Congrats! All that hard work you’ve put in finally paid off and you’ve gotten into a variety of the schools you’ve applied to. What now? Well, now you face the important decision of picking which school you’ll be attending next fall (or spring). When it comes to making this decision, you’ll quickly start to notice the differences between the schools you’ve been accepted to and the implications of picking one over the other. Here are some of the things you should consider before making this exciting choice:
Closeness to Home
Surprisingly enough, this can be a really big factor for a lot of students in your position. For some of you, this may not be super important, but it’s still a factor to consider. The costs and planning involved with traveling long distances between school and home can often add up and
become a burden in terms of both convenience AND money. Moving across the country is no small feat, and neither is getting home in case of a family emergency. Travel costs, time, and planning should be considered when making your choice.
Relevance and Quality in Your Desired Field of Study
To many, this can be the ultimate factor in your choice. It’s important to research not only the overall ratings and rankings of the institution you choose to enroll at but also the comparative ratings of the specific college or program within that school that you want to be studying at. Some schools may be ranked higher overall when compared to others, but a lower-ranked school might have a better engineering or journalism program, for example. Yeah, you’ll hopefully be getting a degree at the end of your studies, but for a lot of students the perceived quality of the education they’ll be receiving is paramount, so keep that in mind.
Going to college here in the states can be very expensive, depending on the individual student’s situation. It’s important for you to evaluate whether or not you’ll be willing to take out loans to attend your school of choice, as this choice can have life-long impacts on credit and many students have spent many years paying off student loans after graduations. Fortunately for you, many institutions offer grants that don’t require students to reimburse the school, and both state and federal governments have programs in place to reward and assist students who have reached certain standards of achievement, as well as programs for students who are in-need of financial assistance for their education in general.
Ultimately, this is a decision that students and their families will usually have to discuss and research extensively before making a final decision. There are many other factors that may have an impact on students’ decisions, but what matters is to make this choice with plenty of time and thought put into the decision-making process.