Oberlin Blogs

Making Your College Choice

March 22, 2022

Josh Levy ’94, Office of Admissions

Congratulations, members of the Class of 2026! We are excited to have read your applications and to have you consider joining us this fall. Decisions have been out for a few days and some students have told us yes (yay!!!) while others have said no (boo!). The reality is that most students wait until the last few days, which drives our Dean crazy. So if you're looking for some ways to help you make your decision, read on.

1. Visit campus. We are so happy to be welcoming visitors to campus for in-person admitted student programming -- we call it All Roads Lead to Oberlin. What can you do while you're on campus? Sit in on a class, interact with Obies and professors, enjoy a meal in the dining hall, and meet other new Obies. You can also pick up some buttons and stickers like you see below.

All Roads Stickers and Buttons

2. Engage virtually. Can't make it to campus? No worries. We have loads of virtual programming for you. We are hosting webinars on the engaged liberal arts, music for arts and sciences students, housing and dining, and what to expect in your first year. There will also be a parent-to-parent session, so tell your folks.

3. Attend the Virtual Academic Fair. Did you ever attend a college fair, where lots of schools had representatives in a gym for you to wander and gather information? Our academic fair is like that, but more fun. You can jump from Zoom meeting to Zoom meeting, learning about different academic deaprtments and programs from faculty and (possibly) students.

4. Talk to people you know. Everyone will have an opinion on where you fit best, so ask them for it. Ask your friends, teachers, and family what they know about the colleges that admitted you and see what they say about them, both good and bad. Ask them if they think you'd enjoy the schools and why. You'd be surprised at what you can learn.

5. Make lists. Sometimes you just need to take a sheet of paper, make a pro side and a con side, and start writing. More than 15 years ago, Amy Dickinson, the author of "Ask Amy" (a newspaper advice column), received a question from a reader: "I have a problem. I got accepted to Harvard and Yale. My dad went to Yale, my mother to Harvard. Each of them keeps pressuring me to go to the school he or she went to! How do I choose without hurting the other parent's feelings?"

Amy's response is perfect: "You should let your folks know that their pressure is making this decision much harder for you. I'm going to suggest a method from my 'classics' file of decision-making. Take both of your parents completely out of the picture. Completely. Label one sheet of paper 'Harvard' and another 'Yale.' Make a list of every quality you can think of regarding both schools. Make your choice based only on what would be the best for you. Then go to Oberlin."

So congratulations on your admission. Please come and visit us. Please attend our virtual events. Please make the choice that is right for you. We would LOVE for that to be Oberlin, but in the end, only you know what's best for you.

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