You got in! Now what?



You got in! Now what?

By Dr. Adam Lowenstein
Vice President of Counseling & Enrollment

image galleryWhy do colleges and universities send out final admissions notifications on April Fools Day? What kind of sick joke is that, right? Thankfully, admission officers are adults, and they are too mature (or serious-minded) to play an April fools joke on their applicants. That isn't to say they don't accidentally accept students and then have to retract their offer, as happened last year at Johns Hopkins. But they would never (never!) do that on purpose. Right?

If you know otherwise, let me know. But I think I'm safe in assuming that you have all heard back--with good faith offers or denials--from your schools, gleeful at one moment and despondent at the next. Columbia said yes but UC Davis said no? What's up with that? UCLA gave you a Regents Scholarship but Irvine shined you on? What gives? Alas, the mysteries of the college admissions office! It is a blacker box than the one Schroedinger's cat lives in (or does not live in).

Now to the hard part. You've got those fat envelopes in front of you, and you really just can't decide. Can you handle the cold weather of the Northeast? Can you stand to be within 100 miles of home? Should I be worried about Stanford Duck Syndrome?

Here's what to do first: Visit. Stay overnight on campus if you can swing it. Go to classes, eat in the dining halls, check out the facilities and the neighborhood.

Next, reach out to each schools' alumni. Ask around. Do you know anybody who went there recently, or in the past several years? What was their experience like? Where are they now?

OK, so now you've narrowed it down to two or three. What next? If it's about the money, call our offices immediately to schedule an appointment with our Financial Aid Counselor, Becky Priest. Formerly a financial aid officer at the prestigious Washington University in St. Louis, Ms. Priest has all the knowledge and expertise to help you navigate your financial aid offers and make the best decision. She can even help you draft an appeal, if appropriate.

Mostly, your decision should be an informed one, arrived at through research and reflection. And remember, if you decide based on prestige rather than fit, you're marrying for money, so to speak, and we've all seen enough Real Housewives to know how that turns out.

As always, Summa's counselors are here to help you with the decision and the transition, so don't hesitate to make an appointment to come talk to us!