It might seem like it will never happen (the time between applying and acceptance can seem to take forever), then you receive your first acceptance letter, and your second and your third, etc.. Now that you have options, you are probably wondering how to select which offer to accept. We’ve already covered how to select which Post-Secondary Institutions to apply to (you can read the full article here), so we thought an article that covers which offer to accept should also be included. Some Post-Secondary Institutions have already started sending out their early acceptance letters (though not all of them, so if you have not received an answer yet, do not panic). It is important to mention that many Post-Secondary Institutions have a few rounds of sending acceptance letters, so you should be patient before accepting/declining any offers.
One of the easiest ways to eliminate Post-Secondary Institutions’ offers is to see which program you were accepted into. If it is not the one you were hoping for (your safety school/program), you can decline to attend. Once again, we will stress that you should wait until you receive answers from all of the Institutions that you applied to before giving answers (unless the letters specify dates for acceptance/rejection which are before you receive your answers).
Another resource is to talk to the people around you. You can ask your friends, family, your guidance counsellor, etc. before making a decision. If you are still not sure, you can go to the campus and talk to some people there (if you haven’t already during the open houses that many have). Even if you did go, it might be a good idea to walk around and see if anything has changed in your way of looking at the campus. If you know someone who has gone to that school, ask them about their experiences and whether they would recommend it for you. Then, decide based on what they said whether you want to go or not. For example, if you ask your friend who is a couple of years older whether they enjoy going to ABC College and they say no, because it does not have the club they wanted. If you are not interested in that club, or clubs in general, this might not be a good reason to not attend that College.
If you are interested in any extra-curriculars (sports, clubs, etc.), you should make sure that they are still offered at the Post-Secondary Institution. Though, it should be said that this probably should not be the only reason you accept one or another. After all, clubs/teams etc. are easy come, easy go. If a Post-Secondary Institution does not have a club you want, you can always start it yourself (most have a pretty simple process to help you out).
A big thing that you should consider is financing. A lot of Institutions will send a letter detailing any scholarships that you qualify for (generally these are the ones that you do not need to apply to). These are generally the ones that are based on your marks from high school (e.g. having an average over 80% automatically means you are eligible for X amount of money over your schooling, provided you keep the average). If you want to attend a school and think you will not be able to finance it, you can talk to the school’s registrar’s office or their financial aid office. They can often help you with those matters, or let you know who the correct person/office is to contact.
For some students, the Post-Secondary Institution’s reputation has a lot to do with whether they accept or not. This is a personal choice. If you would like to say that you go to Prestigious University A, then that is up to you. If you are accepted to two or more Post-Secondary Institutions and everything is the same (programs, scholarships, fees, etc.), then reputation might be what helps you decide one way or the other.
DID YOU KNOW?
A guidance counsellor can be an excellent resource to help you decide which Post-Secondary Institution’s offer to accept.
We should also cover a few reasons that we think are not a good reason to select a Post-Secondary Institution. First and foremost, do not select one because your friends are going there. Unless you are in the same program (and even then it is not guaranteed), you will probably not be seeing a lot of each other. It is easier to just decide to meet up when you all have time instead of trying to see each other around campus. Next, do not select a school because other people tell you it is where you should go. It is a good idea (as covered above) to listen to them, but in the end, it is your life and your decision. One of the less quantifiable, but no less important, reasons to not select a Post-Secondary Institution is if your gut feeling says “no”. You might not have any real reason, but if you are not “feeling it”, do not accept.
This is not a decision that should be rushed into. It is something that should be thought out and planned. After you have all of your offers, then you can decide where you would like to go. Do not rush into a decision just because they were the first to offer. Take into account the program, what your peers and family say, financial status (including scholarships, tuition, etc.) and, if it is something you are interested in, the reputation. When you balance out all of the above, you should have a better understanding of where you would like to go.
Have fun and enjoy the experience!