Did you know?
May 1st is National College Decision Day, a day when high schools celebrate high school seniors’ college acceptances. In the weeks leading up to College Decision Day, schools will offer extra support to seniors and their families to help them make the best college decision.
Don’t know where to start?
- Review our applying to college page for tips about the college application process
- Review frequently asked questions below and visit the websites mentioned with your child.
- Talk to your child’s school counselor.
Frequently Asked Questions
When will my child learn if they have been accepted into a college?
Colleges usually inform students about their acceptance between months of January and April depending on when they submitted their college application. Your child can contact college admissions office with questions.
How much will my family have to pay for college?
The first step in paying for a college
is figuring out the cost of attendance. This includes tuition, housing, food, fees, books, travel and other personal expenses. Each school has a different cost of attendance. Your child will receive a financial aid award letter from each college that accepted them. The letter will show different types of financial aid
your family will receive for the academic year (including loans, work-study, grants and scholarships). Financial aid award letters sometimes come with college acceptance letters or soon after. If you do not receive an award letter, contact the college’s financial aid office before making a decision.
What if my child did not receive enough financial aid from a college?
- Make sure all financial aid forms like FAFSA and TAP are accurate and updated. Speak to your school counselor about making corrections, if needed.
- Connect with the college financial aid office, ask about their appeal process, and ask your child’s school counselor for help.
How much should my child borrow in student loans to pay for college?
Many students choose to borrow money from the government, their college or private banks to help cover college costs. While taking out a loan to pay for education is an investment in your child’s future, it is important to take out a manageable amount of debt so that your child can repay it. Before taking out a loan, learn about the different loans available
, use this student loan calculator
to find out what the monthly repayment plan could be.
How can I help my child decide which college to attend?
Below are some factors for your family to consider when making this decision:
- Look for academic experience that will help your child feel challenged, engaged, and provide support needed for success such as tutoring, accessible professors, career services.
- Each college has its own culture; it is important for your child to feel welcomed, supported, and foster strong relationships with their professors and peers. Visit the college or conduct a virtual tour to help your child find the right social fit.
- Is the college affordable? Use this tool to compare financial aid award letters, find out which college is most affordable and the best financial fit for your family.
- Lastly, use the College Scorecard to help compare college graduation rates, graduate earnings and other important characteristics.
What if my child is waitlisted?
Being waitlisted can happen when your child meets the admissions requirements but the college has already accepted enough students. Your child can be admitted if college has openings before the school year starts. If your child is on waitlist and interested in attending the college, they should speak to their school counselor and follow these steps
We decided on a college, what comes next?
Congratulations on choosing a college!
- Your child should follow the directions in the official acceptance letter or email received from the college.
- Over the summer, encourage your child to check their email for instructions about college placement exams, orientation dates and deadlines they must meet before beginning classes.
Counselors and School Staff
School staff who work with seniors can find College Decision Day planning resources such as toolkits and checklists on WeTeach