College Decision Day Looms

Amanda Mier, Features Editor

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decision dayDevon Bortz

It’s mid-April. Spring – and pollen – are in the air. The last quarter of the school year looms, and so too does National College Decision Day on May 1. In just two short weeks, the Class of 2016 finalizes where they will spend the next four years. For some, like Lydia Cloud (’16), who will be attending NYU, this decision was made months ago due to binding early decision. For others who are undecided, this is crunch time: “It’s really stressful because I’m indecisive,” Isabella Ragazzi (’16) explained.  She has narrowed her choices down to Northeastern and UVA. Ragazzi suggests making “a pro/con list to narrow down school choices, but once you get down to two or three options, tour the schools and see how you feel on campus.”

This is advice that many Maggie Walker seniors have followed. However, each student’s college of choice and the factors they are attracted to are representative of the diversity of the student body. The most obvious contrast is between those who selected in-state versus those who chose out-of-state schools. For example, Wynne Barsanti (’16) was attracted to the financial and logistical facets of attending an in-state school, explaining that “it makes a lot more sense financially to go in-state… I wouldn’t have minded going somewhere farther away, but it is definitely convenient to be so close to home! Also now people can come visit me!” Others like Cloud sought the new experiences involved in going to an out-of-state college, saying that, “I’ve lived in Richmond my whole life, so I really wanted to go to school out of state… New York is also just such an exciting place and will be the perfect spot to get involved with internships and other professional opportunities.” Zach Bampton (’16), who will be attending Princeton in the fall, also suggests the transition to out-of-state schools. He emphasized that “college should be about new experiences, and going out-of-state is just another new experience to have,” and, he added “You don’t have to see anyone you know if you don’t want to!”

The college application process can be a high-stress and frustrating period. Celia Wilson is well aware of this trying situation. “The whole application process was really frustrating for me because I felt like I couldn’t apply to so many different schools just because I wouldn’t be able to pay for them if I got in,” she said.  However, Wilson was able to find the college that was the best fit for her: VCU, where she received significant scholarships, grants, and work-study options. “That will definitely help me and let me pursue a bunch of new things I might not be able to do without that extra wiggle room,” she said. Matt Ladocsi (’16), who was accepted early decision to Northeastern, explained that he “really struggled with the beginning of the process because I really didn’t know what I wanted from a college experience, and I felt pressured to try and get into easily recognized schools just because I was a Maggie Walker student.” For the many underclassmen who will be facing this same issue all too soon, he recommends “figuring out what [you] want from visiting different campuses and trying to evaluate how [you] feel about different things that [you see].”

For the seniors still struggling to make this decision, there is no need to fret – with so many great choices it’s impossible to make a wrong decision. As soon as the college deposit is paid, seniors can start worrying about the next decision they have to make: where to go for Beach Week.


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