On this week’s episode of Getting In: A College Coach Conversation, host Sally Ganga talks about the choosing between admission offers and tackles a number of our listeners’ questions.

Making the Big Decision

College Coach admissions educator Mary Sue Youn joins Sally to offer tips on how to make the most informed college decision by May 1. She encourages students who are visiting (or revisiting) campuses for admitted student programs to go off the beaten path: sit in on classes, visit the office of activities, and strike up conversations with current students who are not part of that day’s official program. If you can’t make it to campus, use colleges’ websites to go in-depth with your research, whether to look up lists of clubs, the course catalog, or the departmental page for your prospective major.  For undecided students, Mary Sue stresses the importance of looking into the advising and mentoring resources provided by each campus.

Listener Questions

After the break, Sally is joined by college finance educator Kathy Ruby to take on listeners’ finance and admissions questions.

  • Finance
    • When do I submit the FAFSA for my college sophomore?
    • Do we have to pay capital gains taxes on distributions from our 529 plan?
    • When do we actually borrow loans?
    • Do I have to report outside scholarships to the college where I’ll be enrolling?
    • Where can we find outside scholarships late in the game?
  • Admissions
    • Is it okay for an undecided applicant to submit recommendations from two humanities teachers?
    • How do colleges count years of foreign language if you took some of your courses in junior high?
    • What’s the best way to get an early start on the admission process for a student of color?
    • Can I take SAT Subject exams even if I’m not taking the SAT?
    • Is it a bad idea to apply Early Decision to a college if a more competitive peer is also doing so?
    • Should mental health issues be disclosed before or after admission?

Want one of your questions answered on air? Submit them here.  And tune in to our next episode to learn about more about how to select a major, Ivy League and athletic recruitment, and income-driven repayment plans.


Written by Emily Toffelmire
Emily Toffelmire is a member of College Coach’s team of college admissions experts. Prior to joining College Coach, Emily worked as an admissions officer at University of Southern California as well as a college counselor at high schools in the US and Thailand. Visit our website to learn more about Emily Toffelmire.