College Decision Day Checklist

National College Decision Day is May 1!


National College Decision Day is the day by which you must inform a college or university that you plan to enroll there*. Usually this involves sending in a deposit to secure your place. Before you make your final decision, review our checklist to ensure you make the best choice for you!

Read your award letter.

Cost is an important factor when making your college decision! By now, you should have received award letters from the colleges you’ve applied and been accepted to. Before you make your final decision, you have to have a good idea of how much you will need to pay for each college. Think about it…would you agree to buy a car without knowing how much it cost? First take the time to make sure you fully understand each award letter and then compare your award letters to help narrow down your choices. Click here to download our “Can you afford your college choices?” worksheet.

Visit the campus.

Another factor in your college decision should be whether you actually like the campus. If you visited a college and didn’t really enjoy the time you spent there, perhaps you should think twice about choosing that school. That campus is where you’ll be spending the majority of the next four years, so you’re going to want to actually enjoy the time you spend there! If you haven’t yet been able to visit the colleges on your final list, make every effort to do so. To use our car analogy again, you wouldn’t buy a car without seeing it in person, would you? If you are absolutely unable to visit a campus in person, at least take a virtual/online tour. Click here to download our “College Visit Checklist” worksheet.

Do it for the right reasons.

Try not to base your final college decision on the wrong reasons. For example, the college your best friend or significant other has decided to attend might be a great fit for them, but that doesn’t automatically make it a great fit for you. Or maybe your parents had their hearts set on you attending their alma mater. Instead of these reasons, try to base your final college decision on factors that are more important for you personally, such as academics, programs of study, athletics and extracurriculars, financial aid, campus size and location, housing and dining, and other things that you want most out of your college experience. Click here to download our “Choosing Your College Priorities” worksheet.

Go ahead, make your choice.

So you’ve considered everything mentioned above, done a lot of thinking, and have finally narrowed your college list down to a single one. Congratulations — you’ve made your final college decision! Take a moment to celebrate this amazing achievement. By making this important decision, you’ve taken a huge step on your journey to achieving your higher education goals. You should be proud!

After you’ve made your decision, join us for our Cappex College Decision Day celebration! We’re proud of you too, and we’d love to know where you decided to go. Be sure to log on to Cappex and update your college list! Then tell us what school you chose by posting on our Facebook timeline or sending us a Tweet with the hashtag #CappexCollegeDecision.


* Note that some colleges and universities might have a different deadline for putting in your deposit; contact your college or university of choice to confirm.
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