All acceptance letters have been received and now it’s time to make that final decision. MAY 1ST is national college selection response day, when students are traditionally expected to decide on their final college selection.
As college offers are accepted, compare it against the ones you have received. Prioritize them or at least identify which are the top two colleges from those received. By the time all acceptance letters are received, you should have a pretty good idea of the top two selections.
Still struggling with the decision? Here are five ways to choose a school once all college acceptance letters have arrived. It’s not all about facts and figures; weighing your thoughts and feelings about the decision can help you decide your educational future.
1. Review Original Selection Criteria
Review the options you considered when selecting these colleges in the first place. Are you still interested in the majors provided by each school? Are your second options for a major available? How do you feel about the weather, distance from home, safety, etc.? How do you feel about the size of the campus and the student body? What other criteria did you use in selecting these two schools in the first place? Write them down to see them side-by-side.
2. Weigh Financial Options
Attending college is a financial investment. With a database of 3,915 schools, The College Board estimated the average 2013-2014 annual school year tuition and fees can range from $3,264 to $30,094. This is based on schools that are two- or four-year, private or public, and non-profit or for-profit. You may have also received financial aid offers. Analyze whether the school that costs higher is worth it. Whoever is footing the bill for college should be part of this decision.
3. Get a Feel for the Campus
Get a feel for campus life. Take another campus tour. Reach out to others who have attended that school to see what they liked or didn’t like about attending there. Look the schools up on social media or the internet to see what other students say. Get a vibe of the school on College Confidential. Check out the faculty on Rate My Professors.
4. Listen to Yourself
Talk through your options with a trusted family member, friend, or life coach. Don’t have someone you feel you can truly listen without inputting their own bias? Record yourself talking through your options. Continue talking for 5 minutes, or as long as you can, about all the pros and cons for each college. Once you have exhausted your monologue, play back the recording. Does it sound like you have already made up your mind and are just convincing yourself of the other option?
As a life coach, I listen not for WHAT a client says in regards to their college choices, but HOW they say it. Often they have already made the decision, but aren’t able to hear it in themselves.
5. Flip a Coin
Sounds silly, but it just might do the trick! Set your mind to finally make that college decision solely on heads equaling College X and tails equaling College Y. First, notice your thoughts while the coin is in the air. What college are you rooting for? How do you feel about the college identified by the side of the coin landing face up? This process will ONLY work if you truly set your mind to believing the decision will be made by the choice of a simple flip of a coin. The power is in what you think and feel about the randomly chosen college of your top two choices.
Choosing a college is a big decision. Your life experiences for the next few years will be determined by where you go to college. Don’t rush into making a decision too quickly. Assuming you applied to these colleges wisely, either college you attend should be a great match. You have come a long way in making your decision thus far.
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