Student Advice: Choosing Where to Enroll

March 20, 2018

It’s a great feeling when you get multiple acceptances from the colleges you’ve applied to, but it can also be a challenging time deciding where to enroll!

The tables have turned! Now, it’s colleges turn to wait to hear about your enrollment decision. How do you choose among the colleges you’ve been accepted to? Sometimes it’s just a gut decision, while others might be more practical reasons like financial aid. See how students before you ultimately made their decision about where to spend their next 4 years:

1. Academic Curriculum is the Key Factor

Student Advice from Michaelkearney

Brown University ‘20

“The Open Curriculum was the biggest pull to Brown for me. There are no distribution requirements and all the other requirements are really lax. People here forge their own path. I’m planning a career in transportation infrastructure with a computer science focus, so I can craft an experience here that will enable me to pursue that path well, and I don’t have to be bogged down by 18th Century French Literature. Brown has really fantastic facilities for the sciences. They’re known more as a humanities school, so in recent years they’ve put a lot of money into upgrading their science facilities, which are now state of the art. Brown also has a great computer science program.”

Unlock his Brown application profile to learn more about his application journey!

2. Program & Merit Scholarships

Student Advice from priya_a

Stony Brook University ‘20

“Stony Brook has a great program for science, and they actually allow for merit scholarships, so you can go at an extremely affordable price. They also had my dream major, (not biology but a subspecialty) which I was honestly extremely surprised about. Public colleges are unique in that they give you a lot of great experiences if you know how to look, so definitely do!”

Unlock her SUNY profile for her application essays and advice!

3. Alumni Network & Career Prospects

Student Advice from bmwendel

University of Southern California ‘21

“USC offers me the widest variety of options in theatre with strong alumni and industry connections and a focus on doing work. Student productions happen all the time on campus and I can work as much or as little as I want. It was the least limiting program with the most to learn. Compare to UCLA, which was my top choice, a school that sets pretty strict limits on its students.”

Unlock his USC profile to view his full successful application file.

4. Well-Rounded Evaluation

Student Advice from TexasJacket

Georgia Institute of Technology ‘21

“My decision process went as follows: I knew I would not be going to UTD, since it was my safety choice and way too close to home. I ruled out Northeastern and Case Western, because they were out of my price range, even with the large scholarships they both offered. Rice and CMU eventually came off the table for the poor financial aid packages, even though I would have loved to attend either school. At USC, I decided that my degree plan would not be flexible enough to allow me to study multiple other subjects, without taking summer classes.

I eventually was choosing between U Minnesota, UT-Austin, and Georgia Tech. All three were around the same price (I received a scholarship for in-state tuition at Georgia Tech, 20k/yr from Minnesota, and 5k/yr at UT bringing them all to the same level. I made sample degree plans at each of the three schools, selecting various majors at each. Georgia Tech was clearly the most flexible (they accepted my dual enrollment credits, as did the other 2 schools) and offered a wonderful LLC called SMaRT, so that I would have a built-in community. UT and Minnesota did not give me the same sense of pride and joy as Georgia Tech and ultimately would not have let me pursue the academic path I am on.”

Unlock her Georgia Tech profile to see how she crafted her college application!

5. Narrowing Down My Options

Student Advice from dartstudent

Dartmouth College ‘20

“I was lucky enough to be accepted to a variety of schools (mostly because I applied to a lot of schools)—public, private, and liberal arts colleges in different locations in the U.S. I knew that I wanted to go somewhere the students had support, and where I could interact with professors and ask questions.  

Towards the end of April, I was deciding between three colleges (Amherst, Swarthmore, and Dartmouth) that had similarities in education (their professors have a great reputation for teaching well, not just for being famous or intelligent, and all of them have a liberal arts style education) but many differences in culture.

I chose Dartmouth because its culture is kind of a mix of liberal arts school and traditional private university. The food and the campus were also a plus (I visited all three, and I think all three campuses are gorgeous—I just personally liked Dartmouth’s the most). I will admit there are things I like more about the other two colleges—Amherst and Swarthmore are known to actively work to be inclusive of minorities (racial minorities, LGBT+ students, etc.) Both are also closer to big cities- Swarthmore is only a few minutes away from Philly, and Amherst is an hour from Boston and three hours from New York. The latter isn’t a huge problem for me, since I like rural areas as much as I like cities, but it might be for some other people.”

Unlock her Dartmouth profile to see how she crafted her college application!

Applying to college?
View the app files and essays of accepted students.

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For further access, our premium plans offer different levels of profile access and data insights that can help you get into your dream school. Unlock any of our packages or search our undergraduate profile database to find specific profiles that can help you make an informed choice about where to apply! We have 60,000+ successful college application files uploaded by college students. See how they got in, and how you can too!

About The Author

Frances Wong
Frances Wong

Frances was born in Hong Kong and received her bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University. She loves super sad drama television, cooking, and reading. Her favorite person on Earth isn’t actually a member of the AdmitSee team - it’s her dog Cooper.


Browse Successful Application Files

Brown ‘20

Accepted to Brown, Cornell, CMU, Wesleyan, William & Mary, Case, Villanova, Binghamton, RPI, WPI

Hi! I'm a junior at Brown University studying Biochemistry and English. I am very interested in accessible healthcare for marginalized populations. I also love poetry!
Dartmouth ‘21

Accepted to Dartmouth, Emory, William & Mary, Richmond, Rochester, BC, Washington, Northeastern, Drexel, Fordham, UCLA, USC, UC Berkeley, UCSB, UCSD

Dartmouth Class of 2021
Dartmouth ‘20

Accepted to Dartmouth, Bryn Mawr, Case, Cornell, GA Tech, Holyoke, NYU, Smith, UC Berkeley, UCSC, San Diego, UC Davis, UC Irvine, Illinois, Wisconsin

Mira / 20 / INTJ. I’m really passionate about design!
Dartmouth ‘20

Accepted to Dartmouth, Vanderbilt, UConn

Hi there! I'm an enthusiastic, passionate person whose hobbies include reading books and playing the flute. I'm still undecided in terms of what to major in; I'm considering engineering, music, pre-med, and economics at the moment.

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