Steps to Take After Choosing a College

You’ve selected a school. You’re eager to take the next steps on this journey. Every successful adventure requires preparation, so let’s discuss the next steps.

Read and Respond Promptly to Paperwork

Review all the information and forms you receive from your college. Among other things, you’ll need to set up orientation activities, financial aid, housing, and meal plans. There’s a lot to do. Be careful not to miss any deadlines.

Send in Your Tuition Deposit 

You need to send in your tuition deposit to save a place in your college's first-year class. Sending in your deposit late could prevent you from enrolling in classes and delay your housing assignment. If the deposit deadline isn’t clearly listed, contact your college's admissions office to find out the due date.

Accept Your Financial Aid Offer

Your financial aid offer is separate from your college's acceptance offer. You don't have to accept the entire financial aid package. You might want to take out a smaller loan, for example. Decide what to accept. Then complete and return the form by the deadline.

Take Care of Loan Paperwork 

If you're accepting a loan as part of your financial aid package, you'll probably need to fill out the loan application before the start of the semester. Learn more about types of college loans.

Choose Your Housing 

If you're going to live in a residence hall, your college will send you housing information, as well as a contract that you must return. If you're interested in off-campus housing, contact your college's housing office for help.

Select a Meal Plan 

Most colleges require you to enroll in a meal plan if you live on campus. Off-campus students may also have the option of signing up for meal options.

Send Your Final Transcript 

Usually, you'll just need to confirm that your high school counselor or school or official has mailed your final transcript to your college's admissions office.

Check Computer Requirements 

Find out whether incoming students need to have a computer. Some colleges help students buy one.

Start Shopping and Packing.

Think about what you'll need to bring, where to get it, and how to transport it. Making a shopping list is a good starting point. Although you may feel the need to have all the creature comforts of home, pack smart and economically for your needs.

Contact Your Roommate 

Use the contact information from your college to connect with your roommate. This will allow you to get to know your roommate before classes begin. You can also coordinate with your roommate about what to bring to college.

Get a Physical 

Most incoming college students must submit the results of a recent physical exam and their vaccination history before registering for classes.

Find Out If You Need to Take Placement Exams

These exams determine your proficiency in reading, writing, math, and other subjects. Your standardized test scores may enable you to skip some placement exams, but you need to look into testing requirements and exam schedules. Talk with an adviser to learn more about placement exams, including CLEP.

Attend Preorientation Programs 

Preorientation programs that let first-year students meet one another are a perfect way to ease into campus life. You can take any required placement exams during preorientation programs at many colleges.

Thank Your Supporters 

Your counselors, teachers, coaches, scholarship sponsors, and family members helped you get to college. Let them know how much you appreciate their efforts.