So, which college/university?
I've compiled a few tactics to thoughtfully review the choices at hand.
- First and foremost - don't procrastinate; it's a big decision and requires thought space/time to make
- Definitely go back for a visit, if possible; this gives you the best idea of what life might be like over the next several years; most schools have admit days or opportunities to take classes and shadow a current student; this gives you a better idea of whether this is somewhere you'd thrive and enjoy over the undergraduate years
- Compare and contrast both financial aid and the departments in which you'd likely complete your major/concentrations
- Attend local events where you get to meet admissions officers and alumni - this is a great way to get to know the school better and understand the culture of the campus, especially if you're unable to go for a(nother) visit
- Go back and revisit your initial desires and why you decided to apply to a particular set of schools, these tend to include the following topics: size, location (east coast, near a big city, by the ocean, etc.), diversity, ranking; another way to think about this is why were your top 3 schools in your top 3 originally?
- Reach out to friends and friend of friends that are currently at the schools in question; schedule a conversation with them to understand what they love about it and any concerns they see as a student
- Continually keep the conversation open with your parents and family; if you're relying on their generosity of both time and money (as many students do), also take their thoughts and considerations seriously
- Be wary of emphasizing the following in your decision equation: partying, attractiveness of the student body, relying on rankings/reputation only, over focusing on specializing in one major/subject (many students do change their minds!), rebellion (wanting something that perhaps the parents would not want for you), following (friends, significant other)
Best of luck on your decisions!