Are You Ready for National Decision Day?

Are You Ready for National Decision Day?
  • Opening Intro -

    Have you made your college decision yet?

    For high school seniors, the time for choosing a college is slipping by.

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Most colleges and universities set May 1 as the decision date, part of a broader National Decision Day. If you still haven’t decided, then the following points should be evaluated to help you make your decision.

Campus Size

Some students thrive at large, public universities while others prefer the setting of a small, private college. Review your college choices and find the one that best fits your criteria. That alone shouldn’t dictate your decision but it should be a contributing factor toward your choice.

Campus Diversity

What type of student body do you prefer to be with? If diversity is important to you, then your college choice should reflect that. For some students, hanging out with the crowd that is most like your own group is more important and they will, therefore, be drawn to the college that best reflects that for them. If there is a certain religious affiliation that you seek, some colleges can meet that need as well.

Financial Aid

A private university in New England may cost you $58,000 per year to attend. An in-state public university may charge far less, coming in at $18,000 per year. That $40,000 spread seems like a no-brainer, especially if you have limited funds. Keep in mind that when it comes to college costs the sticker price is one thing, but your final price may be something entirely different. With financial aid packages included, the private university may prove the better value.

Housing Choices

How is dorm life at the schools on your list? Do students have the option in living off campus especially after their freshman year? If the dorm accommodations are not to your satisfaction, you may need to examine other options. Dorms should be safe, clean, well maintained, and updated. Settle for substandard housing and you may feel cheated. You should also be familiar with local housing options and the cost of same when considering your college choice.

Campus Life

Even small colleges may have a strong campus spirit with a strong sports culture. Beyond sports, schools have a variety of ways for students to connect with Greek life, in clubs, and through service organizations. What is important to you? If a certain non-academic connection is not available at one of the schools you are considering, how will that affect you?

Other Factors

There may be other factors that should be considered as you weigh your choices. A college’s reputation may be important especially for certain programs. Ultimately, it may boil down to the school’s academic programs especially for those that offer an ideal match.

See AlsoCollege Evaluation: Which One is Right for Me?

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