More Than One College Acceptance? How Do You Decide?
Although the U.S. News and World Report annual college ranking list can be controversial, there is no doubt that their information and listings are popular because they are helpful to parents and students when choosing a college.
An article by Peter Van Buskirk called “Make the Final College Choice Yourself” is no exception. Although in classic style, Buskirk (whose photo accompanies this article) starts with some anecdotes of stories he has heard recently from students, the most helpful information is a series of lists cited within the article:
- 5 hints to compare financial aid award letters including these two hints: Identify the total cost of attendance for each institution, and add all of the grants and scholarships listed on the award letter together.
- Maximizing the educational investment by challenging assumptions, keeping your mind open to a range of solutions, making good choices, and focusing on “fit.” (“Fit” is also a favorite topic of my colleague and co-author John Boshoven when discussing choosing the right college for you.)
Van Buskirk’s final bit of advice is solid: Think for yourself and you can’t go wrong.
Here is our addition: The school you select is not as important as how you will be engaged in learning in that school. Peruse the National Survey of Student Engagement for a glimpse into how engaged students learn in college. For example, “About 33% of psychology majors did research with a faculty member outside of the course or program requirements–higher than that of all other majors combined (19%).”
Undecided freshmen might get some good ideas from looking at this report. Good luck with choosing which college to attend, a wonderful dilemma to have!
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