Applying to college or university is a long process with many steps. When you finally click the “submit” button, you may feel like your work is done and now you can finally devote your time to catching up on your favorite TV shows. While it’s definitely true that you’ll have more free time, you will need to periodically check in to make sure that every part of the application process is flowing the way it should. After all, it is your application and your life! Who better to make sure it all goes well, than you?
1. Keep a look out for mail
Maybe you normally don’t pay much attention to the mail—because, let’s be honest, all those grocery store coupons and flyers from local businesses just aren’t that exciting. But after applying to college, you will want to keep a close eye out for any type of correspondence from schools. Some of them have gotten more tech-savvy and will get in touch with you via e-mail. But believe it or not, many colleges still rely on snail mail for communication. They’ll send postcards to let you know if any pieces of your college application are missing. They will also send admissions decision letters in the mail—and we bet that you’ll want to be the first one to open them!
2. Follow up on Financial Aid
The worst thing you can do is submit your financial aid application and then sit back and wait for the money to roll in. There are several steps in the financial aid process, and you want to make sure you’re on top of all of them. First, review your Student Aid report (SAR), which you’d receive after submitting a FAFSA application. Make sure that all of the personal information on the SAR is accurate, and that all of the schools you apply to are listed. It would be a bummer if you went to the trouble of applying for financial aid and forgot to add your top school to the application. Because financial aid is particularly tricky, we’ve included a video below on what to do after filling out the FAFSA.
3. Follow up on Transcripts
Make sure to double and triple check that high school transcripts were received by the schools you have applied to. It often takes longer than expected for school to receive them, and a couple times they might even get lost. Follow up with college admissions offices at any schools you applied and lookout for any direct correspondence from school officials letting you know if your transcripts are missing.
4. Stay on Top of Deadlines
Most colleges and universities have deadlines for when you must make a decision as to whether or not you chose to enroll in their school and submit your deposit. This is because they’ve received numerous applications and if one student turns down a spot it frees up a space for someone else. So please be courteous and timely with your admissions decisions. The school that’s last on your list may be someone else’s first choice! That leads us to the next point…
5. Make a Visit
If you’ve been accepted to a few schools and are having a hard time choosing between them, plan a visit. Tour the campus, talk to current students, eat in the dining hall and visit the dorms. If you can imagine yourself being happy and comfortable there, then you know you’ve found the right school and can enroll confidently!