LONG ISLAND — If you are the parent of a high school senior, you know that decision day is Sunday.
That commitment to a college brings many concerns and hurdles for families. CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan spoke to experts, academics, parents and, of course, students.
Sara Keenan of Whitestone, Queens is about to make her college pick.
“I’m super excited. I can’t wait to start my future as a nurse,’ Keenan said.
Sara and her father, Tim Keenan, have visited the campuses of her final three choices.
“This is my oldest, so it’s our first college experience, so there are a lot of questions, even for parents,” Tim Keenan said.
“Meeting with the admissions counselor, discussing last-minute financial aid stuff and scholarship awards,” Sara Keenan added.
A lot is looming for high school seniors. A dorm or an apartment? A roommate or commuting?
Vicki Vollweiler is a college financial advisor.
“Participating in a work-study program. Can they get a part-time job on campus? Will the parents be providing that allowance for them?” Vollweiler said. “It’s important to realize that there are additional costs, whether it is extra meals on Sundays, joining a fraternity or sorority.”
Decision day can bring family stress.
“My mom was secretly panicking. I was the last child in the house. It was kind of like, ‘Oh my gosh, my baby is leaving,'” Molloy College student Goldera Surles said.
Dev Sehgal said his family fears the social life.
“They were always like worried about my safety,” Sehgal said.
Jacqueline Romero’s sisters are twins. She wonders if they’ll be OK separating.
“My twin sisters are committed — one to Molloy and the other to Adelphi University,” said Romero, who attends Molloy.
Christelle Derisme’s family is concerned about commuting.
“I do work outside of school, so most of my money goes towards gas prices right now,” Derisme said.
“I think it’s really important that parents and the students are aware of all the support services available to them at colleges, many of which are free. They are part of the tuition. So counseling, for example, that’s free, confidential, limitless appointments,” said Janine Biscari, VP of student affairs at Molloy.
“There will be events and opportunities for you to connect with mentors and peers on campus, as well as academic advisors,” said Shawany Singletary, Adelphi’s chief enrollment officer.
Students are urged to visit campuses over the summer beyond orientation and scour the schools’ websites to develop relationships prior to the first day of class.
Hofstra leaders say ignore lists, adding the best college is the one you choose.
“You have researched these places, right? There have been things about them that are attractive to you. Now, once you have made that decision, dive into those things. Most successful college experiences come out of relationships,” said W. Houston Dougharty, Hofstra’s QP of student affairs.
Michael Tweed is an educational consultant.
“What if I don’t like the food? I think sometimes we can get caught up in the details. Look at the bigger picture. You are picking hopefully a school that is the best fit for you. That college has said we accept you. Some colleges said here’s some money for you to attend our school. Go and embrace the situation. This is a part that is different than the
cookie cutter experience you had in high school,” Tweed said.
“We know how powerful education is and we are excited to bring you on so that you can fulfill your dreams,” Singletary added.
On the ride of your life.
Be sure to review all financial aid packages. Note that you can change your mind after accepting admission to a college, but you are likely to lose your enrollment deposit.