9 Steps to Take After Selecting a College

by Admin

You’ve chosen a college, now what?

National College Decision Day on May 1 marks the last day, in most cases, that first-year applicants can claim their spot at a college. But that’s just the beginning. There are other deadlines to meet and documents to fill out – related to housing, dining, course registration and medical records – before a student steps onto campus in the fall. So here are nine steps to follow after committing to a school.

Decline other college offers.

Each year, colleges and universities receive more applications than they have seats for – resulting in some students being rejected or put on a waitlist. Once you’ve committed to a college, decline any offers received from other schools. Some colleges require students to decline an offer over email, while others have a form to fill out online. Refer to a college’s website or application portal for specific instructions. “Hopefully declining will provide an opportunity for someone else who might be on a waitlist and who really wants to go to that school,” says John Durante, principal of Syosset High School in New York and host of The College Admissions Process Podcast.

Check your new college email.

Every incoming student receives a college email account shortly after committing, which they will use until graduation to communicate with classmates and faculty members. But even before move-in day, colleges use that email to remind new students of deadlines and to share information, like roommate assignments or orientation dates. So make sure you’re regularly checking your inbox, experts say.

Confirm your housing selection.

Schools typically send out a housing and roommate questionnaire shortly after a student commits. The forms ask questions around housing preferences and general interests as well as sleeping and cleanliness habits. Be honest in your responses, says Jennifer Sullivan, founder of Fast Forward College Coaching and author of books on the transition to college. “Don’t think about someone who would be fun to live with, but think realistically about yourself and about the person that you would like to share a space with.” Once housing is assigned, reach out to your roommate or housemates to learn about commonalities, create a list of items to bring on move-in day and, if you’re the decorating type, discuss a theme for the room.

Select a meal plan.

In addition to submitting housing and roommate preferences, accepted students are also required to select a meal plan. But that decision is not permanent. Plans can be changed up until a certain deadline every semester. Costs vary at each institution and by plan, as some plans come with unlimited access to dining halls and extra swipes to other food vendors on campus. Before purchasing a meal plan, consider your dietary needs and sleep habits. “Allow yourself some grace if you need to have a little bit of a larger meal plan as a freshman versus the next year,” says Candace Mackey, a college counselor at the Los Angeles Center for Enriched Studies, a magnet program in the Los Angeles school district. “This is a big transition.”

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