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How to Decide Between Multiple College Acceptance Letters

Consider the campus culture.

It’s important to pick a school you’ll truly feel comfortable at for your undergrad career. Think about more extensive factors that contribute to student life. Is the campus liberal or conservative? Is there a large Greek life presence? Is there Greek life at all? What about sports? Is the school competitive? Do people regularly go to games? How many of the students commute home every weekend? Are people from a lot of different parts of the country, or are they all from relatively the same area? Is the school in a busy city, college town, or rural area? How easy is it to get an internship or study abroad? Is this something important for your field? All of these can be answered by a visit to the campus or by asking students that currently attend the school.

If you’ve been dreaming about being in a sorority since you were twelve, how active Greek houses on campus are at a particular university might matter more than some of the other questions raised. If you’re planning to major in a language, getting the chance to study for a semester and immerse yourself in the culture might matter more. If you’re looking for lots of hands-on, real-world experience, internships become more important. Think about what you want big picture-style with your college experience, and weigh some of these factors when selecting a school.

Think about the cost.

Like it or not, cost is also a big part of what your college experience might look like. It can also be a helpful factor to use if you’re really stuck between two or more schools. If they’re about equal in other categories, cost could serve as a good push towards one over the other. Keep outside funding sources in mind as well – are you getting additional merit scholarships from one school? Would a private school give you more than a public school because of its endowment? Could you get a sports- or art-based scholarship at a particular college or university? While cost hopefully won’t be the ultimate determining reason in deciding where you end up, it’s undoubtedly an important one to consider. If you’re really attached to a school but it’s not measuring up financially, you can always approach the financial aid office for a second offer. Mentioning what one school is offering over another might help improve your original package. Don’t forget about scholarships, either!

Go with what feels right.

Pick a school you’ve been accepted at, then say to yourself, “I’m going X place.” Does it feel right? Do visions of you lounging on the quad instantly surface in your head? Or, do you feel uneasy, and think about other options floating around in the back of your mind? Trust your gut reaction. If you’ve considered all of the above things and still can’t come to a conclusion on where to head next fall, go with your gut. Sometimes, it’s the easiest way to make a decision in the end!

Wherever you go, college is an awesome experience. Next fall, you’re bound to make some great new friends, try a crazy activity or two, explore all kinds of cool fields, partake in fun traditions, and maybe even meet a campus cutie or two! Regardless of where you decide to go, college is what you make it. Congrats on getting in – now go enjoy it!