This time of year can bring both exhilaration and trepidation as you receive acceptance packets and try to navigate your next steps. Here are some important next steps to check off your To-Do list in the coming weeks and/or months.
*Pass these dates on to your parents as well!
The deposit is used by colleges and universities to determine housing needs as well as the needs of faculty in particular majors. Please DO NOT deposit at multiple schools as they do make decisions based off of the number of deposits they have as of May 1st. Communicate honestly with schools and let them know if you need additional time to make a decision. Usually, they will ask you to notify them in writing.
The only time a college would not give you additional time would be in an Early Decision situation. The reasoning is that they are attempting to determine how many spaces they have available for Regular Decision students. As a result, their deadline will be sometime in January or February. Otherwise, every other college should give you until May 1st. Do not be pressured into making a decision before you are ready. Colleges are not allowed (for any reason – including scholarship or honors college opportunities) to ask you to make a final decision about their college prior to May 1st – the National Candidate’s Reply Date.
Once you make a decision, send a note to show your appreciation for their consideration of your application. If the school is not your top choice and you have ruled them out make sure and let them know what school you will most likely be attending and if there is a reason for your decision to not attend their school. If the school is your top choice follow the instructions in your acceptance packet on how to make your deposit and send any additional forms in immediately. It is important to let your colleges know if you will not be attending as they may be holding your space and if they know you will not be taking it they can offer your space to another qualified student on their wait list.
Here is a sample withdrawal note for a college:
Dear [Name of Director of Admissions],
After much deliberation, I wish to decline my offer of admission to [Name of University Declining] for these reasons: [include any pertinent reasons]. I will be attending [Name of University Actually Attending] in Fall [Year Attending]. I appreciate being offered the opportunity to attend [Name of University Declining]. Thank you for your time and consideration.
[Student’s Full Name]
The Candidate’s Reply Date for any school following Regular Decision, Early Action or Rolling Admission is May 1st. If a school indicates you need to accept their offer prior to this date they are simply trying to make you commit sooner. You are only bound to the May 1st date (unless you are dealing with Early Decision and then they will give you a specific deadline in January or February).
- Overnight or Admitted Student Visitations:
An Overnight Visitation or an Admitted Student Day is sometimes offered by the school for accepted students and at times something you need to request. It allows a student to stay overnight in the residence halls with a current student, sit in on a class, participate in an activity at the college and generally get a feel for the college prior to attending.
- Social Media:
Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and College Specific Pages – every school will have some interaction on social media with their current students or Admissions staff. Take advantage of contests, questions, etc. that may be offered as it will give you a way to engage and get to know students at the college. If a college has a specific page for admitted students familiarize yourself with it. They will provide key dates, important documents to be filled out prior to the start of school and answer frequently asked questions.
- Coaches, Professors and Current Students:
Continue the conversation with those you have already met! If you have not met any of these types on campus then work through your Admissions Counselor at the college to get connected. It is so important to meet those that you will be interacting with prior to the start of school!
- Summer/Fall Preview:
Summer or Fall Preview are days during the summer months offered by the college to help you engage further. It is a day to get on campus and get acclimated prior to attending Orientation in August. These days take on different appearances at each college but typically it is a day to finalize your class schedule, meet your Advisor (Major), take placement tests and meet upper class students. Take advantage of these days as it will help you transition that much more prior to the start of school. You may even meet your roommate!
Lastly, always make sure you ask if you have a question!