College Decision Tips
As you consider your offers of admission, you have many resources available to you.
We know that choosing a college is an enormous decision, so we want to make sure to provide you with all the information you need throughout the process. Feel free to contact us any time with questions, to set up a visit, or for specific information about academics, athletics, fine arts, or anything you would like to learn more about.
As always, you can talk with your admission counselor about making your decision by e-mailing or calling them directly. Or, you can e-mail a current Gustavus student to get their perspective. Your parents can even e-mail a Gustie parent.
Tips for Making Your Decision
Here are some common challenges that students face when choosing a college:
- Picking a college only because it looks impressive in the viewbooks and catalogs.
- Instead, pick a college based on a campus visit where you felt comfortable, met interesting people, and enjoyed your experience.
- Picking a college just because a family member went there.
- While you should involve your parents and family in the college search from the beginning, it's up to you to find a place to call home for the next four years. Sit down and talk about what you hope to gain from a college education and what things are important to you in a school.
- Ruling out a college based on its sticker price.
- Make sure you understand the financial aid process. Use the net price calculator to get an estimate of your actual cost. Explore your options with your high school counselor and admission counselor.
- Ruling out a college based on how close to (or far away from) home it is located.
- Pick a college that will become a home to you, where you can be an active and involved member of the community. Location is just part of the decision -- it's the overall experience that matters.
- Choosing a college just because it offers the major you have your heart set on.
- While your academic major is important, we encourage you to research the strengths of each college in the general areas that interest you. Select a school that will meet your needs even if your major changes.
- Choosing a college because all of your friends are going there.
- Instead, select a school where you will have opportunities to connect with all kinds of new people and form lasting friendships.
- Picking a college just because it has a good football (or tennis) team.
- Choose a college that offers many different activities to enhance your growth and enjoyment outside of the classroom. A well-rounded academic and extracurricular experience prepares you for success in whatever path you choose.
- Panicking if you are undecided on a major.
- Take a good look at statistics that will point to academic success: advising, retention, average class size, four-year graduation rate, and placement.
- Assuming that a larger school offers more opportunities and choices.
- Explore the many benefits of smaller colleges: personal attention from professors, no teaching assistants, individual academic advising, internship programs and research opportunities, ease of participating in campus activities, and, most importantly, access to these resources.