You have just made one of the biggest decisions of your life. Choosing a college is never an easy task. In addition, award letters and funding options can quickly become stressful stuff. Give yourself credit. You made it through the admissions and financial aid processes and are now on your way to college in the fall!
Essentially, most of your work regarding the process is complete. However, you may still have a few questions about what happens next.
Will I need the college's health insurance plan?
If you are still covered under your parents' health plan, notify the school that you do not need this coverage. It may reduce your bill.
Will the college send me any other loan information?
The college will provide Direct and Perkins Loan information to you if you have accepted them on your Award Letter. You will have to go online and complete the entrance counseling and master promissory note before the money can be disbursed to your college. The entrance counseling will walk you through the loan process and explain your rights and responsibilities as a borrower. The Master Promissory Note is a legal document in which you agree to repay the loan and any accrued interest and fees.
I expect to receive a few outside scholarships or grants.
Will this reduce my overall bill?
You must notify the financial aid office of any outside scholarships or grants you receive. Each college may handle outside scholarships differently. Ask your school's financial aid office, "What is your policy on the treatment of outside scholarships?" Typically outside scholarships are sent directly to the college and in most instances reduce the amount you need to borrow or earn through work- study.
Should I work this summer?
The more you can save this summer, the more it will help with the miscellaneous expenses such as books, phone and cable setup charges, and spending money. The more you save now, the less you will need to borrow later.
Why should I attend summer orientation?
Summer orientation is more than an introduction to the college of your choice; it's a starting point to the next two to four years of your educational experience. Orientation usually includes events to meet campus staff, attend presentations on academic life and discussions on financial aid, and perhaps take placement exams for different subject areas. It's also a chance to meet new classmates and perhaps to even find a potential roommate, get your student ID card, learn where the dining commons are, and to begin getting comfortable with where you will be living in the fall.