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College-bound. Deciding where to go to college is often the first major decision a person makes in their life. We asked students about their experiences with the big choice.

College decisions were due at the beginning of this month, and students with a pile of acceptance letters to mull over are met with myriad decisions to ponder amidst the flurry of activity that accompanies their senior year. Whether the concerns are financial, about location or the type of college they want to attend, it's a big moment for any student. We asked some members of the prospective class of 2017 about how they made the call.


All about the benjamins
For Shain Goldman of Albany, the bottom line was what mattered most in his decision.

"I was kind of torn between two schools, I did a summer program at Syracuse and that was my top choice. Once I was accepted there and also at SUNY Buffalo, those were my main two schools. It was stressful, but my brother and sister went to SUNY Buffalo so I got the first-hand experience. The tuition is such a big difference, I would have to take out a huge amount of loans, so it seemed more practical to go with SUNY Buffalo. It was heartbreaking to begin with, but it just made economic sense to not have that much debt when starting my career. Plus, my brother and sister loved SUNY Buffalo."

Still a nail-biter
For Magdalena Espinoza of Manlius, NY, location was the final decision, though the size of the school is still intimidating.

"The college I decided to go to is SUNY Binghamton. It was hard making the decision because I didn’t know my preferences. I applied to many small schools but Binghamton is a big school, so I didn’t know which I would prefer more. I made the decision to go to Binghamton because I thought it was in the perfect location. I did not want to be in the same city I grew up in, but I also wanted to be close so that I could come back home anytime. Binghamton is only about an hour and 15 minutes away and it's also in a suburb which is great for me because I am not a city person. I am nervous about not liking the overall atmosphere because that determines how I’ll feel there all the time. I want it to be comfortable and welcoming so that it can easily be a place to stay for four years."

Down to the wire
For Manhattan senior Jack Brodsky, taking a day to mull over the decision to go to Parsons School of Design made him feel more sure — mostly.

"I really waited until the very end to make the call. I needed that day [off from school] talking with my parents and thinking it over. I think I’m in the regret stage now, but that will pass. That shock of 'wow, now I made my college decision' seems crazy to me. Today I feel pretty excited, but of course I’m still a little nervous because it’s a change."

Worried about the wardrobe
For Zander Cowen, a senior at Wayland High School in Mass., a small school was important, but he has some reservations.

"At a small college, it would be easier to form close, personal relationships with my professors than it would be at a large school. Having the ability to engage with the material, and discuss that material with other students who are as engaged as I am is important for me as a learner. [After visiting the school twice,] I found people there who wore very odd, unorthodox clothing. People there were very different than me, in the way they dressed, their interests and the way they acted. I’m concerned that I will not be able to fit in at Hampshire because I am so different than kids who attend the school. Hampshire college also doesn’t have many club sports teams, and the students that attend, from my understanding, don’t play many sports."

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