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What happens after you've been accepted?

By Rob Taylor

So you have been accepted to college or university. Now what?

Many students are so focused on getting their applications in, getting good grades and getting through exams that they really haven't given much thought to what to do after they get in.

We've got some suggestions as to what you might want to consider before showing up on campus in September (or earlier for some schools).

Which school do you really want to go to and when do they need your confirmation of acceptance?
You probably have this one all figured out, but it's still a good question to ask if you have been accepted to two or three different schools.

Where is your money for school coming from? When will you be able to get access to it?
For most provincial loans, you send the forms off to the school's financial aid office once you have confirmed your acceptance, or you can apply online. The OSAP (Ontario Student Assistance Program) Web site encourages students to apply at least 10 weeks before they start to attend classes. The final deadline to apply for student loans in British Columbia is six weeks before class. Other provinces have similar deadlines. This is because most schools require you to pay for a large portion of your student fees before you can be registered as a student and you need to make sure that the student loan is processed and available in time.

You can find more information about student loans and financial assistance here:

http://www.schoolfinder.com/finance

If you are getting the money from other sources, you may want to confirm that money's availability now rather than later.

When are your fees due? How much are they and how do you pay them?
You don't want any surprises to come up, especially financial ones. Read over all the literature supplied by the school carefully.

Where are you going to be living? Have you applied for residence? Have you been accepted in residence? Are you sure?
About 10 years ago, this would not have been as important as it is now. Residences often had vacancies until September, but with the Baby Boom Echo and the Double Cohort in Ontario, residences are full or over capacity. Some schools automatically award incoming students a space, while others have a first-come, first-served policy. Check it out and if you do want to live in residence, apply early. Read over the literature supplied by the school early. If you have no literature about residence, contact the school and let them know you are interested in living on residence. Don't assume; make sure you are in. There's nothing worse than showing up for school and not having a place to live.

If you are going to live off campus, start looking for an apartment early. You may have to visit the town you are going to be going to school in to properly accomplish this task.

If you are going to be living at home, you may want to rearrange your room. Maybe buy a plant.

Does your school have an orientation week/day?
It is important that you attend your school's orientation if they have one. School-run orientation is a good way to meet friends and get familiar with the campus that you'll be spending a lot of time on. Information on this program will be sent to you. If you don't receive anything, ask the school if this kind of activity is run for incoming students. If it is, sign up as early as possible.

How familiar are you with the town your school is in?
If you can, try visiting the town you're going to be going to school in. Get familiar with how to get around town, where the bus station is, where the grocery store is and so on.

Still more questions!
There are many more questions you could ask yourself, like "How will I get to school every day?" For this reason, our final suggestion would be to see if you can find a student who is currently going to school at your university or college. Ask them if they have any tips or advice for you. Some schools actually have programs that pair up incoming students with students who have been attending the school for a year or more. Sometimes the best advice can come from someone who has just gone through the whole process.

University of Toronto: Ontario Institute for Studies in Education - Teacher Education Programs e-Tour(TM)
 
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