One of the best problems a teenager can face is getting accepted into both of her dream schools! First of all, congratulations, second of all, good luck making this nearly impossible decision! To help make the process a little easier, here area few key questions to ask yourself when both of your dream schools accept you.
1. How Important is Rank?
For some careers, such as those in law or business, university rank and prestige is important. Having that big-name school on your job applications might help you a lot in getting a job for some career paths, but just be the icing on the cake for others. So first, before you decide between your two dream schools, consider how important rank is, and if a higher national ranking is as important as the higher tuition.
2. Do They Have Your Major?
Hopefully, you already researched potential majors before applying to either of these schools. However, they may have slightly different programs that require different classes and offer different concentrations to go along with your major. Heavily research what you want to do and where you can do it best before you choose a college.
3. What’s the Culture like?
Every campus has a different culture, influenced by the school's reputation, students, and geographic location. Without a doubt, the best way to get a sense of a school's culture is by visiting it. However, if you can't afford to or don't have the time to go there in person, try instead to find other people who've gone there, or who are going there, through social media. That way, you can know what sort of people the school attracts and hear an eye-witness account about the culture.
4. How is the Financial Aid Package?
This is probably the most important question for you to ask yourself before settling on a college! Living in debt for the rest of your life won't be much fun, so you should aim to do whatever you can to avoid amassing tons of debt while getting an education. Don't commit to either school until you've heard from their Financial Aid departments and weighed the difference between cost and worth.
5. Will You Be Able to Come Home?
For some, being able to visit home easily is a big plus, while for others it's a huge turnoff! If you're really close with your family, you should think about choosing a college that's closer to home. That way you don't spend tons of money on transportation between home and school. However, if you really want to spread your wings and start your own life, choose the college that's farther away.
6. Who Has the Better Study Abroad Program?
Studying abroad is an incredible opportunity that every college student should take advantage of! Fortunately, many universities offer study abroad programs so that you can receive an international education. Hopefully both of your top choices will allow you to study abroad at a reasonable price, but each school might have slightly different programs. Study abroad is definitely something you should investigate before committing to any university!
7. Which Were You Happier to Get into?
Ultimately, just think back to the moment you saw "Congratulations!" written at the top of each letter. Which were you happier to see? Whatever college you you happier to be accepted into is probably the one you wanted more to begin with!
No matter which college you attend, you'll be taking a major step forward in your life, and you should be proud! But keep in mind that this isn't a decision to be taken lightly. How will you decide on a college?