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Decision Time

May 1 is almost here.


May 1 formally known as "The National Candidates Reply Date” is the day deadline for students to respond and pick the college where they want to enroll. Have your payment ready because picking includes making a deposit toward your fall tuition.



Some schools also require you to apply for housing at the same time, for instance the University of Southern California. So do your research and don’t be surprised.



Student enrollment deposits range from $200 to-$500 depending on the college.




The UCs and CSU call it a SIR or Statement of Intent to Register and charge $250.00. Low income students who received a fee waiver can have that payment deferred until financial aid starts. UC and CSU. Contact the financial aid office if you have not already heard about deposit.



For low income students at other colleges, contact the college financial aid office before May 1 to see if your payment will be deferred.


Many paths to college

Now what?


How do you make this decision?

Step # 1: Breathe.


Step# 2: What is important to you?

If you went through the college search process with diligence, all of your colleges would have many of the traits you are looking for in a college. Think about the following:

· Which school offers most of what you want in your college experience.?


Generally no school will have absolutely everything that you think is important for you, so pick the top 4 things you really want in a school:




What to consider:



Academics:

Majors and courses offered

Read through the curriculum, are there classes you would love to take?

Are their internships, hands-on research opportunities?

Is the academic level of rigor what you are looking for?


Location/Physical:

Geographical location, weather, and overall atmosphere

Type of campus, traditional or not

Area surrounding the campus, how much does it matter? Remember you will be spending more time on campus than you expect!


Social:

Are their sufficient support services on campus to help you transition to college life, such as mental health, writing support, tutoring?

Social outlets such as clubs, sports, activities?

What is the size of the school?

How willing are you to self-advocate to get what you need?



Financial:

Can you afford to attend?

This is an essential conversation to have with your parents.

Financial fit. Can you and your family afford to attend the college? (http://www.getsmartforcollege.com/post/2017/04/16/understanding-financial-aid-awards)

How much debt, if any, can you reasonably afford? Here is a student loan calculator Make sure you understand what your obligations are.



Step #3: Make a decision!

Lay out all of your elements and choose.

Still not sure, look up student comments and reviews on sites such as You Tube, Niche and Unigo


Step #4: Be confident!

Don’t second guess yourself! Remember that how you do at college depends on you and what you do!

You can thrive at any of the colleges on your list.

There are NO bad choices



So get smart about your choices and make them with confidence.

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