Congratulations. You have been admitted to a college. So what’s next? If you know you have been admitted then you have probably already created a portal accont for that college. If you are asking, “what’s a portal?”, then check your email. Most schools now use an online admissions system to manage the process. You need an account to enter that system, view your account, see your decision letter, financial aid notification, andsometimes apply for housing. You probably received an invitation via email (check your junkmail/spam) to start the process.
- Read the emails and texts schools send you. Yes, some of it is just marketing and trying to stay on your radar as you make your decisions. But some of it is important and helpful information. Make sure you are sharing it with your parents/guardians/person helping you through the process. Save them in a file, don’t just delete them.
- File your FAFSA form if you want to be considered for need-based financial aid. Some schools also use the CSS Profile. Check the colleges website to make sure you understand the financial aid process for that school. There are schools that make you file a FAFSA even if you are only receiving merit-based aid. You should be able to find this information on their website.
- Visit if you haven’t already, or if you need to see it again to make a decision. There are special visit days for admitted students.
- Register for housing if you plan to live on campus. Some schools allow you to apply for housing without committing to the college officially–but the housing deposit may not be refundable. If the college has a housing shortage this may be worth doing to guarantee you get housing. Some schools do not let you apply for housing until after you have paid an enrollment deposit.
- Once you have made a decision on where you will attend, pay your enrollment deposit. This saves your place in the class and tells the college you are attending. It is usually due by May 1. But there may be incentives to paying it early like housing priorities or an early registration date. Make sure you know when things are due. Colleges can tell you there is not space and you can no longer attend if you don’t meet deadlines.
- Pick a registration/orientation date and submit materials. This may include having to take placement tests online, submitting transcripts with any college courses you have taken, sending AP scores. You want the college to have all of this as soon as possible so they have time to apply them to your academic record. Otherwise, you may end up registering for classes you don’t need.
- Turn in/upload required health and vaccine information as well as other forms that are required.
- Make note of move-in dates and Welcome week schedules (even if you are commuting). These events are designed to help you succeed and connect to others at your college. You need to plan to attend them. They are fun, I promise!
At this point you should be ready to move-in, start classes and take advantage of all the great things college has to offer you. Its an exciting year with many steps but as long as you do them you will be ready!