, you likely will spend four years in the college’s classrooms, cafeterias and maybe even the dorms. Ask questions and listen to other people’s advice, but remember: the final decision is up to you. Deciding which college is best for you is something only you can do.