You've Been Admitted to College! What's Next?
Your years of herculean efforts have finally paid off. You can say it, “I got accepted!” Congratulations! Here are the first things to do before starting your new college life.
After you've received your college acceptance letters, made your decision, posted your college acceptance reaction on social media, and celebrated with friends and family, there's more work ahead. Here’s a checklist of tasks to complete after you’ve been admitted to college.
What to Do After Getting Accepted to College
1. Carefully review your admissions and financial aid offers. Make sure the information in the admissions offer is correct. For example, have you been accepted to the term (fall, spring, or summer), campus, and academic department or program you expected?
If you received financial aid, make sure you understand the terms of any loan or scholarship you are accepting and that you understand how much you and your family will be paying out of your own pockets. See these tips for evaluating a financial aid offer and negotiating for more financial aid.
2. Formally accept your admissions offer. Follow the instructions on your acceptance letter, email, or admissions portal.
3. Decline other offers of admission. Colleges want to know if you won’t be attending so they can offer your spot to another student. This can be as easy as clicking a box on the admissions website or emailing the admissions office.
4. Set up your college email account. Once set up, use it for all your college communications.
5. Follow your college on social media. Join the Facebook group for your freshman class. Also follow the social media accounts of the admissions office and relevant academic departments and clubs so you don’t miss important announcements or events.
6. Ask your high school to send your final transcript to the college. Don’t let your grades slip. Deciding that you've worked hard enough for 3 1/2 years and coasting in the second semester of your senior year could get your college acceptance revoked. It's not common, but it does happen.
7. Sign up for freshman orientation. Even though orientation might consist of one or more virtual events, you might still need to sign up to reserve your spot.
8. Register for placement tests, if required. Also, be sure to complete any assignments from your college that you might receive.
Look for Important Documents from Your College
Carefully read every email, text, or letter you receive from your college. Share this information with your parents, especially if they will be making payments or deposits on your behalf. Here’s some of the information you can expect to receive.
- Confirmation of your final financial aid award. Indicate which awards you'll accept, and return the signed form to the financial aid office.
- Housing and meal-plan forms. Look for a housing application and contract, and instructions for selecting a roommate and paying your housing deposit. You'll also get instructions for selecting a meal plan. Some colleges have postponed assigning or guaranteeing on-campus housing due to the pandemic. Check with the housing or admissions office for further instructions.
- Medical records and coverage.Your college may want to see your immunization record or require a physical exam. It may also offer you medical insurance.
- Bills for room and board, tuition, and other fees. Although payment policies may be altered or postponed due to the pandemic, colleges normally expect you and your family to pay what you owe by the beginning of each semester or quarter.
How to Prepare for a Great Freshman Year
Over the summer, you’ll have more time to lay the groundwork for your new college life. Here are some tips.
- Discuss logistics with your parents. This includes banking, transportation options, and what to pack for college.
- Look into work-study. If you qualify for work-study, find out when you can begin applying for positions on campus. The best jobs often get snapped up quickly.
- Get in touch with your roommate(s). Even if on-campus housing won’t open as scheduled, connect with your roommate if you are assigned one. While you might not get to live with your roommate right away, you might live with them eventually—and it never hurts to meet someone new.
- Give the college permission to talk to your parents. This helps your parents get information about your college bills and lets the college communicate with them if there is an emergency.
- Watch for updates. Colleges are responding to the changes brought about by the coronavirus as fast as possible. Check social media and the college’s website regularly for updates.
Getting admitted to college and deciding where to attend isn’t easy, and you should celebrate these accomplishments. But don’t forget to take care of these important details after you accept your admissions offer. Then you can enjoy your summer and look forward to life as a college freshman.