Before You Enroll in College
Before school starts, you will have a long to-do list. You may need to pay fees and submit updated transcripts, immunization records, and housing forms. Make sure you know about any required placement tests and how and when to register for classes. Find out if you are eligible for any special summer programs at your school. A summer job can help you save up to buy books and other college necessities.
Do I have to attend orientation?
Yes, attend orientation. This is often mandatory, and allows you to get to know your campus and register for classes.
What do I absolutely have to do in the summer before I start college?
Check your emails or mail for upcoming dates, deadlines and events. Your school will send you important information about due dates for commitment fees and housing deposits, placement test dates, and/or summer programs (such as EOP/HEOP) and orientation. The summer before college is also a great time to explore your college and become familiar with the area.
What is summer immersion?
There are two different types of summer immersion. One is a non-credit program intended for students who must complete their basic skills requirements and improve their proficiency in Reading, Writing and Mathematics. The other is for students who want to get a head start in their college career, earn college credit and perhaps deepen their knowledge in a specific subject area.
Do I have to take a placement test?
Check with your college to find out about specific testing requirements. If you are entering a CUNY school, you must take the CUNY Assessment Tests in reading, writing, and mathematics (unless you demonstrated that you meet the University's skills proficiency requirements based on SAT, ACT, or NY State Regents test scores).
The placement test for most schools is mandatory in order to register for classes. In general, not taking the test can mean that you cannot register for classes, or it may mean that you miss an opportunity to take part in special programs that happen during the summer.
If any of your scores on the CUNY Assessment Tests are below the minimum level set by CUNY, you will need to take non-credit basic skills (remedial) classes in that area. It is strongly recommended you prepare for the placement tests before you take them. Some practice questions and other information can be seen here
I can’t afford my deposit. What should I do?
Check with your college to see if you qualify for a waiver. Talk to your school counselor or other adviser to see if any other resources might be available to you.
I’m living on campus. What do I need to bring?
Most colleges provide a suggested packing list. See if one is available for your school. It might have some hints and tips about specific dorms as well as rules about items not allowed (for example, candles and incense are banned in nearly all dorm rooms). Here is a sample list from SUNY Albany.
Stick to the necessities and avoid over-packing. If you’re living with roommate(s), make sure you contact them before moving day so that everyone can organize a list of items to bring with them. This will avoid duplicate items and maximize space.
When and how do I register for classes?
There a multiple ways to register for classes such as during orientation with your academic adviser, online registration, or the college registrar’s office. Check your school’s academic calendar for registration dates.
How do I pay for books and other necessities if I haven’t gotten my refund check yet?
Contact the financial aid office to inquire and confirm that you will be receiving a book stipend. If you will not be receiving a stipend or if you need your books before you get it, you can save money by renting books, sharing books with classmates, reading books in the library, or copying selections from books you borrow until you can buy your own. If none of these are an option, talk to your professor or academic adviser. Take action: don’t fall behind because you can’t afford your books.
What is a certificate of residence, and do I need one?
It is an official New York State document that says that you are a resident. Yes, you need it to guarantee that you will be charged in-state tuition and fees, which are much less than those charged to out-of-state students.
How do I complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN)?
Log into www.studentloans.gov and sign in. First, you must complete the entrance counseling and submit it. The next step is to complete the Master Promissory Note (MPN). Click on MPN link and fill in your information including two references. Type your name and date and submit. Be sure to print a copy for your records.
DOCUMENT | This checklist outlines all of the steps you need to make sure to complete between the time you submit your college application and actually enroll in classes at your college. It covers everything from submitting your transcripts and immunization records to attending orientation. Read moreBookmark