In the next days, the remaining U.S. colleges and universities will report their admission decisions. Perhaps you have also already heard from universities in the U.K. and elsewhere.

Now it’s up to you. Which college will you choose? How will you make this important decision?

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Accepted Student Days

The U.S. colleges that accepted you probably also, in the same breath, invited you to whatever they call their version of “Accepted Student Days.” These are events at which each college will show you its brightest side, hoping you will choose their school!

You probably have a good sense of which two or three–or four–colleges that have accepted you offer the best academic opportunities for you. But if you have not yet visited those schools, April would be an excellent time to do so. Just as you spent many months working toward this moment, the colleges, too, have labored long hours to choose the students they’d most like to see on campus next fall.

They’ve chosen you, and they really want you to say yes! It’s time for you to experience the number-one-ranked campus of Vassar, the city feeling of Boston University, the Jesuit atmosphere of Georgetown, the pristine, tree-covered walks of Tufts, the Doris Duke gardens—larger than Central Park!—of Duke, or the brick buildings of Bowdoin.

Find out if it’s really the right place for you. This is a significant investment, both in time and money. If your family can at all afford it, visit the colleges to make sure you choose well.

Athena Advises

marlena-corcoran-20160728_0647-ar-retouchlinkedinOnce you have chosen the college that is right for you, pay no attention to what Great Uncle James or anyone else says about your choice. No one is infallible; not even me. Here’s an example.

Having spent some time at Princeton myself, I rather thought that anyone would be impressed by the faculty and the facilities. However, one student returned from a visit to announce dismissively, “I hate the suburbs, so I’d never apply to Princeton.”

On the other hand, you may unexpectedly fall in love with a college you visit. I once recommended to a student that she take a close look at Johns Hopkins. I felt that her independent spirit and high academic standards would make her a great match for this research-driven university. Johns Hopkins thought so, too. Her mother told me that the moment they set foot on campus, the student turned to her and said, “This is my school.”

May each of you feel you have found your true home, and may you remain devoted to your alma mater all your life.

Dr. Marlena Corcoran
Founder and CEO