Jack is ready to make decisions

I didn't hear back from Jack's March questions until April 1, when I was about to send April questions. So this will count as a March/April installation, and we'll hear back from him after he makes his final decision by May 1. It looks like he's going to be choosing between Pitzer and Brandeis, although you never know how last-minute decisions work out. Read the full interview below, and check back in May to see how things wrap up!

Meet the Class is an opportunity for parents, educators, and admissions professionals to get a look at individual seniors and what they go through to find their college.

It’s updated each month from September to May. Each month will feature an interview about both the facts and the feelings of where the student is in the process.

Interviews may be edited lightly for clarity and grammar. 

This is the seventh interview with Jack,  a senior in the Houston area. He attends a public magnet high school. 

Let's start with the news. Have you heard back from anybody else? Where we left off was:
Trinity: accepted
UTSA: accepted, plus Honors College
UT Austin: PACE

What can we add to the list?

I've finally heard back from all of my colleges, so the results are:

Denied from Pomona, WASHU, Wesleyan, Yale, Brown, Tufts, and Occidental.
Waitlisted at Oberlin and American. 
And accepted to Brandeis, Pitzer, and the Honors College at UH! 

How will you go about making your final decision once all the responses are back? Who do you go to for advice? What are your primary factors? 

My primary factors are money, geography, and personality/vibe. Right now, i'm vacillating between Pitzer and Brandeis. My in-state schools are also in consideration, but I’m still waiting on a few more award letters from them, and I also just really want to go to school out of state. I’m in love with Pitzer’s vibe and I’m in love with the West coast, but Brandeis’ financial aid award was a lot more generous. I think I will appeal my financial aid letter for Pitzer and then commit to there if the appeal is successful. Brandeis has a lot to offer, but I’ve just grown to love the Pitzer community. 

For advice I mostly go to my EMERGE friends, my EMERGE counselor, or my sister. I’m likely going to be mulling over this with them for the next few weeks.

Based on the news you've got so far, what would you do if you had to make the decision today? Explain your Thinking.

If I had to make the decision today, I would probably choose to appeal my financial aid for Pitzer and then commit to the college if they come back with an offer that’s more reasonable for my family. So far, the costs of each college I’ve been accepted to after federal and institutional aid are all comparable (even with my in-state schools), so thankfully I wouldn’t have to ruminate too much on whether to spend more money to go to an out-of-state school, or stay in-state so that we don’t break the bank. 

Spring Break was in March. What did you do?

Over the break, I worked on some scholarships, went out with friends, worked on the yearbook in preparation for our final deadline, and did some planning for an event that I’ve been organizing. 

Has "senioritis" hit you? How's your day-to-day motivation holding up?

A little bit! Ever since I got into Pitzer I’ve been fixated on a life beyond high school, and as I’ve spent more time living in this fantasy and getting to know the other students who have been accepted (we have an admitted students group chat), I’ve been getting more detached with the present and more anxious to finally move into the next stage of my life. With that said, I’m still striving to do well in my classes and finish strong, and I still have to tie up some loose ends with my extracurriculars, so I’m working to stay mindful over my responsibilities and staying grounded in the present. 

Other than make college decisions and pass your classes, what else have you got to do this spring? Which AP exams are you taking? What's your deadline on the yearbook? How's work? Can you give me a sense of what all is going on right now?

Our yearbook in its entirety is due this Monday, so I have to help finish, polish, and publish our last set of spreads. We’ve been falling behind on our previous deadlines so we have to cram a little bit. I also just finished organizing a benefit I’ve been doing with my club in collaboration with HSPVA, and then I have to tie up some loose ends with our on-campus extension of that initiative. Work has also been great! We have one more program planned in mid-April, and then after that is just a bunch of in-industry educational opportunities we get to soak in. After the yearbook, the biggest source of stress I’m going to have is having to sort out some prom stuff, which is still a bit of a mess.

For APs, I’m taking Government, Macroeconomics, English Literature, and Statistics.

Anything else?

I’m going on a fly-in on the 12th for Pitzer! (I might also attend a fly-in on the 14th for Brandeis, but I’m still not sure if I’d want to do one fly-in after another.)  Other than that, that’s all I have for this month!