I’ve been admitted. Now what?
It’s like a load has been lifted, right? It’s a nice reward for your efforts, including all of those long days working on applications. Many congratulations!
Choosing which university to attend is likely one of the toughest decisions you’ve been asked to make. You’re probably asking yourself: How can I make this decision? We’ve put together a handy decision matrix analysis tool. Entre nous we’ll just call it “The Evaluator.” It works infinitely better than the Magic 8 Ball some use to make significant (and some insignificant) decisions.
Note: This idea given to me last year by the parent of one of our students. Thank you, Chris!
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Once you’ve clicked on the link above, an Excel spreadsheet opens. Now you’ll need to enter some details. Simply follow these instructions.
- Identify six most important attributes
Start by entering your preferred universities in the lines labeled “University.” Then, across the top of the table you’ll find columns we’ve labeled with attributes we find are of important to students (e.g. campus life, location, cost, etc.). Change these column labels to reflect the six attributes that most matter to you. We provide six columns; however, if you want to rate universities on fewer than six attributes you also may do that.
- Assign weight to each attribute
Once you’ve decided which attributes are most important to you, you need to determine their relative importance. In other words, you need to decide how important each attribute is in relation to each other. Do this by assigning each attribute being rated a percentage of importance.
For instance, if you use location and campus life, you need to determine whether they are equally important or whether one is more important than the other. If you value location over campus life, you would – as an example – assign location a weight of 25% and campus life 20%.
If you choose to rate universities on less than six attributes, simply assign a 0% weighting to the blank columns. It’s important that the weights add up to 100%.
- Rate each university
You’re now ready to evaluate each of the universities based on your most important attributes. In this way, you are going to find a university that is the best fit for you.
Remember you going to rate each university on all of the attributes that interest you. For each attribute, assign each school a score from 1 to 5 (1 being the lowest and 5 the highest score).
It’s now time to choose
Once you’ve completed the table, you will receive both an overall average for each of the attributes as well as a total weighted score. Naturally, the university with the highest “total weighted score” is the best rated according to your preferences. You should consider enrolling at the university that scores the highest.