You’ve stressed, you’ve applied, you’ve stressed some more, and now you sit with your decisions. So, what do you do if you have more than one acceptance?
Well, now you’re the one who gets to make the decision.
If there was always one school that stood out to you, and you got in there, the decision is probably fairly easy. But that’s not always the case. Sometimes you get into multiple schools that you liked equally or suddenly you start to doubt your first choice or, unfortunately, sometimes you realize your first choice is a lot more expensive than you thought.
No matter the situation, The Prospect is here to help you make that difficult final decision!
Make a Pro/Con List
A great place to start when you’re trying to make this difficult decision is to sit down and make a good old-fashioned pro and con list. Be sure not to only include superficial things like average GPA or test scores (those things can be important and can help you see if you are a fit—but they definitely aren’t as telling as people think they are). Instead, focus on more personal considerations. Do they have the exact program you want? How far from home is it? Will you be able to take classes outside of your major? This is your list so don’t shy away from anything. If there is something you think is important, include it—even if other people don’t see the importance.
Consider Financial Aid
No one wants to have to make a decision based solely on money, but sometimes you have to take it into consideration. Now is the time to have a serious conversation about what you can afford. Look at what scholarship money you received, financial aid, and loans. Know if a school is even feasible. Don’t be afraid to ask about it or talk to the school. If one school you love is way too much, consider what you would need to do in order to attend, whether that be applying for more scholarships or getting a job. Financial aid shouldn’t make or break your decision, but it is something important to consider.
If it’s a possibility, revisit the schools. You can retour, go to an accepted students day, or stay over—different colleges have different options. Visiting a school after you know your options can really change your perspective. No longer is this school just a maybe. Now you know in a few months you could actually be walking around campus as an actual student. Suddenly, you can actually picture yourself there without having to worry about a letter crushing your dreams.
Talk to Other People
Use other people to help you through your decision—but know that it’s your decision. Ask your parents and friends where they think you would fit the best. Get their insight into what you should be looking at as you make your decision. However, don’t let them make the decision for you. It is yours and yours alone, and while others’ opinions can be helpful, they shouldn’t entirely change how you feel. Instead, they should help you come to terms with what you really did or did not like and can be that final push that causes you to realize where you really want to be.
Consider Your Future
College is scary enough without thinking about what happens after it, but unfortunately it’s something to consider. Look at what the college offers after you have graduated, the alumni network, and whether it will actually prepare you for the future. Obviously, there is no way for you to completely tell if a college will be helpful for your future, but knowing that you will have a solid foundation can’t hurt.
Think About What You Really Want
Do you want to go to this school because you love it or because it has a well-known name? Or because your parents went there? Or because your best friend is going there? Your college decision needs to be about you and what you want. This is arguably one of the biggest decisions you will make (scary, I know), so you need to make sure you are making a decision because it is actually what you want and what will be best for you. Your school is practically your home for the next four years. It’s a scary decision, but it’s a lot easier if you know you are making a decision because it is what is best for you.