You’ve finally been accepted to college — and to more than one. Congratulations!

Now it’s time to sit down and make a decision about where you’re going to spend the next four years. While the decision may feel daunting, these five suggestions can help you make a confident enrollment choice.

1. Take a Tour

If it’s possible to visit, or revisit, your top choice schools, head to those campuses and see how you feel on each one. Can you envision yourself on the quad? Do the people you speak with seem like future friends? Are you comfortable? 

If you’re unable to travel to your choice schools, you can still get a feel with a virtual campus tour. Don’t stop at the campus, though. Getting a sense of what’s off-campus is important too. After all, your college life won’t be limited to on-campus events. If you’re traveling to colleges, take some extra time to explore the surrounding area. If you’re researching online, look for YouTube videos and blogs created by students to get a sense of what’s available off-campus. You may discover a breakfast spot to try, an awesome comic book store, a great pond or lake for a picnic or even somewhere to get a part-time job.

2. Factor in Finances

It’s extremely important to keep your budget in mind when making your college decision. Kenneth Woodard of Chicago Scholars recommends looking over your financial aid award letters with a professional or using an online tool to compare all of your offers. Also, your initial financial aid offer might not be the end of the story. You can always try to negotiate for more financial aid. And if you or your family have gone through financial changes since you first filled out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®), you can appeal your offer. You may get a more generous offer, which can significantly sway your decision of where you ultimately choose to enroll.

3. Talk to Current Students About Life on Campus

Speaking with current students, alumni and instructors from schools on your list can help you make the right decision, but it’s important to ask the right questions. An admissions counselor can usually put you in touch with current students who are happy to help, and you can also reach out to school alumni organizations. Carrie E.L. Thompson, director of undergraduate admissions at Clarion University, recommends checking out your choice schools’ hashtags to see what students and alumni are saying, and shooting them DMs to get more information. Some simple questions to ask: 

  • How approachable are professors? 
  • What is the social scene like?
  • What do students typically do on weekends? 
  • How easy is it to get into the classes you want?
  • What’s your relationship with your academic advisor like? 

4. Talk to Alumni About Life Post-Graduation

Michael Kawula of HelpATeen says LinkedIn is a great resource to connect with recent graduates of schools you’re considering. He recommends reaching out and asking the grad how the school helped with career mentoring and employment opportunities, noting, “This is something too often ignored, but should be a big part of one’s decision process.” Another good question to ask alumni is if they feel their education was well-rounded and useful. You may be surprised by the answers you receive, which can make or break a school option for you. It’s important to remember, though, that different programs and majors in each school can vary in their placement success and post-graduation assistance, so be sure to speak to someone who graduated from the same programs and majors you plan on pursuing.

5. Weigh Your Options

JoBeth Evans, an instructor at the University of Arkansas and a college success coach, suggests making a direct comparison of all the options you’re considering. Instead of a traditional pros and cons list for each option, Evans recommends listing the 10 features that are most important to you in any school. Items on this list could include location, degree offerings, extracurricular activities and study-abroad opportunities. Go through each school and rate “how excited you are when you think about each item” from 1 to 10, she says. Then, you can add up the points for each school and have a sense of which one is the best fit overall. Of course, selecting your college can’t be reduced to a simple formula, but this exercise can help clarify things for you. 

Ultimately, there may not be just one right college. It’s possible that more than one college on your list would make you very happy. So, do your best to make the best choice for you and then relax and enjoy your summer. You’ve more than earned it.

FAFSA is a registered trademark of the US Department of Education and is not affiliated with Discover Student Loans.