The time is here. Your hard work across the past 4 years has paid off and you are about to embark on the next part of your life’s journey.
Once you have made a decision on where you plan to matriculate or which colleges are no longer in the running, please do the following:
- Send a lovely note to each of the admissions officers from schools who accepted you. Thank them for their support and, tell them that, as much as you love their school, you have decided to decline their offer of admission. Besides just being nice at a time when they are fielding angry phone calls from students who were not accepted, this will free up spaces on their waitlist to anxious students who will be excited to take the spot you turned down. And, you never know when you might cross paths again. You might reconsider these colleges in the unlikely event that you decide to transfer or the admissions officer might end up at a different university in the future where he or she may come across your grad school application. It always pays to be polite.
- Formally accept the offer of admission at the college you plan to attend and pay the deposit. National College Decision Day is May 1 (although some colleges have delayed it to June 1 in light of COVID-19). If you do not accept your offer AND pay the deposit by the decision day, your spot will be given to someone else.
- Make housing selections and deposits. Depending on the college, waiting may cause you to lose out on your top choices or, in some cases, on campus housing altogether.
- As difficult as it may be, be sure to maintain your grades and study for your AP exams. A high score may help you secure college credit or gain exemptions next year.
- Now that you have been accepted, it’s time to turn your focus to how to transfer successfully, beginning with what you can do this summer to ensure a successful freshman year. Please see my eight-part series, “The Complete Candidate’s College Transition Playbook.”