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Top 10 Tips for Enrolling in College


“Congratulations, you’ve made the big decision and now you are ready to enroll in your college of choice. This is a very big step; one you should take seriously and prepare for. Here are my Top 10 Tips that can make sure your enrollment actions will lead you to a successful undergraduate experience.” – Dr. Beth

  1. Make another campus visit. If at all possible, spend time at your college of choice a second or third time before you enroll to make sure that you are very comfortable with your decision. Try to schedule an overnight stay to get a more realistic feel of life in a residence hall.
  2. Understand your housing options.  Before you sign the admissions acceptance letter, see if the housing you really liked last fall is still available. Popular housing facilities fill up first and other options may not meet your needs. Another note, not all colleges guarantee housing for incoming freshmen!
  3. Understand your financial commitment. Prior to enrolling, know the first year “total cost of attendance” and how much you will be responsible for. Take steps to get your best financing package (e.g. – FAFSA, CSS Profile, merit scholarships, individual department scholarships).
  4. Check out your special interest requirements. Before you enroll, be aware, some special interest programs (e.g. – art, music, dance, ROTC, theater) may have additional applications. Similarly, some highly selective and popular majors require supplemental applications.
  5. Understand your accommodations package.  For students with special needs, enroll only if you understand the special needs accommodations being offered and whether they will meet your needs. It’s also a great idea to visit the school’s support center for students with special needs to get to know the staff and feel comfortable that they will be able to support your needs.
  6. Re-read the “Intent to Enroll” contract.  This is the formal acceptance of your college of choice’s offer of admission. Pay close attention to the options and rules you are agreeing to. See if the enrollment deposit is refundable. If possible, use a credit card for payment.
  7. Enroll in only one college.  It is likely that both your application to and the Intent to Enroll form from your college of choice require you agree to enrollment in a single school. If you have multiple enrollments you might forfeit your admission status at all of your schools!
  8. May 1st is National Decision Day.  Have everything done so you can enroll before May 1st. That said, if you still have some issues, and May 1st is approaching, call your top choice school(s) and ask for additional time. Explain why you need more time and just how much time you need.
  9. Notify your “NLI schools.”  As a courtesy, contact all of the schools in which you are “No Longer Interested” and advise them you are declining their offer of admission. A short written note or email will generally suffice. However, some schools ask that you login to your online account to decline admission. Be sure to follow the procedure outlined by each school. If you want to share where you decided to enroll, that is OK.
  10. Attend that reception.  Once enrolled, you will get a steady stream of information on programs intended to make your transition a smooth one. You may get invitations to new-student receptions, pre-freshman summer programs and new-student orientations. Accept these offers!

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