By Tonya DuBois
You did it! You got in….now it’s decision time. Here are some tips to help you decide:
1. Make a short list – 2 to 3 schools – and go visit them again. This visit should be very different from the campus tour: Sit in on classes, eat in the cafeteria, stay with a host student overnight, check out several dormitories, explore the surrounding town/city, talk to professors in your intended major. Admission Offices should arrange these sorts of visits for accepted students.
2. Spreadsheet the real cost of attendance. Start with the “sticker price” and deduct all the grants, scholarships, etc. Consider the loans and if you can really afford them. If some schools are a car ride away and others a plane ride away, remember to consider this factor in the real cost of attendance.
3. See if the schools have an “accepted student” twitter feed (or similar) and follow them for more detailed information.
4. Do you know anyone who is a current student at the schools you are considering? If so, reach out and learn what it’s really like. Your Counselor may be a helpful resource, as well.
5. Make a pro/con list. Go one step farther and weigh each pro/con with a number of +1, +2, +3 or -1, -2, -3. See which school ends up with the best score.
6. Discuss all of the above with your parents and determine which school is the best fit for your and for your family.
7. Get the deposit in by the May 1 deadlines. For colleges that do NOT guarantee freshmen housing, the earlier you can get that deposit in, the better!