Ask the College Counselor!

Q: I can't decide where I should enroll in college. I was accepted by four schools, have decided against two of them, but now I can't decide between the other two. They are both great schools. I have visited them, but don't have enough time to go back for a second visit. Can I send enrollment deposits to both places and then make my final decision later?

A: No – May 1 is the universal enrollment deadline in the US. It is against the professional ethics set out by the National Association of College Admissions Counselors (NACAC) for students to enroll at more than one college or university. High schools are bound by these rules, too, so they are not allowed to send more than one final transcript for a student. Without this final transcript in hand, a college will not officially enroll a student. So even if you attempt to double-deposit, you will not be able to double-enroll.

It is sometimes extremely difficult to make decisions, especially when the decision is not that clear-cut. But within a week, you must commit yourself to one place. Since you obviously did your research, you will be choosing between two known quantities.

If you have not done so yet, ask your college counselor about alumni from your school who are currently at each of these colleges. Get in touch with them by phone or e-mail and ask why they decided on their school, and if they are pleased with their choices.

In addition, you ought to consider making a PRO/CON chart. Write down for each school its:

• size

• distance from your home

• average class size

• the accessibility of professors

• the number of full-time vs. number of part-time teachers

• the strength and variety of the extra-curricular programs

• an assessment of the campus "climate" (the "feel" of the place)

• the yearly cost

This will help you make a rational decision on top of the emotional one you must make. And then – pick one! It sounds like you can't go wrong!