Starmount High

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Making a Decision

Things to Remember

  • Take your time. You don't have to give a final answer until May 1.
  • Rethink everything about each school you are considering and compare costs, academic programs, setting and student life, extracurricular opportunities, etc.
  • Use the Compare Your Aid Awards tool to compare how much each university will cost you.
  • Visit or revisit each school.
  • When it is time to make your decision, don't forget to send the following:
    • Your acceptance letter
    • A tuition deposit (usually $200-$300)
    • A separate acceptance letter for financial aid, if required (you will need to accept or reject the work-study and loan awards that the university offers)
    • Any other required items specific to the college
  • Don't forget to send a brief note to the colleges whose offers you are declining.

Decision Timeline


Complete the FAFSA. Without the FAFSA, colleges will not be able to offer you any need-based grant money.

March - April

Colleges will send a financial aid award letter. This letter will put together all the money that the college is offering (grants, scholarships, work-study) as well as government loans into a single financial aid "package." This package will show you how much it will cost you to go to college for the first year (remember that college costs will likely increase slightly each year you are in school).

It only makes sense to make a college decision once a financial aid award letter is received from each university.

May 1

Deadline to make a college decision and to send in tuition deposit.

Don't rush your decision—you have until May 1! Make sure to compare financial aid award letters from each school, visit or take second visits if possible. Give a fresh look to each school that accepted you.

More links for making the college decision:


  • Once you have made your decision, there is still a list of tasks to complete:
    • Read and respond to all information that you receive from the college
    • Send in your tuition deposit
    • Accept your financial aid offer
    • Take care of loan paperwork
    • Select housing and meal plan
    • Send in your final transcript (CFNC should do this automatically)
    • Check computer requirements
    • Check out pre-orientation programs—these are a great way to make friends before the first day.
    • Get a physical and prepare your medical information (including vaccination history)
  • Make sure you get credit for college courses taken in high school and find out if you have to take any placement exams.

Throughout the enrollment process the college is your guide. Make sure read and respond to all communications from the college. Don't miss the deadline for sending in the deposit, accepting financial aid, selecting housing and meal plan, and paying the first tuition payment.