May 1 is National Decision Day 2020

May 1 is National Decision Day 2020
Susan Dutca-Lovell

Traditionally, May 1 is National Decision Day, the deadline by which high school seniors commit to their desired college or university by signing their Letters of Intent to enroll. This year, due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, many colleges have postponed the deadline until June 1. Most students will have received their college admissions acceptance letters by April 1 and the good news is that this deadline extension gives them some extra time in making presumably the biggest decision of their current lives. Now that you may have some more time to deliberate on which college you'd like to attend, quickly run through these checklists to ensure you're truly ready for the big day!

What do I do to prepare for National Decision Day?

First and foremost, determine if your schools' National Decision Days have been adjusted.

Before you commit to the school at which you will be a student for the next four years of your life, consider reviewing these top things to consider when choosing the right college for you, as well as researching the following:

  • Compare Financial Aid Offers
  • Cost of Attendance
  • School Statistics
  • Return-on-investment (ROI)
  • Housing/Commute/Transportation Options
  • Academic Major Options/Curriculum/Course Availability
  • Graduate/Professional School Options
  • Study Abroad Options
  • Greek Life Options
  • Location/Campus Size
  • Extracurricular Activities
  • Sports Programs

Here are other crucial things prospective college students should do as they gear up for National Decision Day:

  • Determine if your intended college(s) require deposits as part of your letter of intent and if they have extended the deposit deadline.
  • Decide if you need to appeal your financial aid package.
  • Double- and triple- check that you have thoroughly completed and filed your FAFSA.
  • Reach out to all desired college(s) to determine what each school is doing to accommodate applicants and what their action plan is for the upcoming semester.
  • Continue applying for college scholarships as part of your college payment strategy.

If you miss the National Decision Day deadline, you should immediately contact the admissions office at your desired institution and explain the reason for having missed it. While some schools offer extensions, many do not accept late college decisions.

Lastly, decide if you want to show your school spirit and don your future college's gear on the day you sign your letter of intent. Many colleges and universities have bookstores and online stores where they sell college-related gear, including t-shirts, sweatshirts, baseball caps, and more. High school educators are likely to join in by showcasing their own alumni spirit and encouraging community awareness of college preparedness for students of all grade levels. If you have already committed to a school or know which one you'll be committing to, share the good news with us and fellow students by leaving a comment below!

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