Tears of joy flooded my eyes when I received my first acceptance call from one of the four schools that I applied to. All the things I worked so hard on—the GMATs, essays, recommendation letters and interviews—had finally paid off. I was going to business school!
Shortly after the first acceptance call, I received another and then another and then another! Every single one of the schools that I had applied to accepted me. I was absolutely ecstatic! Then I realized that the most important part of my admissions journey was about to begin. I had to choose a school and it wasn’t going to be easy.
I decided to visit each school again. This time around, I knew I would look at the schools differently without the pressure of an interview looming overhead. I booked flights to each of the non-local schools and scheduled tours and class visits with admissions.
The single most important advice I can offer when faced with multiple acceptances is to visit each school. I cannot stress this enough! Students and admissions teams treat you differently when they know you might be a future student. The current students were much more candid than they were during my interview visit and it was easier to get a good feel for each school. Additionally, visitation allows you to see the town, see the housing situation and get a general feel of prices, atmosphere and community. You’re going to be in the town you choose for at least two years, so make sure it’s a place you like!
From the moment I stepped on campus at the University of Illinois, I knew it was the school for me—it just felt right. You can’t get those types of feelings from phone calls. If it weren’t for visiting the schools, I’m not sure I would’ve made the right choice. Luckily, I took my visits very seriously and made the best choice for me.
In case you were wondering, I did the visitations by myself so that I would be the only one influencing my decision. If anyone would like advice on how to travel by yourself or what to look at while touring a school and its town, feel free to ask any questions in the comments below.
Starza Kolman, Forte Fellow
Class of 2012, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign