By Jake Doll, Director of College Counseling
May 1st is soon upon us. In the college counseling office that means celebrating successes and helping students with that final push toward choosing their best fit college or university. In my experience, where most seniors are right now rarely fits the forecast they had in mind during this time last year as juniors. There is so much that happens between May of junior year and “now,” with the major decision from institutions completely out of students’ hands. Polishing up that superb essay, making sure the application is complete and accurate, connecting with appropriate teachers for those illustrious recommendation letters, and ensuring that deadlines are met is a greater portion of the student process (or… battle?).
Waiting can be painful. It can be tangible, and I hear about it directly from our seniors each year. May 1 is the “National College Decision Day” deadline that always receives so much hype. The process is different for every individual for a number of reasons.
Some students are early at handling their process and choose to set it behind them as soon as possible during senior year. Finding appropriate fit institutions, and allowing their instincts to take over in an early decision round is key to their comfort and illustrates the early work and preparation they have put in. Success comes by the holidays, and varying levels of senioritis can potentially set in (but that rarely happens here at YCDS!).
A majority of students keep their options open by taking their time to assemble appropriate match institutions, handle those important campus visits, and weigh all the pros/cons related (but not limited) to distance from home, tuition/costs, reputation and outcomes, program options, social dynamic, diversity, study abroad, living/eating, and using the combination of gut-heart-head to make that final important decision. Whether during an early round, or deciding in the spring, it takes research, visiting, assessment and understanding of self, and one’s personal instinct to make that appropriate fit a reality.
The class of 2018 is just about there as a whole for this year’s May 1 deadline. We have some incredible schools on the list thus far. The possibilities for our students still taking the time they deserve will definitely prove to be amazing institutions where our students will pursue their passions after YCDS. As of writing this blog entry, expect futures to be grown and fun to be had at the following campuses (listed alphabetically):
Connecticut College, Dickinson College, Florida State University, Gettysburg College, High Point University, Lafayette College, Lehigh University, Penn State University, Quinnipiac University, Temple University, University of the Arts, and Wake Forest University
I hope you will wish this year’s seniors all the luck and success they deserve. Come on, May 1!