HomeArticlesAccepted! Now What?

Dear Estelle. Last year I applied to eight colleges never expecting to be admitted to most of them. What do I do now to decide which school to attend in the fall? Each has attributes that appeal to me. I have visited a number of them. This aspect of the admissions process is almost more difficult than going through the original selection process, which I pondered for months. How do I make a decision now that will make me happy? This is serious stuff.  David P. Heritage High School

By now, after months of waiting, most high school seniors will have been notified of their college options for the fall. For some students, a decision will have to be made with just 2-3 admits whereas others like you, David, will have to make a decision from 6 or 7 colleges or maybe even more. Choosing the best one for you will require a major effort to ensure a quality college experience and a successful four years. Too often, students have not spent enough time figuring out what was important to them when they initially constructed their college list.

Now is the time to start reexamining your priorities. Locate your original list and identify what was important to you when you initially developed it. Has anything changed? The answers to these questions will be your focus as you make your important decision during the next few weeks. This is when it’s important to identify the elements of a good fit for you.

Using your updated priorities as your guide, take another look at the colleges that accepted you. You have until the end of April to make your decision. If possible, return to the campus and immerse yourself into the college life, if even for just a day. How does the campus feel to you? Spend a night in the dorm, go to a few classes and talk to professors and students. Many colleges provide such opportunities for students who are considering their final decision. If you are in need of academic support, speak with the people in the learning center and make sure you will receive the support you need. Talk to counselors in the financial aid office if you have concerns about your loans and grants.

Above all, as I tell all my clients, make sure your gut feeling tells you you’re making the right decision. After all, this is probably one of the most important decisions you’ll make during your life. Finding a good fit will ensure that you will have a successful four years ahead of you.

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