May 1 is College Decision Day, and this year, nothing feels the same. In a season that would be filled with college visits, prom and the celebrations that mark your senior year of high school, you’re finishing up your classes at home and talking to your friends on FaceTime and Zoom.
For many colleges and universities, May 1 is often the deadline for students to make deposits to attend the college of their choice. While you can still apply for the Fall 2020 semester and pay your deposit to attend Trevecca after May 1, it's to your advantage to do so early, because it may influence your overall scholarship package and allows you to take part in important events, like summer orientation.
So, how do you make your college decision in a COVID-19 world? We’ve got a few tips to help you make an informed decision.
- Visit—virtually. College visits are difficult when you’re social distancing. Don’t worry! Many colleges and universities have created virtual campus visits and preview days that allow you to interact with faculty, explore campus and even hear from current students. So, make plans to “visit” your top picks now—without the travel and from the comfort of your own home! At Trevecca, you can view a virtual tour and get more information about the University on our website. Want to check out our recent Experience Trevecca Day virtual event? Visit us on Facebook.
- Check your mail. You filled out all the application info and you gave the colleges you're considering your mailing address as well as your email address. So remember to check both! Admissions and financial aid offices may need more information and are apt to ask for it in an email. If you don't answer in a reasonable time frame, it will hold up the process. Most colleges and universities still send acceptance letters via the postal service, so don't ignore your mailbox either. You'll also want to watch for important info regarding summer orientation and registration, residence hall assignments and other important news. Don't slow down the decision process by not responding to something important!
- Do your research. Talk with your admissions counselor, but don't stop there. Ask to talk or email with a faculty member in a program you’re interested in or a current student to get an idea of campus culture. Follow the colleges you're considering on social media to get a glimpse at what it’s like to live there. If something is really important to you—from class size to residential life to intramural sports and everything in between—don't be afraid to ask questions. Choosing which college to attend is a big decision and you need to make sure you have all the information you need to make your choice. In the midst of a global pandemic, it’s even more important, so don’t be afraid to reach out. At Trevecca, we want to help you and welcome questions, calls and emails.
- Review financial aid offers. If you've applied to several schools, you've probably gotten some information about financial aid options. Set aside some time to really read through them and understand what each school is offering you. You may even want to create a chart that helps you compare the offers. Find out the full cost to attend each university and subtract the full amount of the financial aid packages. The difference is the amount you and your family will be responsible for paying. Talk everything through with your parents and discuss which options work best for you. Need more information? Set up a call or virtual meeting with one of Trevecca’s financial aid advisors by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Pray. College is a big decision and while you'll get a ton of great advice from admissions counselors, your parents and others, you need to seek God's direction, too. Ask Him for wisdom in making the decision and for God to make clear where He wants you to be, so that you can grow in relationship with Him, discern your calling, and serve Him now and in the future. In the midst of all the uncertainty and upheaval COVID-19 has brought to our lives, this is even more important. Take some time to focus on what’s certain in the uncertainty: the unchanging, flawless character of God. This blog post from Trevecca’s University chaplain can help!