Making the final college choice is a difficult decision for a student and his or her family. Here are some resources to help.
Your student has visited schools, filled out applications, waited patiently, and now the decisions are coming in. How will she or he decide which school is the “right fit”?
Here are some resources, both from My Kid’s College Choice and from other sources, to help with that decision.
- Your Kid’s College Choice – Tips for making the final college choice. This is a post I wrote a couple years ago that is still relevant.
- The Final College Choice – Choosing Between Two Colleges – This is one of my all-time most popular posts from a few years ago.
- Guidelines for Making the Final College Choice – This is a good list of tips that was published on Huffington Post in March of 2o16.
- 7 Tips for Making the Final College Choice – Another good one from 2016.
- 4 Tips for Negotiating a Better Financial Aid Package – Good tips when the final decision is going to come down to who offers the most money.
In my opinion, the final decision needs to be a balance between Value and Opportunity. You want your student to get the best opportunity for the best deal. Sometimes this will not be the lowest total out-of-pocket cost. Sometimes it is worth spending a little more for a better opportunity. This could be a better academic program in your student’s major, more rigorous academics overall, a better location for research opportunities or internships, a more engaged student body, more extracurricular options, a safer campus, or many other things.
As you are probably already aware, May 1 is called “National Decision Day” because it is the deadline to respond to most colleges with a “yes” or “no” on their offers of admission. As you coach your student towards a final decision, encourage him or her to think through all of the characteristics outlined in the posts listed above and discuss what each option on the table will require financially so that your student can think through the value vs. opportunity proposition.