Take a breath
College decision day is here. First, take a second to relax! You’ve just been through an arduous process that lasted months (or years). Congratulate yourself for the work you’ve done and the success you’ve seen. And don’t beat yourself up if things didn’t go your way. At the end of the day, a school isn’t what will determine your success in life – that is entirely up to you.
To start, it is important to get organized with respect to all the information you need to consider in order to make a decision. Create a clear list of all the schools you were accepted to. Next, think about the various factors that matter to you in selecting where you will go to school. Is there a particular, unique program at a school that makes it particularly attractive to you? Is location important to you? What about the money you received in the form of financial aid/scholarships?
Once you’ve thought of all the relevant factors, add them onto your list for each school you are considering attending. Having everything on one sheet of paper will help you quickly analyze the similarities and differences between your options. In turn, you will be able to make clear comparisons and decide which school seems like the best choice for you given the extent to which it satisfies your wants/needs.
Do Further Research
Read a little bit more about the different programs you are considering. There are plenty of free resources on University websites that you can access. You might also watch videos on YouTube, go visit the campus, or reach out to current students in order to get a clearer picture of what life is like at the college.
This will be particularly important if you’re stuck between 2-3 options and you’re having a hard time deciding between them. Speaking to current students is a particularly effective method of truly understanding a college.
Make Your Decision
It is important to take into account factors like your family’s ability to pay for school and any other obligations you may have at home. At the end of the day though, you are the one going to college – you should be the primary decision maker here. Make sure that the school you end up choosing is the one you wanted to choose amongst your options, after taking into account financial limitations.
Four years is not a trivial amount of time, and college can be a place of tremendous personal and professional growth. Ensure that you are comfortable and satisfied with the decision that is being made.
After You’ve Chosen
Your first step is to formally accept your offer of admission on the school’s application portal. Once you’ve done this, go ahead and formally decline your offer of admission at the other schools you were considering. It is important that you promptly let schools you know whether you will attend or not.
Afterwards, continue monitoring your application portal – you will likely need to submit an enrollment deposit. Your chosen college will continue communicating with you via email or your application portal, so stay on top of those two things to ensure you don’t miss any important information.
Take another deep breath and celebrate! You are officially enrolled in college! Enjoy your final months of high school and the summer to come. Use them wisely – whether that means going on a much needed trip or just staying home and relaxing so you’re fresh for your first semester of college.
One final note: it is important that you continue getting grades similar to the ones that you got throughout high school. If you were getting straight As and suddenly you start getting Ds in classes for your final semester, it is possible that a school may rescind your offer of admission. While this is very rare, it is not outside the realm of possibility. Don’t slack off at the end!
Congratulations to all of our seniors – you have done a tremendous job and we are certain college will be a time full of growth and success!