How To Apply To College
So, you have applied to college, and are awaiting the acceptance letter from your top school — Or, maybe you have just been accepted. What happens now? What are the next steps after applying to college and becoming an accepted student?
After receiving acceptance letters, you will have to make your final choice, and send in a deposit. For some, this is easy - you have, after an extensive college search, chosen a single school that blows all of the others out of the water. But, for others, this choice can be a delicate subject, the last decision to make in the college admissions process. While academics, and other appealing features can help you decide, many still have to weigh in the amount they are receiving in financial aid, scholarships, and the total cost of their education that will be funded with student loans.
This page details how an accepted students day, or weekend (which many colleges now host), can help you narrow down your college choices and ultimately choose which college to attend.
About Accepted Students Day
The actual accepted students day program will differ by school, but generally, there are a few things you can expect to see:
This is just a kickoff to the events coming later in the day. All students (and parents if invited) meet in a large lecture hall or auditorium. At this point, usually the president of the school will welcome potential students to the school and speak a little bit about the school itself.
Some schools offer mock classes or allow students to sit in on ongoing ones. This allows students to gauge the learning environment and see if it is right for them. These usually do not last too long (unlike a real class) and offer the chance to see what attending classes could be like.
Faculty Meet and Greet
If you're one of those lucky students who know exactly what their major will be, then this part of the program will be particularly useful. The faculty at a school can make or break your academic experience, so having the chance to schmooze with them beforehand can be very helpful. Pay attention to your first feelings upon meeting the faculty within a department, as you will be spending the next four years with these people. This is also a good chance to get some specific questions about the program answered! If you are going in undecided, no worries. You can usually meet faculty from multiple departments and this will help you scope out your options and learn more about potential majors the college offers.
A college tour generally will bring you around campus, and through some of the residence halls and classrooms. The tour on accepted students day is usually very similar to any other tour of the school you may have gone on, but it does offer the opportunity to bring up any questions that you may have thought of since your first visit (if you have visited before). Another thing to remember during this time is that you are touring with potential classmates! If you get a chance, try to talk with other accepted students to get a feel for the type of students you will attend school with.
Financial Aid Workshops
These differ greatly from school to school. Some are just for parents, some are for students and parents, and some schools may not offer these workshops at all! If your school offers a financial aid workshop, it is an excellent idea to attend as it can give you an idea of how attendance can affect your financial situation, and answer questions you have about the final steps in the financial aid process. If a workshop is not on your school's agenda, it is still a good idea to set up an appointment with a financial aid officer to discuss financial aid options while you are visiting. Before you go, make of list of questions to ask your financial aid officer to make the most of the meeting.
There are a number of other activities, such as luncheons with current students, that may be on your school's agenda, so make sure to check with your potential schools to find out what's in store!
Why Accepted Students Should Attend
Overall, accepted students day can be very beneficial for students who are on the fence about which school to attend. They allow students to get a better feel for the college and the environment they will be inhabiting for the next four years. Not to mention, it is a time to start connecting with other students. If you do decide to attend that college, you will already recognize some familiar faces from day one! For those of you who cannot make the accepted students day or weekend, many colleges also offer an accepted students website to serve the same purpose. These websites allow you to create a profile, connect with potential peers, and chat with school representatives.