March 21, 2023

You’ve been accepted! Now what?!

After months of writing essays, preparing for interviews, and completing applications, seniors can relax, knowing they will have a place to go in a few months. However, this time in a senior’s year can also be confusing. When students receive acceptance letters from several competitive schools, they might feel unsure where they should enroll instead of enjoying their last few weeks of high school. 

The stress can seem enormous, but it isn’t insurmountable. Having gone through this problem with countless students at Class 101, we recommend a few things to help students make a decision.

First, we suggest visiting the top two or three campuses again—even if the student already visited before applying. A follow-up visit can give students a chance to further explore the place they could call home for four years. It can help them dive deeper than they did on their first visits, engaging with the campus, classes, and surrounding community. A second visit provides the opportunity to see if they like the student culture and atmosphere of campus. Mingling with others on campus can help them with indecision. Through their experiences, students can ask themselves, “Do I see myself here?”

Second, if they know what they want to major in, we suggest students visit with departments in their area(s) of interest. Through one-on-one meetings with faculty, students can compare what their options offer in terms of classes, facilities, as well as internship or research opportunities. Sitting in on a class is a great way to experience what it might be like as a student. They can also see if they like the professors and fit in with the school’s overall culture. 

Lastly, we recommend students take a close look at the financial aid they receive. At some schools, it may be possible to ask for additional aid based on need, accomplishments, or other factors. Students should determine their top two or three schools and compare the financial offers at each. It may be beneficial to sit down with a financial aid representative at the college to discuss options for additional merit scholarships or financial aid in person. Don’t be afraid to ask your top school for additional scholarship money.  It may not work, but there is no risk in asking.

Most colleges do not expect a final decision from students until May 1, so students have time to make up their minds. Once a student decides not to attend a school, they should let the college know as soon as possible. Not only is this courteous, but it also frees up a spot for another student who is on a wait list, hoping for an acceptance.

The calendar to May 1 does not pause, but there is ample time for high school seniors and their families to revisit colleges’ locations and cultures, academic opportunities, and costs. At Class 101, our seniors are still working with college planners to discern the best college fit. And we assist families in comparing the financial packages for a senior’s top schools. Even if you’re not a Class 101 Senior, we are available to answer questions at 937-705-5113.

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