Seniors who have applied to colleges under regular decision or rolling admissions plans are beginning to receive responses and I wish each of them success. Assuming you have followed a thoughtful process, you will have good choices and it will soon be time to select one.
Unless your choice is very clear due to cost, the availability of a unique academic program or recent developments in your family, you should take one or more of the following steps before making a decision:
- Make sure you understand fully the differences in academic programs, including core requirements; majors and minors; degrees; electives; etc.
- Visit or revisit the college (possibly on a special admitted student day); spend time in the local area
- Arrange a visit to a class, an overnight stay in a dorm or a meeting with a student in a relevant major
- Speak with someone in your intended field about the school’s reputation
- Look at student reviews online, like Niche (College Prowler)
- Review comparison data such as retention and grad rates, class sizes, faculty characteristics, entering class stats, campus housing %, etc.
- Develop a clear comparison of net costs and assess the impact