It’s National College Decision Day, and you’re finally done with the college selection process. You’ve made your decision, notified the college you’ve chosen to attend, and sent in your deposit. What’s next? Make the eight steps below a priority and you’ll be all set come August.
- Thank-you Notes and Other Acknowledgements
As a courtesy, thank the other schools that offered you admission and inform them that you will be going elsewhere. They will now be able to offer the spot they were holding for you to someone else.
Send thank-you notes to everyone who provided you with any assistance during your application process. Be sure to share with them where you will be attending college.
Make sure your high school counselor has sent in all the required paperwork, such as your final transcript upon graduation.
It’s important to send in all financial aid paperwork as well. Inform the school’s financial aid department of any additional scholarships you’ve received that don’t appear on your financial aid award letter. This is important because your award cannot exceed the cost of your attendance and financial need. If you fail to report this information, you could lose your financial aid.
- Federal Work-Study
If you’ve received work-study as part of your financial aid package, you will need to apply for a position—they aren’t just assigned. Make sure you do this “sooner rather than later” to give yourself more options. If you have any questions about the process, be sure to contact the institution.
- College Checklist
The school will inform you, probably by email, of the next steps to take as you prepare to arrive on campus. You can also visit the college’s website. Many schools provide a handy checklist on their sites that includes information on NetID, password and email, required health forms or immunizations, housing and meal plan selections, and orientation and class registration.
Orientation gives freshmen and sometimes transfers an opportunity to meet other students. You will learn how to find your way around campus and information about academic and support programs to assist you in your transition. Even if orientation is not mandatory, go. The whole purpose of orientation is to help you get acclimated.
- Social Media
Join your college’s official social media group, especially if there’s a site devoted specifically to incoming freshmen. Joining will provide you with a chance to connect with your future classmates.
- Stay Focused
Avoid senioritis. Continue to work hard and maintain your academic record. Although uncommon, colleges and universities can and do rescind offers of admission to students whose grades have dropped significantly or who have become involved in serious disciplinary infractions.
Take some time to celebrate your achievement and enjoy your summer. The next chapter of your life begins shortly.