Picking a University: a question many students back in the states are facing as admission letters arrive this week.

My nephew is one of the many students freaking out. He’s been wait-listed at Georgetown and is pretty upset, it being his top choice his frustration is understandable. He is handling the situation well and has moved to deciding between NYU and UF, facing the ultimate question: 40K in tuition fees (without room and board) v. Free (and given his grades, a yearly stipend).

I remember being in his shoes 4 years ago, except of course I was deciding between FSU, Wells and Pace. FSU and Wells were fully covered and Pace was the most expensive choice. I chose Pace, probably because it meant being back in the city. I think my nephew might be thinking the same thing. He is (in my eyes) the more-studious, math-wiz, politically-tuned, male version of myself. He is ultimately more determined and I love him for it.

I told him to get in contact with his interviewers from Georgetown. If he really wants a spot in their incoming freshman class, he has to let them know and tell them why he belongs there - directly and simply. He has it in him. :)

There isn’t a magic formula for picking a University - you need to decide what gives you the best opportunities for success. You should also consider your yearly costs (multiply it by four and factor in an average interest rate of 7%) as you’ll spend years paying it off after graduating. And if you’re in a field where you’ll continue schooling after your undergraduate, to into consideration how your undergraduate school will factor into your graduate schooling and work engagements.

I look forward to the day my nephew is in his final semester of Uni and prepping for finals, as I am now. Enjoy the early days, they come only once!