College Decision Day Looms

May 1 is the unofficial decision day, but this deadline can cause many seniors to worry and panic.

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Vivian Haggard

Dunbar’s College and Career Center is a good place for seniors to go to learn more about their options and to start making plans for their futures.

With the school year approaching an end for Dunbar students, Seniors are at the finish line for completing their high school journey. For some, also comes the decision of which college to continue their education, but how did they come to their decision?

For seniors, May 1 is notorious as the deadline for deciding on a college to attend. Though this can vary on certain colleges, it’s universally known that by that time seniors wishing to go to college should have committed, or at the very least, have an idea on where to go for college.

“The National Association of College Admission Counseling (NACAC), the group that oversees college admission practices, has set May 1 as the deadline,” according to Creighton University.

“Largely, this policy exists to protect students. Students should have all of the information they need before making a decision.”

For a direct answer on which college to go to, there’s almost never a perfect or satisfying answer. And simply put, the best college for someone to go to may have to do with certain, personal factors, which can vary greatly between students.

One way to think about choosing is by reflecting on a few requirements while pursuing a career. Does the college support your career, is it populated or smaller, do they have scholarship options, etc.?

“You need to evaluate the interests and personality traits that most strongly affect your daily life and consider they will impact your college experience,” according to PrepScholar. “If you have a field of study in mind, then you should go somewhere that has strong academic offerings in that area.”

Even with an idea of a career and having personal requirements fulfilled, deciding on the college to go to can still be stressful. But whether an idea of a college is ensured or not, it could never hurt to do a college campus tour.

A campus tour is just as it sounds, allowing potential future students to explore and see what living on the campus would be like. With guides and information available, going on these tours may give a better idea of which college to attend later. 

“A campus tour is your opportunity to get a firsthand view of a college. A college catalog, brochure, or website can only show you so much,” according to CollegeBoard. “To really get a feel for the college, you need to walk around the quad, sit in on a class and visit the dorms.” 

But arguably the best advice to acknowledge comes from the very seniors who have researched and come up with the college they’ve decided to attend. And with different seniors, with contrasting goals, careers, and paths to tackle, the thought process on their decision also differs. Some may directly look at their career path and decide on that.

“[At] The University of Cincinnati, I’m going to be majoring in graphic design. There’s a really good graphic design program which I wanted to go into for my profession,” senior Alex Klement said. 

However, though some may look directly at a career path, others may see the broad and financial side of choosing a college, looking into opportunities and financial aid given by certain schools. 

“So I researched about 10 schools I think, then I applied to all of them and looked at what financial aid and scholarship opportunities they gave me, narrowing down my list,” senior Dominic Verry said.

“I ended up choosing Centre [College] because they gave good finance aid and gave me a lot of opportunities I really liked.”