I mentioned in my last post that I am still talking with parents and students who have yet to begin the search for a college to attend this fall. If you are one of the students who are late to the game, let’s look at your options.
Basically, you have three options on how to proceed. If you are intent on attending a four year college this fall, there are colleges that still have openings. This option does allow you to attend a four year college but the number of colleges still accepting applications is limited. Moreover, many of these colleges are not very selective so the student body may not be as competitive as you might like. Some of these colleges may be a great fit for you but since there are less options, your chances of finding that right college are less than they would have been had you applied earlier.
If you are not able to find the right fit for you with a four year college, you may also consider a two year community college. Many students intentionally go this route with the intent on transferring to a four year college because the first two years at the community college are usually one of the most reasonable options in higher ed. But as I have discussed here before, community colleges are not always the best choice.
Your third option is to take a gap year. There are many options on what to do for a gap year, but this additional time allows students the opportunity to research colleges to find the best fit for their needs. While you may be discouraged by the thought that you are not starting college with all of your classmates, this is often the best option for students who have not spent the time to find the best fit college. A gap year may also make you a more interesting candidate for admissions next year which means you might have a better chance of admission once you find the right college.
What you do NOT want to do is to just pick the first college you can find that has an opening for the fall. Chances are this college will not be an appropriate fit for you and you will not only end up transferring, you may be miserable in the meantime. Spend some time and find the right college to begin with. That way you can avoid all of the problems associated with transferring colleges.