How do you make the final decision for college when you have multiple choices?

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 18,144
    College counselor Jerome A. Cole, MA discusses how a student should make the final decision for college when they have multiple choices.

    Jerome Cole: My name is Jerome Cole. I am the Director of College Counseling at the Edmund Burke School in Washington, DC. I am going to talk to you today about how to make that final choice for college.

    Speaker: How do make the final decision for college when you have multiple choices?

    Jerome Cole: I think the first thing I want to say that is obviously is a good problem that you want to have. You want to have lots of options. You want to have lots of choices.

    I think there are two things that you want to do. I think the first is to sit down and to try and go back to that list that you have created back in the fall of what are your priorities; what's important to you; locations, size, student body, their measures, etcetera, etcetera. Go back and revisit that and prioritize again and make sure that those priorities haven't changed.

    I think the second thing that you want to do is to go back and revisit. I think it is really critical that students before they make that final choice that they get an opportunity to go and see that school one more time in the spring. Usually that visit will consist of an overnight in most cases, not always, but in most cases. If you have that opportunity, I certainly would encourage you to do that, to do an overnight. That is going to allow you to peel back the layers just a little bit more and dig a little bit deeper into what exactly this is, that I am getting ready to decide myself up for. This is a big decision. You are getting ready to decide where you are going to be living for the next four years of your life. You are leaving home for the first time and even though you will come back from time to time. When you go away to college, that in fact will be your home; so, it is a big decision; it requires a lot of thought. I think those two things are critical.

    I think the last thing that you want to do is you want to make sure that you sit down and you talk with your parents, make sure that they have some input and not talk to the counselor again and I know, I am assuming that everybody' has been dialoging with their counselor throughout this process, but you want to go back and have another conversation with that person and then if there is some one or two people on the outside, a family, relative, a neighbor, another teacher, who you really trust, go back and sit down and talk to them. I have got these five choices. Here are the things that are most important to me. Right now, I am leaning towards this school for these reasons; tell me, what you think? So, get that outside input from people who you know, people whom you trust, and people who you know love you and have you best interest.

    That's the way I would go about making the final choice.