Congratulations! Your hard work has paid off. Wave that college acceptance letter and celebrate: proudly wear the colors of your dream school, hang the flag, practice the fight song. Enjoy this moment and certainly don’t become anxious! Here are some pointers to help you get organized and guide you on what to do next in the coming weeks:
Housing: The best place to start is with housing. If you are still deciding between a couple of schools, it is in your best interest to got to the school websites and review housing procedures immediately after acceptance. These websites usually offer a checklist. Some housing applications are done during the application process and a small fee is requested at that time which puts you in line for their housing lottery. Double check if you did this. It is easy to miss and often this is the important piece. The housing contract is different. There is a deadline to apply and you pay a fee. Don’t panic! You still have time. If you are starting in the summer, you will need to pay two fees-summer and fall. Also, some online programs do not allow on-campus housing, so investigate off-campus choices ASAP. Check if the majority population is freshman or transfer. They often have roommate matching for the dorms. Read the off-campus housing lease carefully. If you are not sure you want to live there and sign the lease, then don’t. You are bound for 12 months.
Confirm enrollment: Review when you need to confirm your enrollment. It is usually a May 1st due date, but can vary especially with private institutions. This will be accompanied by a deposit that will go toward tuition and reserve your spot at the university. When you applied, you are usually given a university ID or account. You will use this to create your email, get into your account and other things.
Orientation: Sign-up for mandatory orientation (usually 2 days with an overnight), especially if you are a summer freshman student or transfer student. These dates come quickly. You also need to register a parent or guest. Students usually stay in the dorm, but guests will need a hotel or other option. You can plan to go with a friend or use it as an opportunity to bunk and meet someone new.
At orientation you will meet with an advisor and get your schedule, so look at the school catalogue prior. Sometimes you need to bring your immunizations to the event. Other instances you can email such material. Make sure you contact your doctor to get a copy and check if all immunizations are up-to-date, especially meningococcal conjugate protecting you against meningitis.
Send all documents: Make sure you forward all your final transcripts, including dual enrollment classes, AP, IB, CLEP or AICE scores before you attend orientation. This will better prepare you and your advisor when picking required classes for your major.
Confirm residency for tuition purposes: Make sure you send the college the necessary documents to confirm your residency, otherwise you will pay higher tuition. Each website may have different requirements.
Check for holds: On your account page, there will be a drop-down menu for holds. You want to check this before registering for classes at orientation because if something is missing, it can delay your registration.
Finally enjoy and embrace this time in your life! It happens once. If you are still worried, remember you can call and speak with the university. It is easy and always helpful!
A guest post from writer Lisa Cuva, Tampa, FL.