Seniors, a show of hands: how many of you regularly check your school or personal emails? If you were like me when I was in high school, your email notifications are close to the hundreds or even thousands, jam-packed with coupons for clothes, shoes, and food. I’m sure some of you think, if it is important, I will receive something in the mail, right? Sorry Charlie, but that might not be the case. If it weren’t for my college coaches, I would have missed out on strict deadlines and opportunities for scholarships. True story: a recruiter emailed me to come out for an official visit, and after that, I was offered a generous scholarship to attend and play as a middle blocker. If I hadn’t been diligent with checking my emails, I would have missed out on the chance to play DI volleyball! Colleges expect you to check your email AND online student based accounts on a regular basis for updates. Otherwise, you’ll be disappointed when you’ve missed out on pressing deadlines, especially related to scholarship dollars. But don’t fret! Here’s how you can stay connected:student at laptop

Set up your student account

From my experience, after you’ve applied and been accepted to a university or college, they usually will send an email with your student ID number enclosed, along with instructions to create a password via a hyperlink. This login information should remain the same throughout your years at that particular institution. If you’re scratching your head wondering why you haven’t received any information from your schools, chances are your college has a student based account and you have to be proactive with seeking the information within the account.

 Write down your password

I know, I know – you use the same password for everything, and you’re always going to remember it. Just as a precaution, though, write down all of your usernames and passwords as you’ll find all of your college-based accounts, emails, and scholarship applications will have you create new ones. Some passwords may require a special character or a capital letter, and whatever criteria is needed could be different from your go-to password. I suggest writing down all of your passwords in your phone, backing up that file to your laptop (just in case you lose or break your phone), or creating an excel spreadsheet.

Check your account like you check your social media

We’re all guilty of checking our social media accounts on a daily or hourly bases (even though all the broken screens). I recommend also checking your student account at least once or twice a week since you’re likely to receive notifications from the admission and financial aid offices concerning important admission paperwork, housing applications, and notices about important verification of financial assistance paperwork that must be completed. This last one is especially important because most schools will hold your financial aid award package until they have all your paperwork on file. Even worse than delaying your financial aid, you might be stuck with a roommate that was not your first or second choice – now you’re living with a slob who doesn’t know the first thing about washing dishes or taking out the trash! For these reasons, it’s vital for you to regularly check your student account.

If you have questions about how to set up your college-based accounts, call your college’s admission office or the EducationQuest location nearest you.