You’ve been admitted! Now what?
For undergraduates who applied to the US, the official notification cut off for
admissions letters is April 1st. That is only three days away! (MBA and post-grad
applicants are also in the midst of regret/accept letters) How can you prepare
yourself for the experience of joy, disappointment and ultimately decision?
Below are a few things to keep in mind as you navigate your way to the end of
April when you’ll have to confirm your attendance and pay your deposit.
First of all, in the event you are declined admission at your top choice college,
take the time to mourn the loss of your dream. But after you have done this,
move on and look on the bright side. Safety and target colleges are usually great
options and you shouldn’t be disappointed. Embrace what you’ve got and realize
that any college would be lucky to have you. Move forward with a plan make the
most of the experience that is being offered to you.
Also, do not take admissions decisions personally and don’t compare yourself to
others. Evaluating your acceptance letters against your peers will only cause you
torture. You will never know for sure why your friends got in and you didn’t.
Appreciate what you have and move on.
This brings us to the relevant question of how do you ultimately choose the right
college for you among the set of options you’ve been given? You may have asked
yourself similar questions when you decided where to apply, but you should
revisit the following criteria and decide how important each one is for you:
Curriculum, Courses and Majors: Which college’s academic program
appeals to your interests and style of study most? Consider whether you
want more flexibility in your major or whether you seek an intensive,
directed course from the start.
- Campus Environment and Climate: City, Suburban, Rural, Consolidated
campus vs. Distributed campus; East/West/South (the value of warm
weather cannot be overestimated in my opinion!)
- Student Mix: Is the college coed? Are there students from all over the
country/world, with different backgrounds and experiences?
- Size of school: Undergrads/grads; Student : Faculty ratio; Average class
size; Professors vs. teaching assistants taking entry-level classes
- Opportunities for further studies and employment: Research;
professional schools; internships; graduation placements
- Alumni network: Domestic; international; strength; accessibility
- Facilities, extracurricular activities and sports: Access to labs, computing
centers, and music, theater, athletic facilities and competitive sports
- Cost v. Prestige: Financial aid or a ‘brand’ name college? Decide what is more important – lightening your financial burden and being a merit scholar, with special status or privileges on campus, versus going to a well recognized college that your peers (and your parents peers!) have heard of.
It is a wonderful time of year so whatever is in your mailbox, savour this moment
of promise and look forward to a bright new future!