Tips For Choosing the Best Fit College
The May 1 enrollment deadline for college bound seniors is fast approaching, and while many students may know where they want to spend the next four years, the jury may still be out for others deciding where to enroll for the fall.
Indecision about where to enroll for college can be caused by a number of factors. Things like multiple offers of admission, rejection, financial aid, and more, can make it difficult for students to make a college decision. Even if students applied to a balanced list of best fit colleges, any of which they’d be happy to attend, narrowing down that decision to just one can cause a lot of anxiety.
Consider Financial Aid
Financial aid, whether it’s a lot or not enough, can have a big impact on choosing a college. Know how to read your financial aid award letter and consider how it meets your needs for financial fit. Remember, you can sometimes negotiate a better financial aid package, so contact the financial aid office as soon as possible if your aid award package is the only thing keeping you from sending in a deposit.
Revisit Your Research and Essays
If you’re stuck deciding between University X and University Y, revisit your research and essays on both schools to remind yourself why you applied to each institution in the first place. Does one have a more desirable academic program or research opportunities? Is one university in a more desirable location than the other? Think about how your priorities have changed since submitting your applications in January and remind yourself how each school meets those needs – or if one doesn’t.
Visit Again, If Possible
There are two weekends left until the May 1 enrollment deadline, so, if possible, take a quick trip to visit some schools again for one last gut-check. This can be a great chance to see the school with fresh eyes after your acceptance if it’s a school that’s close and easily accessible. For many students it may have been months, or even over a year, since the last time they visited. Stepping on campus again might give you a better sense of whether or not a particular school is really where you want to be in the fall.
Talk it Over With Your Family and College Counselor
It’s not uncommon for students to wait until the zero hour to make a decision about where to enroll and submit their deposit – especially for students who are waitlisted at their top-choice college and deciding on their second-choice. If you’re still wavering between two (or more) schools, sit down with your family and go over your options. Your family shouldn’t make the decision about where to attend – that’s your decision – but their input can help tip the scales in one direction or the other. The same applies to your college counselor. Make a time to meet with your counselor to go over your options one more time, and get some professional advice about what college might be the best-fit for you long-term.
Additional Resources for Deciding Where to Enroll
Here are some additional resources to help you make an informed decision about where to enroll for college if you’re still not sure where you want to attend.
- 5 Things to Consider When Weighing Admission Offers
- Seniors: Tips on Choosing Which College to Attend
- Decisions, Decisions…How Seniors Can Decide Where to Enroll
- How to Use Financial Aid Leveraging When Deciding Where to Enroll
- Here’s What Accepted Students Need to Do Before May 1