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Word Count: 453
Every spring thousands of high school seniors contemplate the choice that will steer the rest of their lives which college to pledge their next four years to Immediately after tearing open bulky envelopes containing final verdicts and settled fates a seniors countdown to making that lasting choice begins Most colleges require a final enrollment decision by the first week of May and in the stressful days leading up to that momentous deadline many students begin to feel the pressure of making such an important choice As May nears family arguments over the choice intensify and motives clash Younger siblings usually make judgments based on a schools recent performance in BCS bowl games or March Madness tournaments while the parents stand stiff on name brand value and prestige A student is often caught in the middle of conflicting views on which school to make a final commitment to Perhaps the most pressing aspect of the college decision for todays students is weighing prestige against fit or how well a student can be integrated to the colleges student body and can enjoy the schools social culture Prudent students put substantial research into their college choice often deciphering the culture of a student body without even visiting the campus Online websites and student review forums allow undergraduates to post their personal evaluations of their alma maters These reviews give future applicants a feel for the kind of social scene and environment prevalent at prospective colleges insight many students feel is critical when contemplating where to spend the supposed best years of their life Despite popular stereotypes not every college is a frat-driven party haven Many schools have a more subdued social scene and the preferable social environment is something that cant be quantified on ranking lists The intellectual scholar who envisions living on an urban campus and joining a small student body definitely wouldnt be happy at the same school as the passionate sports fanatic who cant wait
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