You’ve applied to college and are awaiting those first responses. What if you don’t get in? What if you do? Chances are you will be accepted to more than one institute of higher learning. No doubt, you’ll have to make some difficult decisions as you kick off your academic career at a Texas university or college. Taking your time to carefully consider your options will go a long way toward helping you make the right choice for you. Consider these steps for what to do next.
Weigh Your Options
Applied to more than one college? Wait for all of your acceptance letters to arrive before you make a decision. Carefully review each acceptance pack-age and note important response deadlines. Check your online portals every few days and make sure to check emails if you are anxious about a particular college’s offer. Note that most colleges have a May 1st deadline for you to accept or turn down their offer, but not all.
Consider the Costs
Attending college is more than just tuition costs: there are housing and dining fees, transportation costs, books and student fees—it all adds up. Make a spreadsheet to track each of your top choice schools’ costs and features. With your family, have an open discussion about your financial situation and who will pay for what. Review scholarship and aid offers, including grants and loans. Don’t hesitate to contact the colleges to ask questions if you are unsure what all of the actual costs will be. Always read the fine print on any loan offers before accepting them.
Visit the Schools
If you have not already had the opportunity to take a campus tour of the schools you are most interested in, now is the time. You are looking to discover the culture of the school and to experience the atmosphere for yourself. (Check with the admissions department to see if tours are online only now.) If you cannot travel to the school, pour over the university’s website and review course offerings, degrees, and campus life details.
Go With Your Gut
Don’t forget to also contact all of the colleges you will not be attending. Most colleges include a rejection form in their packets for prospective students, which you can mail back to them if you decide not to attend that school. It is common courtesy as well as expected that you will let them know you are passing on their offer; this way they can send out acceptance letters to other students who may be on a waiting list.
Contact Rejected Schools
Don’t forget to also contact all of the colleges you will not be attending. Most colleges include a rejec-tion form in their packets for prospective students, which you can mail back to them if you decide not to attend that school. It is common courtesy as well as expected that you will let them know you are passing on their offer; this way they can send out acceptance letters to other students who may be on a waiting list.
Focus On High School
You’ve secured your spot in the freshman class at your chosen university. Time to party, right? Well, not quite. Don’t neglect to finish high school! Many colleges will ask to see your final transcript, so be sure to keep the momentum going through graduation. A bad grade or poor attendance could affect your status with your chosen university. Stay involved in extracurriculars and keep up your grades until that rewarding moment when you finally walk the stage and secure that high school diploma.
Don’t rush into any decisions and contact your schools if you have questions or need more time to make your final choice. Many people say that they ended up where they felt they should be. Take heart that your choice will be the right one to help you realize your dreams.