Deadlines

Still making a last-minute decision?

Still making a last-minute decision?

You may have already made that decision a while ago. If so, congratulations! But if you're still struggling to choose between two schools, or three schools, or seven schools or however many, then you may be looking for some help. 

At this point, I'm assuming that money probably isn't the issue. If you're stuck choosing between a school you can afford and a school you can’t afford, then you're not really struggling to decide...you're just procrastinating.  I'm also guessing that if you're still struggling to decide, then a simple "make a list of pros and cons for each school" is something you've already thought of and found unhelpful. Still, if you haven't checked a school's vital stats lately--graduation rate, rate of sophomore return, student-faculty ratio--then go back and look those over.

The Glossary: rolling admissions

The Glossary: rolling admissions

Rolling admissions means that universities assess your application on a first-come, first-served basis when they get it. There is usually no final deadline to apply. You just send in your application when it's ready, they have a look, and they get back to you fairly soon--usually around four weeks. Most--but not all--of the schools that have rolling admissions are large, state schools. They are large and robust enough to just look at each application as it comes in and decide if you're admissible or not without trying to "craft a community" or compare you to their other options. Some of the universities with rolling admissions are places you've probably heard of, like Penn State, Michigan State, and Arizona State. If you're looking at a college that has rolling admissions, especially if you're looking for a college because it has rolling admissions, there are a few things to understand.

Making the call before May 1

Making the call before May 1

I'm assuming by this point you've already checked all the major information you might want to know about the schools you're considering, things like "can I afford it?", "what's the graduation rate?", and "what's the student-faculty ratio?". You may also be going back for on-campus visits at some of the schools who have accepted you.

I'd like to throw out a few other things you should research before choosing a school. I seriously doubt any of these factors are going to be The Deciding Factor. However, if you end up just "going with your gut feeling" on April 30, these are some things that may end up affecting your gut feeling.

Whatever you were looking for, it's probably where you are

Whatever you were looking for, it's probably where you are

The odds are pretty good you're going to your "safety" school, and the odds are very high you're not going to your "dream" school. That's very normal; it has a lot more to do with the economics and logistics of admissions than you as a person. Just ask yourself how many times you've heard "my problems all began when I graduated from a university that wasn't my dream school." You're going to be fine.