NBC NEWS – National College Decision Day is almost here, a deadline the class of 2021 has been preparing for since their junior year!
The pressure is on for high school seniors across the country... the deadline to make final college and university decisions is May 1.
So, how does a student choose? Experts say make a list of what is important to you with everything from location, majors, and even divisional sports.
"There's so much hype and so much in U.S. news and so much around the rankings around where you have to go but really looking at the fit and where you belong," said Halley Shefler, the Founder & CEO of ArtsBridge.
Finances also play a big factor. Consider where you want to be in 5 years and if the cost of the education will garner you an appropriate salary after graduation. And use your financial aid package to negotiate with other schools.
"Maybe it'll help by a few thousand but a few thousand is better than no thousand," Shefler added.
What if you were waitlisted?
"It's really a mistake that students make to think that it's something that they did to cause them to be on the waitlist and it's really all about what's happening on the college side of things," said Shaun Ramsay, ArtsBridge Vice President.
Cancellations of SAT and ACT's during the pandemic forced colleges to adopt test-optional policies when applying to schools.
"Universities have seen 20,30 40,50, 60% increases in their applications, as a result, colleges have no choice but to put all of these very qualified students on a waitlist," said Ramsay.
If you don't get into your dream school, experts say consider community college and transferring in your sophomore or junior year.
A new ArtsBridge survey asked if college in a COVID-era is worth it. Sixty-two percent of high school seniors and their parents worry the experience won't be the same while 82% of college freshman say they'd do it again.