As the year begins to wind down and high school graduation starts to appear, it’s easy to lose sight of the college admissions process within all of the excitement 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 tasks 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:
Start Making College Decisions
You can’t make all of 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.
Be prepared no matter what responses may come – and start narrowing down college decisions as they arrive in the mail.
Apply for FAFSA, Meet 2020-2021 Financial Aid Deadlines
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. You don't want to miss the boat on this one! Here's an article detailing 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!
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 – double check that your transcripts have been sent to the correct schools and will meet each school’s housing deadline.
Prep for Finals and/or AP Exams
If you have any upcoming finals and AP exams, ensure you prepare well ahead of time.
Your senior year grades will have an impact on your college admissions decisions. Assuming you are already admitted into a particular school, you grades will impact whether or not you’re going to remain admitted. Additionally, if your grades continually improve so that colleges you’re waitlisted for may reconsider.
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 for silly tasks like, say, your graduation cap and gown.
You already know you’ll be needing these items so there’s no point in putting it off, especially since waiting until the last minute will cost extra!
Apply for Scholarships
As always, you should continue to apply for scholarships
. College isn't cheap 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 apply often!