Tuesday, May 12, 2015

So You’ve Been Accepted – Now What?

By Naimeesha Murthy

World Education Services

Have you received acceptance letters from more than one college or university? Congratulations! Your perseverance and hard work have paid off, and now you have to make decisions that are judicious and timely. Here are four easy steps to help you make your decision.

1. Gather More Information: At this stage, you probably have a lot of information about every school on your list, but and diving a little deeper can help you make the best choice. Ever wondered how you can use 21st-century technology in your university search process? Listed below are a few resources from WES Student Advisor that will help you make more informed decisions:

· Use social media to shortlist universities and find first-hand information about U.S. schools

· Embrace newer technologies to gather information

· Doing your college search remotely and efficiently 

2. Explore and Compare Financial Aid and Scholarships: 
College is expensive. Since each school handles financial aid a little differently, you should find out about both costs and financial aid options.

When you're investigating and shortlisting schools don't rule out any college you like because of its cost. You may be able to get enough financial aid to cover the difference between what a college costs and what you can afford to pay. Wondering if there is any specific financial assistance available for international students? Follow the below steps to get some direction and make a sound decision:

i. Understand and set your education budget. Have an open discussion with your family about how much you can afford to spend each year.

ii. Find out if the school provides merit-based or need-based aid for international students.

iii. Check with government offices and elsewhere for scholarships in your home country.

iv. Check with an EducationUSA center or U.S. embassy for any additional scholarships for students within your country.

3. Make Your Decision: There are more than 4,000 colleges in the United States to choose from. Making a final decision is always confusing. Ask yourself the following questions before you make a choice:

· Do they have the courses of study I want?

· Does the college offer the social life I want?

· Can my family afford the investment? 

· What is the academic culture like, and does it fit me?

· Can I handle the work?

· What will my job prospects be like after I graduate? 

· Do the students like their teachers?

· Will I enjoy campus life?

· What student groups will I join?

· Where will I live?

· If I need advice, who will help me?

Finally, build a pros-and-cons list for yourself and weigh the outcomes.

4. Accept an offer and respond to the other schools: You don’t have to make a decision overnight. But remember that colleges are serious about reply deadlines. If you don’t send your deposit in on time, you risk losing your place.

Once you’ve decided which college you want to attend, inform all the other colleges that accepted you about your decision. How do you do it? Try something along these lines:

Dear Admissions Committee:

I am writing in response to your offer of admission to the XXX program at XXX University. I appreciate your interest in me, but I regret to inform you that I will not be accepting your offer of admission. Thank you for your time and consideration.


[Your Name]

Congrats again! Your admissions process is nearing its end. And if you follow these four steps, you can rest easy knowing that you made the best school decision for you.

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