who visit our high school. Make up a file on each college you are strongly considering. It would also be wise to make a chart that includes: application deadlines, financial aid deadlines, notification dates, tests required, costs, numbers and type of recommendations required, interview deadlines and locations.
Don’t Overlook the World Wide Web
There are numerous cites that will help you as you investigate college choices. One is the website maintained by the college board. My two personal favorite websites are www.collegeboard.com and www.collegeview.com . Each of these sites allows you to do a search for the college that is right for you and then you can complete a side by side comparison of colleges and universities.
Use a calendar
or your agenda book to record upcoming deadlines.
Where can I find money for college?
After January 1, you should get a copy of the FAFSA form from Mrs. Guzman. You will have to fill this out with income tax information for 2009. If your parents do not typically file their income taxes until April 15, you will need to start talking to them now about doing it earlier. They can still wait to actually FILE on April 15, but income/expense figures must agree that appear on the 1040 form and FAFSA. The priority deadline to get FREE FEDERAL FINANCIAL AID is March 1.
OK. But both of my parents and I work. I probably won’t qualify…
Even though you may not qualify for FREE Federal Financial Aid, colleges will want you to complete the process just to make sure. After the FAFSA has been returned to the college, then you will be informed of what kind of financial aid you are qualified to receive from the government.
Don’t Overlook the Obvious
Do you read TITAN TALK? Every month there are pages in the Titan newsletter that is mailed to your parents regarding scholarships.
Do you ever check the South website?
The counselors have a link to monthly scholarship offers.
Do you check the TITAN BOARD in the main hallway? Scholarships are posted monthly.
Have you checked with the CCC?
Ask for recommendations from teachers and other adults who know you well and can express themselves in writing.
Ask for a recommendations from a teacher in the field in which you may wish to major.
Be sure to ask for recommendations well in advance of the deadline.
As a courtesy, ask each teacher to write no more than three recommendations for you.
Provide stamped envelopes that are pre- addressed.
Always remember to thank the teacher for going that extra mile for you. Don’t forget to go back and inform him or her of the college’s decision on admission or the scholarship for which you were
It is your responsibility to make sure that letters of recommendation arrive before the colleges’ deadlines.
If you have NOT taken the ACT test yet this year, YOU ARE SERIOUSLY BEHIND! You can not afford to wait any longer! See Mrs. Guzman TODAY in the counseling center for a packet or you can sign up online to take the next test.
A Student Site for ACT Test Takers
There’s still time…
to improve your academic standing (grades). If you want to be competitive for academic scholarships, should have enrolled in the most academically challenging courses that your high school has to offer (AP or honors sections).
Most colleges look unfavorably upon applicant whose grades are falling. But on the other hand, if your grades have shown improvement throughout high school, they look favorably on you as they see you have matured.
of the applications you have submitted. Make extra copies of each application form if you did not submit them online.
Use copies of the form for practice before filing out the originals—most require you to type or write in BLUE or BLACK ink. We all know how unforgiving ink can be. Correction fluid gives your application a “painted look” that you should try desperately to avoid.
TYPE, TYPE, TYPE
Unless directions say otherwise, type everything! Have someone proofread every word on your application forms. Correct all errors.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help
Ask your teacher or counselor to review your essays. Generally I am much harder on you when I am looking at one of these essays than I am on an assignment for English. I am not picking on you, but I desperately want you to get that for which you are applying. Spelling and grammar must be perfect and neatness is a priority on these applications!
Keep copies of everything you write.
Keep in mind that colleges look for evidence of some of the following traits in your essay responses: writing ability, intellectual curiosity, initiative and motivation, creativity, self-discipline, character and leadership potential.
Visiting the College
College visitations are critical. You are the consumer who will be spending thousands of dollars for your education.
Don’t just think about next year, but think about the degree you want to attain and what institution will award it. What are the requirements?
Nothing in life is free. Even if you get a scholarship for books/tuition, it is still costing your time. Don’t waste your time taking classes at a community college that won’t transfer to a 4 year college. It is your responsibility to check first!