May 1 is a little known holiday called National College Decision Day. This is the deadline by which most students are required to have submitted their deposits to their chosen colleges.
Hopefully, you worked really hard and got some great college admissions advice, so now you’ve got several colleges to choose from. For some students, this decision is a no-brainer – if you got into a school you know you want to attend, your decision might be simple.
For others, the decision is a bit more difficult – how do you pick between multiple similar schools?
Regardless, of which camp you fall into, you should consider your final choice carefully. Even if you got into your dream school, you should take some time to explore all of your options. This is a huge decision, so you should make your choice carefully.
Here is our advice to help you make a confident college decision:
Visit the Campuses Again
Whether you’ve already visited the campuses at the schools at which you’ve been admitted, now’s a great time for another campus visit. When you know a spot on campus is yours for the taking, the school looks a bit different. This new perspective can make you see a potential college in an entirely new light, so take this last opportunity to check out your options in person.
Compare Financial Aid Awards
A particularly generous financial aid package might make a school that was lower down on your list just a bit more attractive. When you’re comparing financial aid awards, make sure to consider both out of pocket costs and loan amounts.
Examine the College Websites
Really dig through the college websites to learn as much as you can about each school. What’s life like outside the classroom? What kinds of classes could you take at one college versus another? Which colleges have the coolest amenities, the most impressive staff, or the best internship opportunities?
Make a Pro/Con Chart
Once you’ve narrowed down your choices, make a pro/con chart. List all of the pros and all of the cons for each school. Visualizing your options like this might make your decision a bit easier.
Submit Everything On Time
Once you make your choice, submit your deposit and your paperwork on time! Nothing will derail your college career like losing your spot because of a paperwork glitch.