What's your advice to h.s. students who are choosing which admission to accept

<p>It's the time of year when many h.s. seniors are agonizing over their admission choices. If you are a current or former college student, what tips can you pass along?</p>

<p>What are you glad that you considered when you made your decision? What do you wish that you had considered? What did you consider that ended up not being important?</p>

<p>This is definitely something would help me and a lot of other out. Great thread! Looking forward to your answers.</p>

<p>Sometimes I think I want one school and then suddenly I change my mind. xD</p>

<p>Please enlighten us, it is very difficult considering the financial aspect as well as which one "feels" right, especially for a child who did not get into one of their "dream" schools.</p>

<p>I can't put enough emphases on how nice it is to not be going into debt because of school. A lot of my friends who are paying a ton of money are really stressed about NEEDING to graduate on time/the cost of their schools to the point where they can't really change their major or do anything cool like study abroad. And many of them still have grad or law school to go. Seriously, don't underestimate the stress factor of going somewhere that will cost $50,000 a year.</p>

<p>I, as long as I could remember, wanted to go to school in NYC. That was it. I always assumed my goal would be Columbia.. went there.. hated it, and fell in love with NYU. I ED'd there.. was so excited. Had an amazing freshman year, was graduating in three years, had two very prestigious internships as a freshman, and just absolutely adored my college decision.</p>

<p>I had to drop out after freshman year because they refused to give us any financial aid and my parents and I couldn't qualify for any loans.</p>

<p>Moral of the Story: MONEY MATTERS! Even if it's your <em>dream</em>... taking out more than $20k in loans, when there is another very viable option, is not advisable. Biggest regret I have so far.</p>

<p>I'm off to the LSE though, so I don't think all is lost. There is always another option!</p>

<p>But just try and take away the "dream* aspect for a second, and look at all of your schools realistically. Even if I did get the loan for soph year, I was still looking at $150k of debt on my shoulders. BIG weight to have in your twenties guys. Nothing's worth that, not even Harvard (which is need-blind anyway, if I recall correctly)</p>

<p>One thing I wish we had taken more seriously was the academic schedule (including whether exams are before or after breaks) of the school. S's college schedule is different from most other schools and that has been a big pain in many ways. We definitely considered the implications beforehand, but it matters more than we thought it would.</p>

<p>Second, consider not just distance, but overall ease of transportation to the school. Again, this could impact you more than you may think right now.</p>

<p>Third, consider the weather. It seems like a superficial thing, but weather that doesn't suit you can really get you down and that makes coping with the normal adjustments and challenges of college all the harder.</p>

<p>Fourth and most importantly: if there's one particular aspect of a certain college which is tipping the scales in your mind either for or against the school, definitely, definitely find out more about that thing. You might not have received an accurate or complete picture about some school characteristic from the tour info. or website. Therefore, you could be basing a pretty big decision on an inccuracy. Here's where I'd use that access to current students if you have it. For ex., the adademic schedule distinction was actually used as a selling point by the S's college and seemed to be a nice positive. I don't know, but it's possible that if we had talked to current students we might have gotten a more balanced picture. Also, looking back I think I probably responded too negatively to some things about certain schools, things which now I think might not have been bad at all. I just wasn't understanding everything about the situation.</p>

<p>Go to the most selective school you can. If two are close in selectivity, then let other factors decide.</p>

<p>D had the choice of 2 top ivies. The way that we helped her to decide was to imagine that you were going to one of the schools for a few days. Then do the same thing with your other choice. It ended up being easy because D found it harder to let one of her choices go...seemed like the only way she could choose. She has never looked back!! Go Princeton!!</p>

<p>go where YOU want to go... take others (parents, friends, teachers, etc.) input into consideration, but ultimately, you have to spend the next four years at this college, so choose the one that YOU think is best for you.</p>

<p>Don't be afraid to go far away from home.</p>

<p>Collegehelp may get criticized by some on this board who will say "follow your heart" or "find the right fit." But after the romantic notion of fit subsides, I have to come back to three points:
- Your peer group will have a greater influence on you than anything else. You will be drawn to live up or down to their examples. Find the best peer group you can; the selectivity to which Collegehelp refers correlates pretty well with peer talent level.
- A typical college student will change majors four times and then choose a career outside his or her major. So why do we think that 17-year-olds have a well-developed sense of what constitutes a "fit?" What is important to you today may give way to different values later. After all, you're going to college in order to explore all those different life options.
- Traditional-age college students are immensely adaptable. I went to a college because I liked the architecture and the athletics, and in retrospect, it probably wasn't that great a fit. You know what? I loved it, I thrived, and I've spent the rest of my life in a college setting because it impacted me so profoundly. </p>

