You’re almost there! The next few months are going to be busy and exciting as you prepare to go to college. Before you arrive on campus, make sure to review your college’s website or follow up with the admission office to make sure you take the proper next steps in your admittance process.
Below is a checklist you can use as a guide to make sure you stay on track:
(Source: College Board, Big Future)
- Read and respond promptly to all the information and forms you receive from your college. You’ll need to set up orientation activities, financial aid, housing, meal plans and more, so be careful not to miss any deadlines.
- Send in your tuition deposit to save your place in your college’s freshman class. Sending in your deposit late could cause a serious problem. If the deposit deadline is not clearly listed, contact your college’s admission office to find out the due date.
- Accept your financial aid offer. This is separate from your college’s acceptance offer. You don’t have to accept the entire financial aid package; you might want to take out a smaller loan, for example. Decide what to accept and then complete and return the form by the deadline.
- Take care of loan paperwork. If you’re accepting a loan as part of your financial aid package, you’ll probably need to fill out the loan application before the start of the semester. Learn more about college loans.
- Choose housing if you won’t be living at home. If you’re going to live in a dorm, your college will send you housing information as well as a contract that you must return. If off-campus housing is an option you’re interested in, contact your college’s housing office for help.
- Select a meal plan if you’re living on campus. (Enrolling in one may be mandatory for on-campus students.) Off-campus students may also have the option of signing up for a meal plan.
- Send your final transcript to your college. Normally, you’ll just need to confirm that your counselor has mailed it to your college's admission office.
- Check computer requirements to see if incoming students need to have a computer. Some colleges may help students buy a computer.
- Start shopping and packing. Think about what you’ll need to bring, where to get it and how to transport it. Making a shopping list is a good starting point.
- Contact your roommate if you’ll have one and if your college makes contact information available. This will allow you to get to know your roommate in advance and coordinate with him or her about what to bring to college.
- Get a physical before college starts. Most incoming college students have to submit the results of a recent physical exam and their vaccination history before they can register for classes.
- Attend pre-orientation programs, if they’re offered. These programs let first-year students meet one another and can be a great way to ease into campus life.
- Find out if you have to take placement exams to determine your level in reading, writing, math or other subjects. Your standardized-test scores may enable you to skip some placement exams, but look into testing requirements and exam schedules. Learn more about placement exams.
- Thank your supporters. Your counselors, teachers, coaches, scholarship sponsors and family all probably helped you get to college. Let them know how much you appreciate their efforts and send proper thank you notes.