Congratulations on getting your first acceptance letter! You’re no doubt excited to hear back from one of your college choices, and now is a perfect time to celebrate with your loved ones. But you shouldn’t make any decisions just yet – you have until May 1st to do so. So here are some steps to take after that first acceptance letter arrives in the mail.
Wait For Other Replies
You likely aren’t going to hear back from every college you applied to on the same day. While you may be in a rush to choose your college, it’s a good idea to wait and see what other schools have to say about your application. Some schools even let you check on your application status using their online portal. But wait until you have all response letters in hand to make your final decision, and that includes any offered financial aid packages that may be coming along with your application decisions.
Instead, take this time to treat yourself. It’s the perfect opportunity to go out to dinner with friends or family to celebrate that first acceptance letter.
Compare Schools Again
Once you have all of your acceptance letters in hand, you’ll want to start comparing schools again – just like when you did when you applied to them. While you may be 99% sure you want to go to a particular college, it doesn’t hurt to at least review your options before accepting the school’s offer.
You should be comparing majors, faculty, campuses, dorm rooms, locale, class sizes, career opportunities after graduation, financial aid offers and packages, and anything that is important to you for you to have a great college experience.
College Raptor’s College Match tool can help you identify what’s important to you in a college and help you make the decision if you’re struggling. You can also make wading through complex financial aid offers easier with our comparison tool.
Make a Decision by May 1st
Almost all colleges and universities require a response from you by May 1st to their acceptance letters. You should check with your schools to see if they follow that universal deadline – there are some throughout the country that can vary. The major exception to this rule to note is for Early Decision applications – if you received an acceptance letter under Early Decision, you are required to attend that particular school and would have had to send in your deposit shortly after hearing back.
If you applied under Early Action or Regular Decision, however, you can respond to colleges with your decision any day leading up until May 1st. If you’re positive you want to attend a particular school, you can absolutely make your choice in March. Just be sure to get your answers in by the deadline!
A big congratulations though on this achievement of receiving your first acceptance letter. We hope it’s the first of many!