Your 1st Step to Higher Education™
“CONGRATULATIONS! After carefully reviewing your application, we believe that you would make a valuable addition to our incoming class.”
Yes. Yes! YES! YES!!!!!
If you were realistic with your university selections, worked diligently on your applications, and received advice from a knowledgeable college advisor, you probably have a letter (or email) with words similar to the above framed in your room. If you were also blessed with a touch of luck, you might even have several such documents decorating your wall.
Oh, how we envy you!
If you are one such lucky ducky faced with the happy conundrum of picking between two or more offers of admittance, we’d like to help. Where you choose to spend the next three to five years of your life will, after all, have an impact far beyond just those few years. We suggest you start the decision-making process by mulling over the following:
The Quality of Your Offer:
What major(s) or college(s) within the university have you been admitted into? Are those subjects what you truly wish to study? If not, how feasible is it to switch to your academic subjects of choice?
Has the university offered you admission to special programs such as an honors program that would afford you more direct contact with professors (rather than with graduate teaching assistants) or thematic learning communities that would allow you to study a topic in-depth? Such smaller scale programs tailor-made for inquisitive and involved undergraduates give students better learning opportunities and greater satisfaction with their university experiences.
As much as we agree with Madonna that “love makes the world go ‘round”, we’re not so idealistic as to deny the importance of money.
If you’re an international student, then your chances of obtaining a further scholarship after your freshman year are very limited. Is taking out student loans an option? If you choose a lucrative career, it may be that your choice to attend a more expensive but higher-quality or better-regarded school will pay off throughout your adult life. Of course, don’t take on financial commitments that you are unlikely to be able to meet.
In other words, balance idealism with realism.
Advice from Others:
Here’s when we start contradicting ourselves. As we dispense advice on making your final university decision, we’d also like to warn you not to swallow others’ counsel – even ours – whole. Why?
Take your parents, to start with. Whether you realize it or not, they are most likely the people who love you most in the world. As such, their advice is with your best interests in mind. However, what you want for your career and life and what they want for you may occasionally be at odds. Take their advice, your college counselor’s advice, and your friends’ advice, seriously. At the end of the day, though, your college choice should be your responsibility. You are, after all, the one who will be attending the classes and carrying the degree around for the rest of your life.
Imagine Yourself at 40:
Or 50. Or 60.
What are your long-term goals related to career, family, lifestyle, etc.? Will your university choice help you toward realizing your dreams?
Many people also choose universities based on rankings or branding. A well-ranked university, however, may not have a strong program in your preferred major, say, international business. Another university a few notches lower in this year’s ranking may, on the other hand, offer a world-renowned department in your subject. Rankings do not denote fit.
On a related note, a degree from a highly ranked, selective university might make you more employable, especially early in your career. However, it is what you learn and how you grow through university that will ultimately help you advance in your career and life. Make sure you pick the university that is the right match for you. You will not only be happier for it, but also gain the tools to build a more satisfying and successful career and life.
If you have the means for and interest in visiting, GO! Although university brochures; college admissions blogs; and input from guidance counselors, family, and friends are priceless tools to help you make the big decision, nothing can truly substitute an in-person campus visit. Real-life visits can ultimately give you the gut feeling you need to make a solid choice – and not turn back.
If, however, flying abroad is not feasible, then do the next best thing: Talk to current or recent students face to face. Keep in mind that one student’s experience is not everyone’s experience, but ask questions that will help you gauge if the university is the right place for you.
If you were put on the waitlist of your preferred program, hold the bird in your hand while keeping within eyesight the other. Normally, enrollment deposits are only a few hundred dollars, so it’s worth it to pay the deposit on your favorite school you were fully admitted to. Reserve your seat and calmly wait for a decision from the other program. We recommend, of course, that you submit additional documentation to increase your chances your admissions packet will be shifted from the waitlist pile to the admit pile. If you won additional awards, completed certificates, scored better in school or standardized tests, etc. since you submitted your application, inform the admissions office of these achievements while re-expressing your keen interest in the university.
Happy university-picking, you lucky things! We hope you make the right decision for you and enjoy the ride.
Enjoy a special 15% discount on all SAT group classes, when you sign up with a friend!
Offer ends 31st May.
61 Stamford Road,
Stamford Court, #01-01
Tel: +65 63366551