College enrollment guide


Once your student decides which college they’re going to attend, there are a few steps to take to complete the enrollment process. Enrollment takes place after the admission decision, and involves choosing a first-semester class schedule, attending orientation and paying tuition.

While the specifics may differ slightly for each school, the basics are the same. We’re here to walk you through it. 

Step 1: Commit to a college

Depending on how many schools your student applies to, they may be admitted to several colleges. After receiving notification of admission, your student must decide which school they want to commit to. (National College Decision Day is May 1.) Then they can move forward with the next steps of the enrollment process.

Step 2: Complete enrollment steps

These tasks, usually listed on the school’s online student portal, may include attending orientation and meeting with an academic advisor. At orientation, your student will learn important information about the college and their major, and have the opportunity to get answers to any questions they may have. This is a great opportunity for your student to really start feeling like they are a part of the university community. 

During the meeting with their academic advisor, they can plan out the best class schedule and learn about the courses they are required to take in their first semester, such as a student success course. 

Step 3: Register for classes

This may happen at orientation or during a meeting with an academic advisor, or your student may be able to enroll in classes on their own. Check to make sure there aren’t any tasks to complete before your student is allowed to select classes — this could be paying an enrollment deposit, taking math or language placement tests, or uploading certain documents to the student portal. It’s a good idea to get these things done as soon as possible, so your student will have the widest selection of classes when creating their ideal schedule. 

Step 4: Pay any fees and accept financial aid

Once your student is enrolled in classes, they should make arrangements to pay their tuition costs. This means accepting financial aid (scholarships, grants and loans) and making a plan for paying any remaining fees. In some cases, certain enrollment fees may be waived or delayed depending on the student’s financial situation. Be sure to check with the school’s financial aid services for more information.