Students like you are getting the good news about acceptance to college. Like you, they run to the mailbox for “the big envelope” – because congratulation letters come with tons of information about orientation, housing, and the very important new student enrollment/deposit fee.
What do you do with all this information? Here are my suggestions:
- After you open the envelope and you read “Congratulations!” – I recommend jumping up and down and being very excited.
- Share the news via any method you can: facebook, phone, text, tweet, sky writing…
- Sit down after celebrating and read everything that came in the envelope. Twice.
- Share the information with a trusted adult – parent, guardian, foster parent, case worker, grandparent. Someone you can review the information with.
- Make a checklist of all the things you need to do. Include fees that need to be paid and deadlines for paying them. You don’t want to be late!
- Make a date to visit the campuses you’ve been accepted to if at all possible. In your packet or in your email you may find information on accepted student open houses/preview days held by the colleges. These are only for the students who have been accepted and are designed to get all your questions answered before you make the decision on where to get your education.
- Whether you visit a campus or not, talk to students who attend the college. It’s easy if you’re there for a visit, but colleges may also have online chat opportunities, congratulatory phone calls from students attending the school, or you can just ask the admissions counselor to connect you to a current student.
- Compare information from the colleges you’ve been accepted to including what seems to be the best fit for YOU as well as what you and your family can afford. (You may have to wait for your financial aid packages to come in for this.)
It’s very important for get your fees in on time, especially to reserve your place in the freshman class and in the residence halls. If paying the fees will be a hardship for you and your family, you can ask for the fees to be deferred (meaning you pay the fees later with the payment coming out of your financial aid). Read the information you receive to see how to do that and what deferment means to that specific college. For many schools, if you defer the deposit and later decide not to attend that college, you still owe them that deposit money. Other colleges may waive the enrollment and/or housing fees based on your financial aid information. This means you don’t have to pay those fees at all.
Ask questions. Read carefully. And choose your college based on what fits you – there may be more than one.
Good luck during this very exciting time!