First – celebrate. Pat yourself on the back. Go out for cake and ice cream with mom and dad. Tell your friends. Shout it from the rooftop!
(And here is a friendly reminder not to brag too much, to be sensitive to those who’ve just gotten the news you were dreading.)
Now I’m going to ask you to go against every instinct in your body and WAIT. Just because you got in, does not mean you have to commit. You’ve got till May 1st to weigh out your other options and make a careful decision.
At this point, you probably haven’t even received your financial aid award letter from the college that accepted you. It’s best to wait until you’ve got a more clear idea of what you’ll be paying before making any final decisions.
Most colleges send out Financial Aid Awards by March, but depending on when your financial aid paperwork was submitted and each school’s specific process, you could receive it as soon as January or February.
To be clear, I’m not saying you have to wait all the way up until May 1st, but you can certainly give it a bit more time to hear from the other colleges you applied to. Even if you’re 99% sure you’ll end up committing to this one school eventually, there’s no harm in waiting. As long as you make a decision before May 1st, they can’t take back your scholarships or their offer of admissions.
I should also warn you that you’re probably going to begin receiving a lot of emails, phone calls and letters from your EA school (and every other school that accepted you) practically begging you to commit. They will offer you ‘benefits’ in order to entice you, they will use ethically questionable scare tactics, but that doesn’t change the fact that you’ve still got time.
Okay, that last paragraph may have been a tad dramatic. That being said, colleges will put on the pressure. They’ll ask you to put down your deposit and they’ll send lots of reminders until you do. But it’s generally best to wait until you have multiple offers to choose from and can compare and evaluate all of your awards before making a final decision.
Once you are ready to make things official, you’ll want to start by submitting your enrollment deposit and completing all required housing forms. Housing can fill up fairly quickly, so it doesn’t hurt to submit that form sooner rather than later.
Until Next Time,
Rachel Wassink, College Dream Builder Consultant