Posts Tagged ‘college decisions’

How Do I Make a Final College Decision?

April 11, 2021

Megan got a good start on college planning her junior year. As a senior, Megan has heard back from all of the colleges to which she applied. She was accepted at five,rejected at three, and wait-listed at two. Two of her colleges are in-state universities that she applied to “just in case” she did not get into other schools. The other three she has visited and liked them all, but now she has no idea how she will make her final college decision.

The countdown to graduation has begun and many high school seniors would like to delay the college decision process for as long as they can. Realistically, however, they know that they must choose a school and send in a deposit by May 1st.

For some students this may be easy because one school stands out among the rest. For others, there may be two or three schools that could be good options. How do you make that final college decision?

1. Make sure you have all the facts. During their college planning, some students may have heard generalizations about schools but are a little vague on the specific facts. This is the time to get those answers. If students have questions they do not feel were sufficiently answered, call the school and speak with the person who can clarify the situation. Do not hesitate to contact the director of financial aid, a college coach, or an academic advisor. Making your final college decision depends on research and specific information.

2. Consider revisiting the schools,even virtually.Look at the bulletin boards around campus, and talk with as many different people as you can. Do not hesitate to ask students or professors what they really like about a school and if there is anything they don’t like. Do not make a final college decision based on one person’s opinion, but talking and listening to many people will help you decide whether this is the school for you.

3. Reconsider your priorities. When you were going through the college planning process, what made this school stand out when you initially added it to your list? Do you want a challenging academic experience or one that is balanced between academics and extracurricular activities? If you are interested in music or theater, can you participate if you do not major in one of these areas? Does the school appeal to you because of its name, or do you feel it is really a good fit? Answering these questions honestly will help you make a good college decision.

4. Have a talk with your parents. Throughout your college planning, you and your parents have probably had some discussions about the schools that interested you. They may have some ideas of their own or feel that one college or university is a better choice than another. Listen to what they say, but be prepared to answer questions or concerns they may have about a particular school. They want you to be happy and they know that making your final college decision requires time and thought.

5. Make your final college decision and don’t second guess yourself. Of course you will probably feel some anxiety, but this is normal and expected as you take the final step in the college planning process. If you make the college decision with your head and with your heart, there is no reason to believe that you haven’t chosen the best school for you.

What Are My Chances on the Wait-List?

April 9, 2017

I have been amazed at the number of high school seniors who have been wait-listed from colleges and universities and get their hopes up that they will eventually get in. Sometimes wait-lists have more than 3,000 students on them. Sometimes colleges never even go to their wait-list. Believe me, these are students with the grades, test scores and other credentials to make them very competitive for admissions at these schools.  The biggest issue for many kids is that it puts them in limbo and unable to emotionally commit to a school. My advice to most students is to send an email to the college if you are still interested and convey this to them. Let them know that if you are accepted, you will come.  If you receive any awards, improved test scores, or anything else to support your application, email or fax it to the college admissions officials.  But keep your other options open because you do  need to make a final college decision, with a deposit, by May 1st.

College Admissions – College Acceptance is Conditional

May 2, 2013

With final college decisions and deposits due today, May 1st, high school students know where they will be attending college in the fall. Don’t forget that this school will require your final transcript in order to finalize your college acceptance. This is not a time to slack off and miss classes or blow off your finals. No one wants their college acceptance rescinded and schools can do this if they see a significant drop in grades.

Waiting lists have increased at almost every college and university this year.  If accepted students allow their grades to drop significantly their final semester or are caught cheating, plagiarizing, or involved in a senior prank or behavior that leads to arrest, it gives an admissions committee the option to revoke their acceptance and take a student off the wait list who is more than eager to attend.

Beware:  Every college acceptance is conditional and if you look carefully, you will see that in the fine print of your Congratulations letter.