Undergraduate Admission Office, Washington University in St. Louis, Photo Courtesy: Fishville
Fishville's Note: This article is just on time as it tells you based on what kind of conditions you choose a college to spend your next four years. Within five days to the deadline of May 1, this year's seniors will make their final decision on the matriculation toward which college they will attend. It will be the most critical decision for their lives so far, some of them make their minds in the final days of April. April is also the month that allows parents to comparing and shopping for financial aids packages. If there was a dramatic difference between colleges in a similar level of prestige, you should be well aware that you could use A school’s package to bargain with B school which offers less financial aids.
One parent said that March seems the longest month if you consider all of those anxiously waiting time for the final verdict until the end of March or early April, but April would be the shortest month for the whole application cycle as students were busy in traveling to visit different campuses that they think it is really worth the effort, attending the recruited events organized by schools for pre-frosh. Sometimes you would meet conflict as two colleges have the recruit events in the same days in this shortest month of the year. For those who might belong to the category of the “helicopter parents”, we would like to recommend that since it is going to be the students themselves who will live out their college years, so let them to be in the driving seat.
High School Seniors in Sammamish: Five Questions to Help You Make Your College Decision
The envelopes are here and you were accepted to all the colleges to which you applied. Here are tips on how to narrow it down to one.
By Deborah Cossey, Patch.com. April 20, 2011
In just two weeks, college-bound seniors have an important deadline. National College Response Day is May 1. Colleges expect all seniors to respond to their final choice college by then and the next two weeks are a flurry of college open houses, welcome events, accepted student days, emails and letters to help encourage/sway students to choose that particular college.
So how do you choose among the colleges that want you? The choice is not about impressive events on campus; instead, it is a personal decision, one built on the research, criteria, interests, goals and financial situation of each student. If you are one of those students struggling with your decision, here are five questions that may help you arrive at your decision:
- The financial questions: Have you and your family carefully evaluated the financial aid package or the total costs of the colleges on your list? Do you know the “average indebtedness at graduation” for each college (if not, check College Board)? Will you be able to afford this college for the four or five years until you graduate? Will the cost be a burden to you or your family?
- The academic question: Have you researched, talked to the departments and made sure that the colleges on your list have the academic departments that are of interest to you? We know that students often change their majors in college, but it helps if the colleges have a variety of departments within your range of interest.
- The social/activities question: What will it be like to be on this campus on the weekends? What do kids do for fun? If you like hiking or mountain biking, is it available? Do you want to have a city nearby? Is there easy access to the shops, restaurants and concerts that would be of interest to you? In general, can you see yourself being comfortable, involved and happy at this college?
- The distance question: Many of you started out seeking colleges as far away from home as possible. Now that reality has set in, is that still what you want? How will you get to your college and how long will it take you? Will you be taking a car and, if so, what are the parking costs (can be pricey!). How do students fair without a car? Now, in April of your senior year, how far away from home do you want to be?
- The personal question: Take away the hype and ask yourself what your “gut” says about this choice. Where will you be most comfortable, challenged, happy, involved, successful, and feel like you are “at home?” In other words, really take time to evaluate what you want, not your parents, teachers, counselor, media or colleges. This is your biggest decision so far. Make the best one for you.
Remember, you can only deposit at one school (National Association for College Admission Counseling). So, best wishes as you make your decision and have a safe, fun end to your senior year!
Editor's note: Deborah Cossey, M.Ed., lives in Woodinville and is founder of Rainier College Counseling assisting students and families with the college planning and admissions process with offices in Woodinville and Bellevue. Deborah has helped hundreds of local students attend colleges throughout the nation. This article first appeared on Woodinville Patch.