Photograph of someone with their feet up, relaxing, representing what students likely want to do when they have made their final college choice.

Don’t kick back quite yet! Source: Flickr user anieto2k

The universal college commitment deadline of May 1 is quickly approaching. While that is ideally that date by which you hope to make a final decision, many of you may have already come to that decision.

Either way, congratulations!

The process of making a final decision is by no means an easy task. Getting to the point where you can finally decide on a college or university is a huge milestone and with that, many will overlook the fact that you still need to handle some very important items moving forward.

So, after you’ve submitted your applications, applied for financial aid, received your acceptance and award letters and made your final choice of where to attend (that was easy, right?), there are a few things you need to still take care of.

But, don’t worry, they aren’t too bad.

1. Notify the other schools of your intent & withdraw your applications

This is probably the biggest item that most people forget.

This should be a “must” for you, but even more so if you were accepted somewhere else with a scholarship offer and/or have been accepted into a competitive program.

When you commit to one school and notify the others you will not be attending, it allows those other schools to offer your spot to the next-most qualified student. If you have any merit-based or institutional aid tied in, this allows those funds to be freed up for another student as well.

Withdrawing your application is pretty easy. Most institutions have either an online form or ask that you formalize your withdrawal via email. Don’t worry, they shouldn’t pester you too much. So, just let them know and you could be doing a lot to help another applicant.

2. “Deposit & Test” or “Test & Deposit”

Depending on the school you commit to, some will have you take placement testing prior to submitting an enrollment deposit or vice versa.

The key is to make sure you do both and do them in the correct order.

Your enrollment deposit is a small fee that “locks in” your enrollment at that college. If you are interested in living on campus, this may require a separate deposit, so be sure you are aware of that too.

Placement testing will determine which classes you’re required to take and which ones you can skip. Your performance on a placement test could be the difference between taking a basic course and taking a college-level class. So, most importantly, be sure to take these tests seriously and do your best. They could have a huge impact on your college career!

3. Attend Orientation

One of my colleagues puts it best when he mentions orientation to prospective students. He tells a small anecdote of his college orientation over 20 years ago. He still remembers it!

The fact is that orientation is not only where you become better adjusted to the campus you have selected, but, it is where you begin to develop the bonds that last a lifetime. To this day, I still keep in touch with the very first people I met at my orientation. Make every effort to attend your orientation, it could be a great opportunity to start making friends and getting comfortable in college.

You will thank me when you finish college. ☺

4. Enjoy the summer

Sometimes, in the craziness of the summer before college, you forget to enjoy it!

Hang out with family and friends, enjoy the weather and anything you have coming your way.

The college experience will be there to welcome you with open arms when the time comes and following this step and everything previous to this will ensure you make a smooth and steady transition into college life.

Congratulations, again. You’re a college student!