Many students will apply and be admitted to several institutions. Whether you applied to one school or many schools, the process doesn’t stop there, and the final selection can seem overwhelming. We’ve put together some advice that helped each of us when we were choosing our universities, and we hope it can help you decide on your college of choice.
Brad’s Advice: Visit campus
Making sure that your eventual college of choice is the right fit for you is extremely important. You’ll be spending the next 4 years of your life on the campus you choose, so it’s important that you feel comfortable and at home, and that you’re confident that that you can thrive there. When I stepped on the campus of my alma mater for the first time, I knew it was the place for me - and those feelings were validated throughout my college career.
If you haven’t visited, you’ve probably searched the website of each school you applied to and have seen some great pictures. However, pictures can only do so much. Getting the feel for the campus environment and seeing it in person could completely change - or validate - the impressions you had. Interacting with students, faculty and staff will make certain that the campus not only fits what you want, but that you’ll be surrounding yourself with people who will help you succeed.
Even if you’ve visited the campus before, it may be time for a second visit, now that you’ve been admitted and the pool of potential schools has likely been narrowed. The first campus visit can be overwhelming and you may not have been ready to look for everything you are hoping from your college experience, or not asked all the questions that have developed since your first visit. Many campuses offer special visit programs specifically for admitted students that could provide a great perspective of what it will be like when you are a student. Check out CU Boulder’s Admitted Student Day on Saturday, April 7, 2018.
Try to figure out what is most important to you about your future campus and look for these things during your visit. For example:
Senior Assistant Director
Office of Admissions
Kate’s Advice: Research your academic program
Choosing a major or your academic focus is a critical step in deciding which school you will ultimately attend. If you already have a major set, great! Next, do some research on the department you will be joining. What type of research goes on at the university? What sort of experience and projects do the professors bring with them? What types of classes are offered each semester? These are all questions you should be asking yourself if you are choosing between different programs. If you are still undecided, that’s okay too! Check out the extensive list of majors and minors offered at each school you are considering. That way you can see what your options for majors are if you were to attend! Many schools also have academic advisors or professional staff on campus to help advise undecided students and assist them in navigating the process of exploring majors that interest them before making a final decision.
When I started my college journey, I was an undecided student! With the help of my academic advisor I was able to explore different classes that ultimately helped me find a major that was a perfect fit for me! I was able to gain internship experience by getting involved in offices on campus, and was able to get grant funding through research programs on top of getting class credit for labs.
There are a lot of fantastic academic resources for you on campus, so make sure you do your research and take advantage of these opportunities. It will help you immensely in the long run!
Office of Admissions
Clark’s Advice: Find out how to get involved
College is very much a social experiment and experience and the more engaged you are with campus, the greater your time there will be. That starts with getting involved. Extracurricular involvement is essential to your college experience and on a college campus, opportunities for involvement are endless. Just a simple search of flyers on a bulletin board, attending a campus engagement fair, or reading advertisements on the whiteboard of your classroom, you may find your next great passion. At first this may sound a little daunting because you will have SO much to pick from, but it’s also a time for you to push your boundaries and explore the things you haven’t before!
You’ll find there are some more “popular” options such as student government, intramural sports, religious and multicultural societies, pre-professional groups, and academic-based organizations. But don’t forget, this is YOUR chance to diversify YOUR experience. Look through the directory of student clubs to see if there is a music appreciation club, anime club, outdoor club, sports enthusiast club or something that aligns with a current interest you have. And if you’re unable to find an organization that appeals to you, look for the opportunity to initiate and start your own club. This can be as unique as you’d like it to be and who knows what friends and relationships could be made because of it. College is all about community, it’s just finding your fit!
Office of Admissions