By Carolyn Menyes
Today Show: College Admission Day
May 1 is the unofficial College Admission Day, when most universities have set the deadline for high school seniors to choose whether or not to attend their college. With that date arriving in less than three weeks, students all across the country have a decision to make.
Today Show’s Matt Lauer interviewed three college admissions officers about what steps students should take in the coming weeks to make their decision:
- University of Michigan Vice Provost and Dean of Admission Ted Spencer
- Hamilton College Dean of Admission and Financial Aid Monica Inzer
- Arizona State University Director of Admission David Burge
Today Show: Facing College Rejection Letters
All three panelists agreed that not getting into your college of choice isn’t the end of the world, although it can be difficult.
“Rejection is really tough. For some students, it’s the first time they’ve faces rejection in their lives. They feel really sad, like they’ve been kicked in the gut,” said Mary Smith.
However, she advised students to pick themselves up and take the rejection as a life lesson and opportunity to look at colleges that you may have overlooked otherwise.
Today Show: Second Vs Third Choice Schools
David Burge agreed, stating that rejection from a first choice college allows prospective students to look at their second and third choice schools in a different light. Ted Spencer added that three criteria: academic reputation, the social life and “all those good things” can be taken from your first choice school and then applied to number two.
Smith emphasized that students shouldn’t focus too much energy on rejection and should invest their focus and their time on looking into the places they have gotten into, as opposed to appealing a rejection.
Today Show: Choosing Between More Than One College
Mary Smith said that a student getting into more than one school changes the balance. The waiting and anticipation they faced is now on the university’s side… it’s a revenge, of sorts.
“It gives the students a lot of leverage for schools that don’t have a long wait list. If I want you, I’m going to say ‘Look, we’re excited about the opportunity that you’re still interested in us.’ We may put more money in the financial aid package, or we may just contact you,” said Ted Spencer.
Today Show: University Value Vs Cost
Smith then went on to say that students can “haggle” with things such as financial aid, because economic hardships can be overlooked. Price shouldn’t necessarily always be a deciding factor, however. She also emphasized value over cost.
The panelists, particularly David Burge thought students should “absolutely” visit every prospective school. However, for those who may not be able to go, Burge recommended social networks, like the one they have at Arizona State, can be useful for getting to know fellow students.
Ultimately, Spencer concluded the segment by stating that choosing a college is ultimately a family decision with multiple factors.