Congratulations! Now that you have a set of colleges you've been admitted to, you need to decide which one you're going to choose to spend the next few years of your life. There are several important factors to consider including:
- Cultural fit - Each college has its own unique vibe and unwritten student code. You should try to visit each college, talk to students and get a sense of whether you'd be a good fit.
- Cost - Every college will give you a different financial aid package, so you want to keep in mind if you'll be able to manage with the given package.
- Focus on your major - Many universities are well known for specific fields of study. If you're pretty sure about your major then it makes sense to look at which colleges have a focus on that major.
- Location / Climate - This might sound like a joke but there are some people that just can't stand certain types of weather or secluded colleges so it's a good idea to visit the college and see if you'd be happy there.
- Social Life
- Size of Student Body
- Variety of Extracurricular Offerings (Student organizations, research, Study Abroad)
Here's a quote I really liked by Jennifer Rickard, Dean of Admissions at Bryn Maw.
I draw the analogy of friends to explain why fit is so important in considering a college. You like your good friends for some reason. It may not be an objective reason. It's often subjective. There's some sense of compatibility, a kind of intuition, a match, a common sense of values, what you like to do, how you think – those are the things that really bind people together. It's similar with college. You don't want to spend four years with a college who isn't really your friend.
Personally, I wanted to attend a college where:
- I'd have the most diverse opportunities to learn. Every college more or less teaches a similar curriculum for a given major, so I wanted to find a college that excelled at research opportunities, a culture of building cool stuff, and really interesting, diverse, and talented students.
- Had a strong history of innovation in my major of choice (computer science)
- I felt a strong resonance with my fellow classmates.
Feel free to ask specific questions below!