Congratulations on your acceptances! If you haven’t yet decided which college to attend, consider our practical recommendations. You have done the work, now relax and enjoy the ride.
Parents – If you have not yet discussed with your student your parental financial parameters, now is the time. Layout what you can afford based on income, existing assets, and what you are comfortable taking on in loan payments. Depleting lifetime savings is not an option.
Parents and Students – Review each financial offer, reducing the cost of attendance by scholarships and grants only. If competing school offers are not equitable, consider writing an appeal providing updated information about your financials and your student’s commitment to the school.
Students – If a gap exists between the school’s net cost of attendance and what your parents can contribute, get real. Consider your possible career path(s), estimated income once school is complete, and use a payment calculator to determine years of payments and interest for student loans. Not all debt is bad but understanding your long-term cost allows a clear assessment of each school’s value proposition.
Revisit Colleges – Admitted Student’s Day - Virtual or Boots on the Ground? - Not all schools are allowing student visits, so how to get to know a college without a visit?
Remote Sessions – Attend as many remote sessions as possible. A silver lining is that students can now evaluate a school on value propositions vs the majestic buildings and sometimes chat boxes are easier for students to ask questions. Example of remote sessions include
Program of Study
Live student virtual campus tour
The first-year experience
Student clubs and activities
Meet faculty in your program of study – Take the time to set up a call with faculty members in your program. There are now more essential aspects to consider that you did not necessarily think about the first time around. It is a great time to meet with the faculty. Consider these questions to ask when meeting with professors either on-campus or remote.
Imagine Your Day – Understand what your day looks like with a 9:00 am class. Are you rolling out of bed 15 minutes before, or do you need to wake up at 7:30 to make sure you have time to catch the bus and get a front row in the auditorium? Check out our rubric of college questions to ask based on residential life, student resources, extracurricular activities, educational culture, and academics.
School Spirit? – A simple but useful trick- Are the students wearing school colors and or does the school attire look like any other university’s campus. Do you see students walking together and smiling, or are most wearing headphones and solo? Where do upperclassmen live? Can they be found on campus?
Your Key College Criteria – We love this free tool and suggest students take a fresh look at their must-have criteria and consider what questions they still need to ask.
Deposits are due May 1st, and we understand this time of year can be joyful or scary or both. Parents, patience wins the day even when your student is poking the bear to see if you love them!