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Deciding on a College to Attend

Choosing from among acceptances
And you thought it was all over! For the past year or more, you've been looking at college catalogs with your child, visiting campuses, driving him to the SATs and ACTs, reminding him to send out applications. When that last one went in the mailbox, you sighed with relief.

But suddenly, your mailbox is again filled with envelopes from colleges. Your son was accepted at three of the four colleges he wanted to attend! Now what? In a way, choosing from among acceptances is a bit like choosing which schools to apply to. The difference is that, during the pre-application period, you gathered information about each college, so now you already know quite a bit about them. Have your child drag out those notes and observations taken during summer visits or interviews at the various colleges to refresh his memory. Was one preferred over another? Why?

If you and your teen narrow the field to two, and either of you have uncertainties, try to visit each campus again and talk to current students, administrators, and faculty members. If possible, arrange for your child to sit in on a class or two. It may have been months since he first visited the campus, and fresh impressions often help a student to make a choice.

When you have considered all the factors together and your child makes a decision, allow him to go with it. Unless there are major negative factors that just came to your attention (such as safety issues), it is important to let your child take responsibility for his future. Breathe another sigh of relief -- until it is time to pack for freshman year!

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