How To Start Narrowing Down Your Final College Choices

Start narrowing down college choices!

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Your acceptance letters have come in. Congratulations! But now comes the time to start narrowing down your college choices. For some people, it’s easy. For others, it takes a little while. Here are some tricks to lead you closer to your pick.

Know your priorities.

Start narrowing down college choices by thinking about your priorities. What are you looking for most about a school? Is it the type of program offered? Is it the size? The cost? Understanding what you want helps decision-making go more smoothly.


Look over your pros and cons.

Between your research and maybe campus visits, you should have a decent amount of information about your various choices (if you don’t, now is definitely time to compile that info). You can compare and contrast and see which ones might better fit your needs.

What extracurricular activities are available?

Going to college is about getting an education, true, and your primary focus should be on your schoolwork. But you also should have options for stress-relief. Student clubs and organizations are great ways to meet new people with similar interests. They’re also good ways to relax.

What facilities are important to you?

Do you want hands-on research labs? Libraries with plenty of study spaces? Easy access to non-resident hall food? Do you have to live on-campus every year, or is off-campus housing available later on?

Talk over your options.

While the decision is still yours, sometimes it can help to chat things over with someone else. Much like flipping a coin, someone else’s words can trigger a gut reaction and help you know what you want. Talking shares the burden of stress. Chat with your parents, your counselor, your friends, your siblings, but talk with someone.

Keep doing research.

Look over the official websites of your college choices. Visit (or re-visit) campuses if you can. Be as informed as possible so you can make your choices.

Take breaks when you need to.

Sometimes all this decision-making can be overwhelming. It’s okay to take breaks. Look over schools one at a time if it helps. You have some time to make your decision. Take care of yourself.

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