Making the Final Decision
Within the next two months, students will have heard back from all the universities to which they have applied. For some, the decision of which offer to accept will be an easy one; for many, however, the choice seems to be more complicated. If you are having difficulty making this decision, here are some helpful hints (adapted from an article by Jennifer Gross for the National Association for College Admission Counseling):
- Begin where you started this process–with self-reflection. What do you really want out of university? Have your goals or priorities changed over the past year as you have matured? Try to visualize your ideal university: What do your classes look like? What do you see yourself doing in your spare time? Now sit back and think about which schools come closest to your mental picture.
- Compare the strengths and weaknesses of each institution. One university might have an excellent program in your tentative major, but be quite far from your family. Another may have real strength in your preferred extracurricular activity, but may also be more expensive. Make a list of the positive and negative aspects for each school; this will help you look at the universities more objectively and also provide a starting place for family discussions.
- Given that university campuses are closed due to Covid-19, it will not be possible to schedule an in-person visit. However, universities have done their best to provide excellent online resources to provide admitted students with helpful information. Check out a virtual tour, admission blog, or student chatroom.
- Consult with people you respect–but make your own decision. Talk about your options with family, friends, your university counsellor, and advisor. Often, articulating your thoughts can help you make up your mind. Remember that what is right for your friends or seems impressive to your teachers or parents may not necessarily be the best choice for you.
- In the end, most experts advise students to go with their gut instinct—that indefinable sense that a particular university just “feels right.” If you have done your research, you should feel confident about choosing the school that excites you most when you think about it.
- Once you have decided, don’t second-guess yourself. If you have gone through the application process thoughtfully, you would probably do well at any of the schools to which you applied. There is no one perfect choice and the vast majority of students are very happy wherever they decide to attend.