You’re In! Now what?

girl graduating high school and headed to college

by Stacey Milton

Did you hear a collective sigh of relief on May 1st? The National Decision Day has passed, and high school seniors have chosen their college and submitted enrollment deposits, marking the official end of the 2015-2016 admissions cycle.

Over the next few months, students will be notified about housing, orientation, and other important steps they will need to complete before they arrive on campus in the fall. It’s quite likely that this information will be communicated via email, so students must get into the habit of checking email regularly, or they could miss out on something important.

Often, there is an abundance of information available in the applicant account, where students checked their admission decision. Be sure to log in and check for any important next steps that can be completed online.

Waitlist Activity

In the upcoming days and weeks, colleges will determine if they need to go to their respective waitlists. Students who have accepted a place on a waitlist will be contacted if spaces become available, and will then have a short window to say yes or no. There could be several rounds of this back and forth, sometimes into the summer months. Once a college feels that their class is complete, they will notify students that they have been “released” from the waitlist.


Students should check email regularly for information about orientation. It’s generally during orientation that they will meet with academic advisors and schedule first semester courses. If possible, plan to bring copies of college transcripts and final AP scores to orientation so that any external credits can be taken into account while planning coursework. During or prior to orientation, students may also take placement exams for math, foreign language and/or writing courses.

Housing & Roommates

Colleges often have incoming students complete a housing survey before being assigned to a residence hall on campus. Keep in mind that housing assignments may be “first come, first serve”; the sooner the survey is submitted, the more likely a student is to be placed into one of their preferred residence halls.

When it comes to roommates, being randomly matched may seem scary, but it usually works out just fine. Remember, once upon a time, this is was the only way it happened! Now, with more and more colleges creating Facebook pages for each incoming freshman class, students can now meet and interact with future classmates online, and may find a roommate before submitting the housing requests.

Final Transcript & Proof of Graduation

Seniors, keep working hard through the next few weeks! All seniors will need to submit a final transcript with proof of graduation, so now is not the time to let grades slip. Students should check with their high school college counselor to be sure they know where to send the final transcript when it’s ready. When colleges request “proof of graduation,” they are generally referring to a final transcript printed with the date of graduation and an indication that a diploma was received.

AP & IB Credit

As students take AP exams this week and next, they can choose to have scores sent automatically to their chosen college. At this point, scores will not impact the admissions decision, but they may receive college credit for passing scores on AP and/or IB exams. You can view the AP Credit Evaluation Guide on the College Board website to see what your college will accept for course/elective credit. Once students receive AP results for this year, they should have all scores sent officially to the college for evaluation.

College Transcripts

If students have completed college coursework through dual enrollment or summer college programs, they should have official transcripts sent to the college as well. As with AP and IB scores, college courses will be evaluated for possible college credit.

Financial Aid: Work Study

If students have received federal work study as part of a financial aid package, be sure to read any paperwork related to finding an on-campus job. It’s too early right now, but by mid-summer, they may be able to contact student employment resources to schedule interviews for possible work study jobs. Don’t wait too long, or you may not have as many options!

Graduation is just weeks away and soon seniors will be able to relax and enjoy the summer. Now that they’ve survived this process, they deserve a well-earned break, but don’t forget to stay on top of the these important next steps for college enrollment!

Stacey MiltonYou’re In! Now what?