Congratulations, you got into several schools on your college list!
It’s time to celebrate your good news and reward yourself for your hard work. It may also be time to double check whether or not your dream school is still your dream school. If you have multiple acceptance offers to choose from, you may need to do some additional legwork to find out which school is the right one for you.
The colleges that have accepted you, whom you were once courting, will now be doing their utmost to get you to commit to them. Most schools have an admitted students day (or weekend), during which they invite prospective students and their families to classes, events, meals, and even overnights on campus so that students can get a better feel for that school and make an informed decision. Of course, during admit weekend, colleges are being the best versions of themselves (kind of like a first date), so be sure to ask good questions and observe campus carefully so you can see past the veneer.
Whether or not you go to an admitted students event, in order to help you decide where to enroll, you should:
- Talk to current students about their experiences. (If you don’t know anyone personally, the admissions office can usually set up this kind of conversation for you—just ask.)
- Visit again, if possible.
- Evaluate and compare scholarship or financial aid offers.
- Ask teachers, mentors, and other trusted adults for their input.
Also, investigate the resources for post-college success available to students at each school, especially the career office. All colleges have them, but they differ in quality. Find out what the career office’s success rate is, and what kinds of industries each college’s students tend to go into after they graduate. Are they helpful in facilitating internships for students? Do they offer interview coaching services? Is there an on-campus recruiting calendar? In a similar vein, check to see how many students study abroad, and what kind of learning services (tutors, advisors, etc.) are available to students.
Finally, and probably most importantly, think about daily life on that campus.
How many roommates are put in each dorm room, and are you prepared to share your space with that many people? Will you be able to walk to class in three feet of snow, or will the steady 80-degree weather keep you at the beach instead of the library? How will the climate affect you emotionally? And what about the food? If you have dietary restrictions, what options are available to you on campus?
We hope these questions have helped you evaluate your acceptances and choose the right school for you. Let us know where you’re heading next year in the comments!