<p>Looking strongly at selectivity and peer group talent level makes a lot of sense.</p>

<p>During the application process, do apply to a "dream school" or two, but remember, some dreams can become nightmares when it turns out you can't pay for them. A stress-filled time then becomes a crushing blow when Jr gets into XYZ school, but gets no merit or other financial aid.</p>

<p>My second piece of advice is to make sure you have a safety school which you love - or at least like a lot. This advise has been out there on these forums for quite a while, but with my kids' friends, I have found that if they don't have such a school in the bag, they often wind up miserable in college.</p>

<p>Also pay attention to whether and how much actual course credit you get for your APs. Some schools give actual credit and you can graduate early. Other schools just give "advanced placement," but you still have to take the same number of courses. This can have a big impact on finances, if you choose to graduate early. Or, it can also have an impact on how easy/hard you work, if you use credits to lighten up a semester or two.</p>

<p>Also, some schools will give credit for a 4 or a 5; others will give credit for only a 5.</p>

<p>I would give the same advice as collegehelp.. go to one of the more selective schools on your list OR choose a slightly less selective one if you are going to the college on a scholarship.</p>

<p>Last year, I had to decide between seven colleges and in the end chose Duke for two reasons
a.) It was probably one of the most selective schools on my list (besides Dartmouth)
b.) Duke just seemed to 'feel right' upon visiting. It's hard to explain. </p>

<p>A mixture of these things led me to Duke.</p>

<p>Hm. I think if you really love that super-selective school, go for it - but I don't think any school's selectiveness is worth tremendous debt. If you get into a top private school but will need $100,000 worth of loans and a school like UVA with a nice scholarship, don't be blinded by prestige. If you're a top student I assure you that you can perform well anywhere. Those studies about students who got into Ivies but went somewhere else doing just as well 5 years after college are cited all the time on here.</p>

<p>I agree with post #8, but to a point. A premed, or prelaw (aiming for T-14 law school), should strongly consider a mid-tier lac (however defined), where s/he could be a star (gradewise) and be able to pursue research easily. </p>

<p>Med & Law are all about gpa + test scores first, undergrad academic prestige is down the list.</p>

<p>And, do go away from home.</p>

<p>Go to the best school you got accepted to. That would be my advice from experience. I went to a lesser school thinking the social life would be better..... I couldn't have been more wrong and now I've applied to transfer to the more selective school I was accepted to last year. Obviously it varies from case to case, but that was my experience.</p>

<p>I'm a current jr in college, and from experience, I would say go to the school that suits YOU. That sounds really vague, and everyone probably tells you that, but I made a HUGE mistake picking the most "prestigious" school over every other factor. I had always wanted to go to my current college mainly because of the name. I thought that the main factor affecting my decision would be how reputable the academia is at that school- I was wrong. Yes, many people are impressed when I tell them where I attend, but I'm definitely not happy here. I spend almost all my time studying, or doing internships or volunteer- in other words, I don't have much free time to just go out with friends. Sad, I know, but the nature of the college I attend (and my major) has made it this way- I don't have a choice. I could either choose to go out, and have poor GPA's or study most of the time to hopefully do well. The bottom line is, sure, getting into a top university is great, and you're ecstatic about it at first, but don't go there just because it's Harvard or Yale or (name of university here). Make sure you check it out, how are most students there? How much do they like it? I definitely felt like I should've taken more things into consideration when choosing my college- not just the name or prestige. </p>

<p>P.S. I don't mean to write this thread as a way of discouraging people from going to the university I'm at (which you may have guessed already), but I'm just passing on my advice to incoming freshmen as well as parents who push their children towards the best.</p>

<p>My #1 piece of advise is: Choose the school you feel best suits your learning style and the school that will allow you to experience the most growth academically and socially.</p>

<p>Ask important questions!!! Will you have access to professors, or only TAs? Do you want to get to know those people who are teaching you, or do you prefer learning in a larger classroom? Do you want a school with a lot of people that are different from you and your experience, or do you want your experiences, opinions, and perspectives challenged? Can you do research as an undergraduate? Is the social scene everything you want, or are you willing to compromise for a better academic fit? </p>

<p>Really be honest about what is important for you and your growth, ask questions that are important to have the answers to, and go with your gut. Only you can really know what's best for you! Get input from your parents, teachers, friends, etc..., but at the end of the day, remember it's you that has to spend 4 years of your life at the school you choose - so be honest with yourself! Hopefully, those in your life will support your decision!</p>

<p>Good luck everyone!!!</p>