Acceptance Letter to Move-In Day: What Happens In Between?

The college application process can seem like it takes forever. Everyone hangs around to give you advice and ask questions. Relatives get nosy and tensions can mount between friends. There’s a steady build-up of pressure from the time senior starts until you’ve completed all your applications. After you’ve finished them all, you’re left to play the waiting game for your acceptance letter.

But what happens after you finished and submitted your applications? Well, after a few weeks you start getting responses back. Then you begin the next whirlwind stage of senior year, graduating and becoming a college student.

If you’re in need of a to-do list for the time between receiving your acceptance letter(s) and move-in day, don’t worry — we’ve got you covered!

White envelopes, stamps, and a pen, with text overlayed that says "acceptance letter to move-in day: what happens in between?"

January – March

YOU GOT IN!!! Congrats — after receiving your first acceptance letter, it’s time to celebrate

  • Make sure the schools you’ve applied to have your FAFSA information
  • Continue searching and applying for scholarships
  • Evaluate your options:
  • Make a list of pros/cons for the schools you’ve been admitted to
  • Compare the financial aid award letters
  • Accept admission to the college you’ve chosen
  • Decline admission to the other schools that accepted you
  • Pay the fee to reserve your spot in the incoming freshman class
  • Apply for housing

April – May

  • Attend scholarship and/or admitted students weekend(s)
  • GO TO PROM!!!
  • Establish some study habits for your AP exams, finals, and any other end of year assessments you have
  • Keep an open mind about potential roommates
  • GRADUATE FROM HIGH SCHOOL!!! Have yourself a party and hang out with your friends
  • Find a summer job and save some money for next year

June – July

  • Make sure you send your final transcripts to the college you’ll be attending in the fall
  • Spend time with the important people in your life before you move
  • Begin decluttering your room at your parents’ house
  • Attend orientation
  • Register for classes


  • Have an end of summer party with your friends and/or family
  • Start packing–by this time you should know where you’re living and be talking to your roommate(s)
  • Decide who is bringing what (e.g., microwave, rug, lamp, mini-fridge, etc.)
  • Have any online purchases (e.g., books, bedding, dorm decor, etc.) sent directly to your new address–this will save your space in your car and be less to carry later
  • Don’t shop in the bookstore! Use websites like Amazon and Chegg to buy your textbooks, it will save you a ton of money, believe me
  • Get a good night’s sleep–it will be the last one in your own bed for a while
  • The morning of, eat a good breakfast, load up, and move out!

Congrats again for making the decision to continue your education! College is a very exciting time, just be sure to remember why you’re there.

If you’d like to read a bit more about freshman year of college, check out our 10 Myths About Freshman Year post!

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