By Janet Eggenberger
Acceptance letters are in! You now have some great choices - Congratulations! Now what? How do you choose the school that’s right for you?
Take Another Road Trip
Make sure you spend some time getting a feel for the campus. Going on an organized tour is important but break away from that to get your own idea of the campus community. Go sit in the quad or the union, visit the library and the health club, sit in on a class, read the student newspaper.
Talk To Students On Campus
Ask lots of questions. What do they like best about school? What do they like least? Do they know their professors? How big are the classes? Et cetera.
Weigh The Costs
Cost should definitely be a factor in your final decision. What is the sticker price versus what you will actually be paying (including grants, scholarships, aid)? Do a cost-benefit analysis using the criteria that are most important to you.
Avoid Emotional Factors
Do not choose a school because your boyfriend/girlfriend/friends are going there. This is not the time to follow the crowd - pick the one that is right for YOU and your future goals and career aspirations.
It's Not All About The Name
Do not pick a school because of name/prestige only. You need to pick a school where you can be successful and happy. Relax and have fun – get ready for some of the best years of life.
Janet Eggenberger is a mom of three – a recent college graduate who just moved out, a college senior, and a high school junior. She is a graduate academic advisor at a private Chicagoland university.