Springtime is the season for new growth, full of anticipation for the coming summer months. For high school seniors, this typical excitement is not only due to the longer days and warmer weather, but because they are finally going to decide their future. On or before May 1, your student will make their final decision as to which college they are going to attend. Your family has already looked over all the offers your student received, discussed financial strategies, and considered personal preferences. All that’s left is the final confirmation of their attendance.


You and your student will confirm their attendance at the school of their choice by officially accepting the offer and sending the college an initial deposit for tuition. This is usually done through the college’s online portal, so the exact steps and layout may vary by school; follow the directions provided on the portal or in the initial acceptance letter.

Once your deposit is submitted, your student will have to decline any offers they may have received from other schools. Again, this is usually done through the college portal online. It is important that students notify the schools they are not going to attend as soon as they make their decision, so their seat in that school’s class is now considered “open”. This allows for other students on the waitlist to hear back from the college about their own pending attendance more quickly.

Like many other steps in the college application process, this final decision can be emotional. Students should be encouraged to feel proud of their accomplishments thus far. For many years, they have been working hard with the goal of attending the college that’s right for them. There, they will continue their education, practice skills, make memories, and discover new things about themselves and the world around them.

Decision day is a great opportunity for students to look back on their time in high school and think about their hopes and goals for the future. Self-reflection is a good skill to practice on a regular basis, but it’s especially important to check in with oneself during big moments like this. Your student may be excited about this new chapter of their lives or they may be nervous about moving away from home—or they could be feeling many things all at once! Make sure your student is cognizant of their own emotions so the transition out of high school and into college goes as smoothly as possible.

Congratulations. Getting into the right college is a huge accomplishment, and you and your student should be proud of yourselves for successfully completing the whole application process. We share the pride you have in your students and welcome any future questions or concerns. Remember—for our full comp customers, we will be here each year to answer your FAFSA questions. For now, enjoy the upcoming graduation ceremony and end-of-year festivities.