Congratulations on a successful college search journey! All your hard work has paid off, and you’ve been admitted to college. Maybe you’ve even been admitted to multiple schools. But you can only attend one, and now you must decide where to spend the next four years. How do you choose? And what should you do once you’ve decided? Here are a few tips on how to decide between colleges and essential enrollment steps.

Do your research when you decide between colleges.

Now is when you really want to dig deeper and hone in on factors like campus culture, location, internship and career opportunities, and financial aid packages. These can tip the balance between schools you truly love, just like, and maybe aren’t so excited about anymore. Start by following the admissions departments on social media and taking (retaking?) virtual tours. Consider connecting with current students and recent alums from each college to ask what they like most and least about being a student there. Even better, if you can, register for and attend admitted student events to get a last peek at each campus and answers to any remaining questions. Create a list of each school’s pros and cons and compare them side by side. And, talk to your parents and family who know you best to get their thoughts. Remember, this is where you’ll spend the next four years, so going the extra mile to discover more can go a long way to helping you decide between colleges and find the best fit for you.

You MUST enroll and pay the deposit to a college by MAY 1. 

You typically have until May 1 to reserve your seat in the first-year class and put down your enrollment deposit through your admitted student online portal. This portal will contain information about the enrollment process, your financial aid package, student housing, and more. You can find information about accessing your admitted students portal in your college acceptance packet or email.

Follow through on your enrollment. 

Carefully reread your acceptance letter and take note of essential deadline datesenrollment deposit (again, typically May 1); housing deposit (often first-come, first-serve); orientation registration (again, often first-come, first-serve); final high school transcript submissionplacement tests (usually math and world language); health and immunization formsfinancial aid documents; and more.

Your senior-year grades (and behavior) still count! 

Yay! You’ve enrolled and are now a proud _______ (Buffalo? Bruin? Blue Hen?). You’re relieved and excited and want to celebrate, which is great! But remember, your offer still depends on successful completion and graduation from high school. A significant dip in grades or standards of behavior (including social media posts!) could result in a college rescinding its scholarship money, financial aid, or even admission offer. So, stay on course and finish strong. NOTE: In most cases, dropping a class during your second semester of senior year won’t affect admission, but please be sure to let the college know anyway.

Let your other college options know (and let them go). 

It’s unnecessary, but it’s certainly nice to politely let your other college options know you will not attend their institution. This way, admissions officers may learn sooner if they need to go to their waitlist. You can usually do this through your admission portal.

How to decide between colleges after being waitlisted?

If you’ve been waitlisted at a school and are still genuinely interested in attending, let that college know you’d like to remain on their waitlist. Again, you’ll typically tell them through your portal, but read your decision letter carefully for instructions on accepting your waitlist spot. Unless the decision letter states specifically not to, consider submitting a letter of continued interest (LOCI) to let admissions know that, well, you’re still interested, and include any awards, recognition, projects, and accomplishments since submitting your application. NOTE: DO NOT WAIT TO HEAR IF YOU’VE BEEN OFFERED A SPOT OFF THE WAITLIST before depositing at a college where you’ve been admitted. Remember, if you don’t enroll and pay the deposit at a school by the deadline (usually May 1), they will assume you’re not interested in attending. Not depositing at a college means you will likely lose your seat.

When making your final college choice, carefully and deliberately consider these steps to ensure you’ve made a well-informed decision. And contact Moxie with any questions or concerns or if you want to discuss your options. Again, congratulations on your success!