Making the Decision, Part 1                                             by Patti Brugman

By Patti Brugman

Ahh, the feeling of power!  After months of working and writing and trying, you finally have a fistful of acceptances (or at least a couple, we hope.) What’s even better, each of those schools is hoping for your “yes.” My, how the roles are reversed!  Just two weeks ago, it was you who woke up in the middle of the night, hoping for a "yes." Now, insomnia has struck the admissions counselors at your accepted schools. They toss and turn, then sit up in a cold sweat, “Please let them accept us!” they cry.  Isn’t it just grand?

         You might look at your admissions offers as travel brochures. Maybe there’s the one in Maine, another in Texas, a third in Indiana, and an array of California offers. Hmm. Take a look at the pictures. Can you see yourself entering that ivy-covered door?  Don’t those students look smart! Or, how would you sound with a Southern accent? The decision of where to go for college becomes more of a playful choice of “Where shall I take my winter vacation?”

        Maybe in another week you’ll take the decision seriously, but for now go ahead and imagine. If it’s a vacation you’re hoping for, this one won’t be short. It’s more of a grand adventure. Sure, you’ll going for the academics, but if you’ve done your homework right, all the schools on your list will offer what you want in that department. Of course you’ll want to make the right decision, one that you’ll delight in for the next four years.

         First of all, read each letter carefully. Consider the tone and any additional offers Admissions has included. Sometimes the letters are personal. They accepted you specifically because “We’ve been eager to add a circus juggler to the class!” Other letters (generally from larger schools) will be a form letter.  Just from that alone, you’ll be getting a bit of information. Next, fan out your brochures and sort them. Like a hand of cards, which are your aces? Which are your twos and threes?  Sometimes, you know right away. That simple exercise may be enough to reduce your enormous pile (or modest one) to the two or three best.

         We, at Perfect Fit, hope that you can attend Admitted Students Day at a few of your favorite schools. ASD takes on many forms, from a local barbeque, to a whole school party at Berkeley. Just by being with other hopeful “Admits,” you might get a sense of the kind of students you’ll be with. This is important. Students teach each other almost as much as the professors do! See if you’re intrigued by what you might learn.

         Then there’s the housing options. Take a serious look. And the food?  It makes a difference. Finally, (and most important to some applicants) is the financial aid offer.  If you’re a student with financial need, buy by price.  Save the anguish of debt, if you have that choice. By visiting the school, and introducing yourself to the Financial Aid Officer, you might even increase your offer. This is your month to wheel and deal! Enjoy every moment. But most importantly, consider the decision as one you won’t want to change later. Now is when you have the power to shape your future!


--All the best from Perfectfitcollege.Net