As April turns to May, all of the angst that high school seniors have felt over the past several months turns to resolve. It’s time to decide where to go to college.
The disappointment about being rejected from a school that you used to refer to as your “dream school” may linger, but the show must go on. You’ve planned all your life to go to college – or maybe you just jumped on this bandwagon a year or so ago – but you are going. The next question is, where?
The New York Times’ “The Choice” Blog is a wealth of information that you can use to make this decision. And notice that I’m not calling it your “final” decision. You may start school and realize it wasn’t the right choice for you. Transferring is an option if you find yourself in that spot. (And keep in mind, no one ever asks you where you started college – they ask you where you graduated.)
But as you decide now where to start your college career, you might be considering rankings, name/prestige, preparation for graduate school, graduation rates, and financial aid, among other issues. Many of these issues are addressed in “The Choice” – here are a few links:
And after reading all of these articles, and re-reading your acceptance letters and financial aid offers, the best measure of where you should go lies within. How did you FEEL when you walked on that campus? Are these your people? Could you call this place home for the next four years?
Parents of juniors, take note: you’ll be in this position next year. There are a few lessons to learn now, early in your student’s process. Look at colleges differently than you have in the past. Be willing to look at colleges you may not have heard about, or much about. Be willing to look at opinions different than the ones you’ve already heard. Visit if you can! Visit small colleges, large colleges, just to get the feel for them. And be willing to see a college through your student’s eyes, not just your own.
May 1 is the national deadline for students to submit a Statement of Intent to Register, and pay a deposit, at one college. This Wednesday really is the first day of the rest of your life!
Congratulations to all of Magellan College Counseling’s clients who have made their choices. This cycle, I worked with students who will be attending UC Berkeley, Wellesley College, Cal State Channel Islands, Cal State Northridge, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Sonoma State University, UCLA, University of Michigan and Warren Wilson College, and I’m still waiting to hear from five clients where they will be going!