Phew! Once your child reaches their senior year, it seems as if everything is moving in fast motion! You don’t want to overlook or missanything that may be important in completing applications or applying for scholarships. But remember this is the home stretch for bothyou and your future college student, so try to enjoy senior year! It may be a lot of work, keeping track of deadlines, paperwork, andscores, but it’s a labor of love!Here’s what you need to be doing:Applications Narrow down your choices to 3-5 schools. The first being your “dream” school, next your “safety” school, and the two to three others. Block out time on your calendar to work on downloading and gathering college and scholarship applications. This process can be somewhat of a tedious one so make sure you pace yourself and keep track on any pending deadlines. Mark all application dates in Red on your calendar to help remind you. Remember to check the Common Application website! Begin deciding on a focus for your applications, i.e., what you wanted the admissions counselors to “get” about you. Start brain storming ideas for essay questions that reveal something about who you are as a student and person. Use personal stories and your activities resume or portfolio to come up with these ideas. Decide if you want to apply for early decision or early action to a college that is clearly your first choice.Testing Sign up for SAT, ACT, or Subject tests that still need to be taken
Applications Begin completing applicationsCollege Admissions Office/Representatives Make arrangements with the college admissions representative to get more information about the college and get a better feel for how you would “fit in” on that campus.Recommendations Ask your counselors, teachers, and coaches or employers for letters of recommendation. Give them plenty of time to meet your deadlines and make sure to provide them with stamped and addressed envelopes.Grades Keep your grades up, it is sometimes easy to get wrapped up in this new process that you let your grades slip or forgo studying a little in order to get everything done…..Don’t do this! Colleges want to know that you can multi-task and handle time management well. Applications Submit applications and essays in on time! Applications are not considered complete until: Online or paper application is submitted School transcripts received SAT/ACT test scores are received Submit applications as early as possible for colleges with rolling deadlines
Apply for scholarships, both local and national by the specified deadlines. (from now through the end of the year) Male students: register for selective service. You must register on your 18th birthday to be eligible for federal and state financial aid. (You can register on FAFSA application if you forget.)WRAP UP Wrap up college applications before winter break º Make copies of everything before you send it. º Keep all your college application records together in a safe place. Early decision application responses should begin to arrive this month.STAY FOCUSED Continue to focus on your schoolwork…..you are almost there! Work on FAFSA. º Fill out the free application for federal student aid (FAFSA) online at: http://www.fafsa.ed.gov. º FAFSA is not available until January 1, so don’t send them before then. º You will need your tax return to fill out the FAFSA, so be sure to get your taxes done in a timely manner.
Call colleges and check on application. º Follow up to make sure that the colleges have received all applications information, including recommendations, transcripts, and test scores. Most regular college admission applications are due between January 1 and February 15.DON’T GET SENIORITIS! Colleges want to see strong second half grades. Work on Financial aid applications. Remember: Apply Early. Apply Right. º Many priority financial aid deadlines are in February. º To get the most attractive award package, apply by the priority date and be sure to keep copies of everything. º Contact Financial aid Offices to make sure your FAFSA has been received and check to see if there are any other forms you need to complete to be awarded financial aid Apply for scholarships, both local and national. Some admissions decisions and financial aid information will arrive this month. Continue to work on scholarship applications.
If you are taking Advanced Placement classes, ask your teachers about AP exams and how you can best prepare for them. Keep searching for scholarships. Look for admission decisions from colleges. Pay attention to any requests for action or further information needed. DECISION MAKING TIME Most admissions decisions and financial aid award letters will arrive this month. º Read everything you receive carefully, as some of it may require action on your part. º Be sure to sit down and compare your aid award from different colleges while also looking at the cost of attendance at each school. º Questions about your award? Call the financial aid office at the college. Make your final decision. º Pick the college you want to attend and mail the enrollment form and deposit check to the school you select by May 1 (the enrollment deadline for most schools). º Notify each of the schools to which you were accepted that you will not be attending in writing so that your spot can be freed up for another student
STUDY! STUDY! STUDY! Study hard for final exams. Most admissions offers are contingent on your final grades. Take AP exams, check to see that your scores are sent to your colleges. Thank your counselor, teachers, coaches, and anyone else who wrote you recommendations or otherwise helped with your college applications. Have your counselor send your final transcript to your college choice