What to Do After You’ve Made Your Final College Decision

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

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

National Decision Day is May 1st. While you’re more than welcome to make a decision early, most colleges and universities need to hear back on whether or not you’ll attend by this date. No matter when you decide, what do you need to do? Here is your “to-do” list after getting accepted into college.

1. Notify Schools of Your Intent

Notifying your choice college of your decision to attend is the easy part. However, did you know you should also be letting the other schools that sent you acceptance letters that you won’t be attending? Doing this is not only polite, but it opens up spots for students who may have been waitlisted.

Withdrawing your application or accepting a college’s offer is generally simple. Simply refer to the paperwork that you received with your acceptance letter for your next steps!

2. Send in a Deposit

Deposits are usually required with your acceptance of a college’s offer to attend. These are almost always nonrefundable, but this money will lock in your enrollment at that college. If you have any questions about how this deposit should be sent, refer to the paperwork you received or reach out to your admissions department. And send it promptly – delaying your deposit could put your spot at risk!

You could fund all 4 years of college with one loan application.

With Multi-Year Approval, you have less hassle with the same great terms.*


3. Sign Up for (And Attend) Orientation

 As soon as dates open up for college orientation, sign up! Good orientation slots fill up quickly, so you’ll want to get a jump on it so you get the best date and time that works for you. Orientation dates may also dictate what classes and dorm rooms are available to you, so getting the final days for orientation could mean you miss out on the best options.

You don’t want to skip orientation, either. Many schools make attending mandatory, and even if it’s optional, you miss out on a lot by skipping.

4. Complete Other College Tasks

After you’ve submitted your final college decision, your college will likely send you a list of tasks to be completed. Depending on the school, this may include things like placement tests, class selection, dorm room selection, and paying for tuition and other college costs, especially if these tasks won’t be completed during orientation. It’s important to get these finished or scheduled as soon as possible. Like orientation, ideal classes and dorm rooms fill up fast.

5. Finish High School Strong

Did you know that high schools will send your final transcripts to your college? If you catch a bout of senioritis, it could actually mean the college withdraws their acceptance offer! You want to keep working hard in your classes and on your finals to ensure your spot continues to stay locked in.

6. Think about Finances

Of course, you need to be able to afford college in order to attend. That may mean taking out private student loans for some, especially if institutional grants, savings, and federal financial aid doesn’t quite cover all expenses. You should also take time this summer to apply for scholarships – you never know if you’ll win!


7. Create Your Packing List

This one doesn’t have to be done immediately, but you should start thinking about what you’ll pack to bring with you to college. Dorms have limited space, so plan accordingly! Overpacking (and underpacking) are problems most first-year college students face, but knowing exactly what and how to pack will save you from this. If you have a roommate or suitemates, you may also want to reach out to them to get a few décor ideas.

8. Celebrate Your Achievements

From graduating high school to getting accepted to colleges, you have plenty to celebrate! Whether that’s going out to dinner with family or having a party with friends, make sure you take time out to celebrate your well-earned achievements. You’ve done great – congratulations from us at College Raptor, too! You’ve earned this.

9. Enjoy Summer

And, of course, you’ll want to enjoy your summer in between all of the craziness and planning for your future! Those celebrations will help, but be sure to set time aside for you and what you want to do during your free time. Spend time with family, hang out with friends, go on vacation – whatever “enjoying summer” sounds like to you, take hold of it.

These are just 9 steps you’ll want to take after you’ve made your final college decision, but congratulations! You’re finally there! Completing these steps though will help ensure your first year of college is a success.

One task you should definitely complete this summer is applying for scholarships. There are plenty out there that you can qualify for, and College Raptor’s Scholarship Search tool makes identifying the ones you can apply to easier than ever.

One thought on “What to Do After You’ve Made Your Final College Decision”

  1. E Gannon says:

    May 1 is National College Decision Day, the deadline for high school seniors to choose which college they will attend.

Comments are closed.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Join thousands of students and parents learning about finding the right college, admissions secrets, scholarships, financial aid, and more.