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Crucial Next Steps for Class of 2023

By: TxCAN   |   March 2023

In this blog, TxCAN shares matriculation next steps for counselors, advisors, and teachers to share with seniors. These steps are crucial for seniors’ postsecondary enrollment.

Spring Break is around the corner and seniors’ minds are likely on prom and graduation. TxCAN understands, this is a big milestone that seniors have worked very hard to achieve. The promise of a new season is on the horizon. The question many teachers, counselors, and advisors might be asking themselves right now is- how do we keep students engaged when senioritis is in the air?  

There are many next steps graduates must take towards matriculation. TxCAN hopes that sharing these next steps with seniors will help them remain committed to their postsecondary goals.  

Next Steps for Seniors 


The hardest part of the college admissions process is almost a thing of the past. The season of applications, transcripts, resumes, and essays is complete or coming to an end for many seniors. Now they wait. Students should begin receiving decision letters from the colleges they applied to in the coming months if they haven’t already. The sense of impatience can be tricky for students, and TxCAN recommends asking students to check their college portals often.  

Ask students to keep track of their college portal login information in a note, tracker, or password manager. LastPass is a password manager highly recommended for students. If students have any questions about accessing their portal, they can reach out to the college's IT help desk for support. If students have not heard back from a school and are feeling anxious about the time that has gone by since their application was submitted, the college may be missing something for their application. It’s possible supplemental admissions items may have gotten lost in transit. Their college portal is the best place to stay up to date on their college admission and/or any missing application items. 

Financial Aid Awards 

Once a college has shared their decision to accept, reject, or waitlist a student, it is time to look for financial aid offers from accepted schools. Financial aid can take a few weeks to appear after a decision is shared with students. Times vary from school to school. Student college portals will also house this information and provide access to financial aid awards.   

College portals may also share any next steps the financial aid office may be requesting. Schools call this “Verification”. What is financial aid verification? Financial aid verification is the process a college uses to confirm that the data reported on the student’s FAFSA/TASFA is accurate. Often students are chosen at random for verification or colleges may have seen something on their FAFSA/TASFA they want more information on.  

For help on verification next steps, tell students to reach out to the school's financial aid office. Every school uses similar but different forms in their verification process. A popular verification method is to ask for a signed copy of the parent’s taxes or a tax transcript. A tax transcript can be obtained using the following link or the free “fill and sign” feature in Adobe allows parents to sign their scanned taxes; therefore, making it easier to share their signed taxes with universities. For instructions on how to scan documents using your phone, click here. Once all financial aid letters are obtained from colleges that students are considering, be sure to share the following UAspire College Cost Calculator with students! The cost calculator helps students understand their financial aid offers and compare their financial aid costs across schools! 

Texas Success Initiative Assessment (TSIA) 

The TSIA is an assessment designed to help Texas colleges or universities determine if a student is ready for college-level coursework in the areas of reading, writing, and mathematics. If a student has ACT or SAT readiness scores, the TSIA is not required. If a student needs TSI scores, there are a couple of options available to them. High Schools sometimes offer TSI testing options on campus. Ask students to check with the college they wish to attend to see if they offer TSI testing dates. Local community colleges also offer plenty of TSI testing options available to all students.  For a table of SAT and ACT readiness scores and TSI prep resources, view this resource. 

Enrollment Deposits 

After students have compared their financial aid offers, it is time to decide where to go to school in the fall. This is not a decision to be taken lightly. Students should visit campuses if possible and talk through their college options with individuals they trust. May 1 is the common deadline for most college enrollment deposits. Enrollment deposits allow universities to know that a student is committed to attending the campus next Fall. NACAC offers an enrollment deposit fee waiver that we have linked here for students who need financial support to pay enrollment fees.  

If a student plans to take classes on campus, a meningitis shot is required. Ask students to talk to their families to make a plan to complete this vaccine requirement.  Finally, if a student wishes to live on campus, they must apply for on-campus housing, and this is often done on a separate application through the university.  

The matriculation next steps are summarized for you below: 

  1. Check College Portals for any Missing Decisions 
  2. Check College Portals for Financial Aid Offers or Verification Steps 
  3. Compare Financial Aid Offers 
  4. Check TSIA Status
  5. Make a Decision and Pay Enrollment Deposit 
  6. Apply for On Campus Housing if interested 

If you would like to share a checklist with your Seniors, College Board has a helpful College Planning Checklist you can print and distribute to your 12th graders. Mapping Your Future also provides a detailed month-by-month checklist for students that is easy to navigate. Share the link with your students via a mass email or text message! 

TxCAN hopes these steps will help you keep seniors engaged and committed to their postsecondary goals. These next steps are crucial for successful matriculation and the beginning of a new season for students. Linked here is a recent blog with re-engagement strategies to help you manage your caseload of seniors and plan a better student engagement strategy. TxCAN believes the re-engagement strategies shared in this blog can also apply to the topics shared above.  

The Texas College Access Network (TxCAN) connects and supports college access initiatives across Texas, with the goal of increasing access to college and certificate programs.