Congratulations, you got into college! If you got letters of admission from more than one college, you’ll need to choose one. It’s hard to know whether to go with your head or your heart. Here are a few tips to help you sift through the information overload and choose a school that’s perfect for you.
Focus on fit.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed by opinions, college rankings, and information from each school. But remember, you’ve got this! Just break down fit into a few key elements:
- Financial fit (Does the tuition/cost feel manageable?)
- Social fit (Does the school offer the campus culture you’re looking for?)
- Academic fit (Can you study what you hope to/want to study?)
Double-check your list.
As you were touring colleges or applying, there may have been some programs, experiences, or “must haves” that stuck with you. List them out. Maybe you loved the city location, access to Greek life, athletic programs, study abroad opportunities, or the support for your identity through LGBTQI or Black student union centers. Make sure the college you choose has everything on your “must have” list.
Pulse-check the code of conduct.
No one wants to be surprised by housing rules, curfews, dress codes, or limits to guests or transportation in their first week of college. Do a little digging on each college’s website to make sure their student code of conduct aligns with your expectations.
Weigh your financial investment.
Consider all outside and school-based scholarships, grants, and loans. What will your financial investment be yearly and after you graduate? Compare your financial aid award letters using one of the net price calculators available online. You can even find tools to calculate your monthly repayment if loans are on the table.
Create your own rankings.
If you’re still struggling, pick three to five elements of college that are the most important to you. Then, rank each offer on a 1-10 scale according to how well that college meets your needs. Sit with your numbers and highest-ranking college to see how it feels.
Remember, deadlines are essential. Colleges will want to know whether or not you’ve accepted their offer (many by May 1). Once you decide, inform your top college by following the directions in their admission letter. It’s a good idea to decline your other offers. It will also help you declutter your inbox!