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Decision Day | Zach Danon

With college decision day quickly approaching, high school Seniors have important decisions to make in a tight timeframe. By May 1, Seniors will need to declare what school we plan on attending if college is the route we choose. There are a multitude of factors that will influence our decisions and each family has certain things that they are looking for in a school. Since this day is officially three weeks away, below are some things to consider when making this decision.

Choosing a college is all about finding a place where you will be pushed to succeed and grow while feeling comfortable. Thus, the fit of a school is something that you should look at while making your decision. College is a four year commitment for a lot of people, unless you transfer or go to community first, so finding a place that will be your home for four years is extremely important.

Do not let the tour of a college be what makes or breaks your decision. So many factors will play a role in whether or not you enjoy the tour and the tour is meant to highlight all of the positive things about the school. For instance, a sunny day where you feel well rested and eat good food on campus versus a rainy or cold day and the food being bad will obviously impact your thoughts about the tour. Talking to a current student, not a tour guide, or a friend who goes there is a great way to get an idea of what the school is actually like.

Money. College is expensive. As each year passes by and college gets more and more expensive it gets harder for people to afford college. Make sure that your FAFSA is filled out even if you don’t think you qualify for it. Going into debt or taking out huge loans is not the best idea when it comes to college. 28% of adults who are in their 30s have student loan debt and I promise none of us want to be in that position.

Pick a school that truly cares about their students. A good way to see this is to look at what the school did during the COVID-19 pandemic and how they conducted themselves during online learning. Schools that have good student outreach programs and care about the mental and physical health of students is extremely important.

Your safety on campus is crucial and it is also something your parents will take into account heavily. Schools with on campus police, easy ways to get help, and a low on campus crime rate are critical when deciding on a school. For example, USC is not in the best area of Los Angeles, however, they combat this by giving free rides within two miles of campus and having good security for students.

Community college is also a great decision for a variety of reasons and it is not something that should be looked down upon. It saves a lot of money while you take some of your lower level classes for your major. If you aren’t sure about the colleges you got into it’s probably a good idea to go the community college route instead of trying to force yourself to like a four year. If your grades or extracurriculars weren’t super strong in high school it also is a good idea to go this route.

Hopefully, everything above can aid you while making this tough decision. Whatever college you choose to attend, just know that your decision is not permanent and you can change it at any time. Good luck, CCA!

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