It’s finally the time of year all of the seniors have been waiting for: college decision time. In the next few days, the last of college acceptances and rejections will come out and you will have the hard decision of deciding which college to attend for the next four years. For those who applied early decision or were accepted to their top choice, the decision is simple. For others, who perhaps didn’t have a first choice college or were not accepted to said university, the decision is much more complicated. There are so many things to take into account when making this decision, especially since each university has different programs, different atmospheres, different prices and even different locations and sizes. Though it can firstly seem overwhelming, the process can be incredibly rewarding when fall comes and you stand in the middle of the perfect campus for you. To get you into that utopia, tjTOMORROW has a few pointers on how to pick the right college for you.
Narrow down your list
Some people are lucky enough to get into more than five different colleges. Yet while this may seem like an incredible feat, the overwhelming list of possibilities only makes the decision process harder. The first thing you should do once you find out all your acceptances is narrow down your list of colleges to your top two to four choices. This will allow you to focus and do extensive research on only the schools you are seriously considering.
Visit your top colleges
Nothing tells you more about a school than a college visit. Whether you go during the accept weekends that the school provides or separately, seeing the college and the atmosphere in person can drastically change your perspective on a school. Stay overnight with a student, talk to students who currently attend the college, sit in classes and meet the professors in order to fully immerse yourself into the colleges’ experience. It will help you narrow down your list even more, or allow you to see that one school is simply the right one for you.
Look at all aspects of a college
At Jefferson, people are quick to decide which school is better than another based on ranking. The truth is, universities are much more than the ranking they are assigned. Prioritize what aspects of a college are most important to you—cost, programs, location, size, atmosphere, distance from home—and then see which colleges best fit those aspects. It is rare that a college will go perfectly with everything on your list, but if it meets the top three requirements, it is probably a good choice for you.
Whether ahead means the four years at the university or graduate school, think about what your next step is and how each college will get you there. This can be housing on campus for all four years, whether cars are allowed to be on campus, or even how affordable graduate school will be depending on your undergraduate costs. Just ensure that you don’t think only of the first year at that university because usually the future is more important.
Trust your gut
Cliché as it may seem, your gut usually knows which school is the right one for you. If you feel like something is right for you, chances are it probably will be. If you have a conflicted gut, the steps above may help your gut decide.
People often say that you will be happy no matter where you end up for college. Hopefully with the steps above, you can find the right place for you and make that a reality.