Choosing a school to attend is a major choice that will impact the kind of unique opportunities and difficulties you will experience, in school and for the rest of your life. It’s advisable to apply to more than two schools, not just to increase your chances of acceptance, but also to offer yourself some alternatives before deciding where to attend! And if you’re one of the fortunate candidates who receive several acceptance letters, you may be faced with a fortunate yet tough decision when you need to choose a school to attend out of your numerous options. When deciding where to apply to college, there are numerous factors to consider.
- Tuition and Financial Aid
Paying for school can be a major concern for international students and their parents. This is why it is very important to also consider the financial fit as well as academics, location, size, and other factors. Examine which school has the best financial offer when comparing various admission offers. Sure, a school may be your first choice, but if the financial aid package does not meet your budget and needs, it may be wiser to focus on schools that do. In this instance, you should contact the financial aid office of your top choice to see if they are prepared to modify their scholarship offer to accommodate you. In certain circumstances colleges are prepared to negotiate and adjust their scholarship packages to suit you.
- Campus Location and Culture
The surrounding community may make or break your study abroad experience. Consider your future self, reassess the qualities of each school, and ask yourself these questions: Will I be comfortable living on a large campus? Does this school offer activities that interest me? Is there any nearby accommodation that could help me manage my trip expenses? Consider your priorities and how each college satisfies those needs now that you’ve been admitted and received financial aid.
Another consideration is that students of color will have different experiences in some areas. Although college campuses are frequently places of inclusion and equal opportunity, this is not always the case. In truth, prejudice exists in communities and on school campuses in subtle ways. This should not prevent you from enrolling in a school that you are passionate about. It is only necessary to recognize that these issues may have an influence on your experience there.
- Academic Opportunities
All of the institutions to which applicants apply should be excellent institutions, but each school is distinct, and there will be disparities in some academic offerings. Once your admission decisions are in, go back and review your notes on classes, teachers, research possibilities, and other areas. Is there something special about one school that the others don’t have? For example, one school may have a co-op program that allows you to obtain real-world work experience for credit while still in school, whereas another may have a fantastic research center that allows you to collaborate with more experienced professors. Consider all of the academic options available at each college you were admitted to and choose the one that best meets your present needs.
- Network and Community
Last but not least, examine the types of communities available in your prospective schools. Would you prefer a large public school or a smaller, private school? Perhaps you’re searching for a campus that prioritizes environmental issues or particular school values (for example, community service). These can have a significant impact on the social circles you’ll encounter, as well as the academic and extracurricular options available. The value of a school’s network is also important since it might be critical in the short term to facilitate that internship or first job after graduation. You may evaluate the strength and reach of a school’s network by contacting professors, students, and alumni.
It’s also crucial to remember that student and family priorities can change in the months leading up to admission decisions, so a school that was previously a top option might quickly fall to the bottom of a student’s list once the admission decisions are in. Once you have a better understanding of your alternatives, you will realize that you have a lot more on your plate than you anticipated.
In the end, any of the schools you were accepted to should be fantastic fits, so there’s little chance you’ll pick the “wrong” option. Remember, it’s not necessarily where you go to college that makes a difference but what you do with your experience. This is an exciting and emotional moment for school applicants, their friends and family.
Don’t let your decision or indecision overwhelm you. You have completed the process and reached a great level in the application journey – by securing multiple admissions. So, Congratulations!
Written by Gbemi Ipaye