Your College Choice

Posted on by Dean Furda

During Penn information sessions, my colleagues reference the “gut feeling” that helps you decide where to apply and then guides you towards the school in which you ultimately enroll.

On the edge of May 1st, the decision reply date for regular decision seniors, this feeling has significance. It encompasses the emotional, analytical, logical, even eccentric reasons for our choices.

Seniors, you spent much of April exploring your options. You visited campus, kept an eye on student-driven publications, spoke with alumni and current students, considered your options with your family, reviewed financial aid packages, and did your research.

At this point, your pros and cons list will reflect your thoughts on integral concepts, namely the 4C’s: Culture, Curriculum, Community, and Conclusions and the 5I’s: Identity, Intellect, Ideas, Interest and Inspiration. If one or more of these keywords are not included on your list, make sure to go back to this framework. Ultimately, you will enroll in a school that meets your core priorities, or attributes, and shows alignment with your needs and goals.

In these last hours before making a final decision, lean on Page 217’s framework and acknowledge how it interacts with, reinforces, or challenges your “gut feeling.”


*PAGE 217
refers to the always legendary and occasionally dreaded essay which was once a mainstay of the University of Pennsylvania application. The question read as follows: “You have just finished your three hundred page autobiography. Please submit page 217.”

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