It’s March, and your final year of high school is drawing to a close. Fortunately, you don’t need luck to finish on a high note; you just need to stay on task.
It can be easy to lose sight of the college admissions process with all of the anticipation of what’s ahead. That is completely understandable; there is a lot going on – and a lot to be excited about!
Seniors, you’re almost to the finish line, but still have some responsibilities to finish up before the school year (and your high school career is over). Here’s what you should focus on throughout the month of March.
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Start Making College Decisions
You can’t make your final college decisions until all of your admissions responses have arrived from colleges, but you can start mapping out the different scenarios
so that you’re prepared for whatever decisions may arrive.
If you’re waitlisted or rejected, take a few days to mourn the decision, and then move on. There are so many great colleges out there, and not getting into your top choice may be the best thing that ever happened to you. Just ask these celebrities
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If you have not already done so, be sure you apply for the FAFSA
-- ASAP. Your FAFSA will help you with additional funds to pay for college. Find your FAFSA state deadlines
Verify Financial Aid
Before you make any finalized college budget decisions, make sure to verify your financial aid
. You don’t want to count on any financial aid that isn’t actually available to you!
Consider financial aid in your college decision as well. Though fit is very important, whether or not you can afford your top choice college is just as vital. Now that you’re equipped with all of the financial information, you can compare your choices better.
Send Your Final Transcripts to Colleges
Ensure your final transcripts are sent to colleges via your advisor or school counselor. Never assume they will do the job for you. You can follow up with both your high school counselor as well as the admissions committee.
Prep for Finals and/or AP Exams
If you have any upcoming finals and AP exams, prepare well ahead of time. Your senior year grades will have an impact on your college admissions decisions.
Just as colleges are able to admit you based on your grades, they are also able to rescind their offers if your grades plummet drastically – without good reason. Additionally, if your grades improve and you are on the waitlist somewhere, let that college know! It could move you from the waitlist to the admit pile.
Prepare for Graduation Early
The earlier you sign up for graduation gear and plan things (like graduation parties, announcements, etc.) will mean saving a lot of extra money. Make sure to take on tasks early so that you won’t get penalized for late sign-ups.
It’s still unclear what high school graduation will look like this year, but you should be prepared, nonetheless.
Apply for Scholarships
As always, you should continue to apply for scholarships
. Paying for college will require you to pull from a variety of resources, and you can always
use extra money to pay for school!
Make sure to continually apply to scholarships you match to, and don't get discouraged if you don't win. Applying is ultimately a numbers game; and the more scholarships you apply for, the better your chances are of winning. So apply early and often!