28 Feb 5 Tips to Make Your Final College Selection for National College Decision Day
It’s that time of year: college decision day is quickly approaching. For some students who have already decided on their college choice, they’re all done and they know what the next four years hold for them. But, for others, there’s still some decisions to be made about how they will be spending the next four years of their lives. National College Decision Day is on May 1st each year – and is the deadline for students to choose a school, submit their acceptance paperwork, and make their initial deposit to seal the deal. Although May is still a few months away, the time will go quickly.
Choosing a college is more than just a financial or emotional decision. There’s many components to consider. As your student is planning for National College Decision Day, here’s a few tips to help them make a final decision:
Talk to someone:
You don’t have to make a decision all alone! Use your social support systems to make your decision. Talk with parents, siblings, friends, relatives, trusted teachers, and your counselors to help decide which path to take. Take the time to figure out what’s holding you up and discuss that with people you trust.
Compare in two ways:
Like we previously said, choosing a college isn’t just about finances or just about how you feel emotionally. Look at the decision from both sides. Take all possible costs into consideration, including travel and out-of-pocket living expenses. If your emotional favorite’s financial aid package won’t cover the bill, you might have a really tough decision to make. Remember to compare the financial aid award letters you’ve received so you know exactly what you’re being awarded – and what you have to repay. Although it’s difficult, a bigger loan to pay back might tilt the scales in favor of one school over another.
Make one last effort at increasing financial aid:
Many financial aid decisions were based on your family’s previous year’s experiences. If your family faced financial problems or had major changes occur within the last year, put together a compelling case for more help. Reaching out to the financial office is one way to attempt to increase the financial aid you might receive to close the gap.
Check your bank balance:
If you do have an idea of the college you want to attend, find out how much money you will be expected to pay out of pocket. If you don’t have enough money in the bank, you’ll need to earn more by then or learn a lot about student loans in a hurry. This is also a great time to look at work-study options and continue looking for scholarships to buffer your bank account!
There is still time to look for scholarships:
If your final decision really comes down to money, it’s time to look for scholarships. Spend time researching options locally and nationwide. Remember to look for scholarships related to your interests, your demographics, and the major you’re choosing. Start those applications and put effort into them!
Once you’ve taken the time to review your options and look at your final decision from all angles, it’s time to submit your acceptance documents to the college of your choice! You’re on the way to finding your place in the class of 2027! Remember to let the colleges you’re not choosing to attend know that you’ve made your final decision so they can contact their waitlist students. Now you (and your family) can breathe a sigh of relief!
Who Are We?
CFAA helps with the financial aid process, from completing the FAFSA and completing the CSS Profile to reviewing the SAR, responding to requests for verification, comparing financial aid offers and understanding student loan options. Schedule a CFAA new client free strategy session or a 15 Minute Power Chat to learn more about finding ways to pay for college.
To get the latest financial aid information and college application to-do lists, look for my bi-weekly JustAskJodi emails and check out my monthly CFAA e-newsletter.
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