Planning for college is a long process and seniors find that their last year of high school is very busy if they intend to go to college. There are many things to be completed besides just graduating if they intend to go to college in the fall after graduation. The following steps will help the new graduate to transition from high school to college much easier if they are completed at the right time of their senior year.
In the fall of a high school student’s senior year, they need to really get serious about the college that they want to attend and begin making preparations for that. It is recommended that they narrow their list of potential colleges and speak to their counselor about that list and those colleges. It’s also recommended that the student gets financial aid forms and college applications for each school that they are interested in.
Fall is also a great time to begin writing application essays and asking teachers to write recommendations for them. Many colleges will ask for one or both of these pieces of information. Asking teachers now and being able to follow through with getting them could be a valuable asset as time draws nearer to the college deadline for turning them in or to an unexpected request for them from a school.
Fall is the perfect time to begin to attend financial aid seminars and events if the student has not already been doing that. Now is the time to know if financial aid is going to be a deciding factor in what school the student will attend. Also, be aware of when any tests, fees, and deadlines are for anything that the student still needs to take or file. A missed deadline could be the deciding factor of where he or she can attend school.
During the cold winter months, students will need to do several more things to prepare for college the next fall. Begin with reviewing application details and keep copies of all the information that you send in. Most applications are due between January 1st and Feb. 15th. Colleges will not allow many things in past the deadline so be prepared and know when the papers need to be in. Now is also the time to file financial aid papers. It is best to submit the FAFSA forms as close to January 1st as possible for maximum results.
By spring, there should be several financial aid offers and college acceptance letters in the mail and the student needs to be looking at them. It is a great opportunity to take another look at the colleges that have sent acceptance letters so that the student can revisit that school if need be.
May 1st is usually the deadline for deciding which college the student plans to attend. Inform each school that made an offer either an acceptance or rejection from the student. Do not leave them hanging without knowing what the student’s decision is. This is an important decision and so it is highly recommended that this decision be discussed with parents and counselors.
Summer is usually a time for relaxing and recharging for school, but for the college bound student, summer is a time to ask the school to send a final transcript to the college that the child has chosen and to be getting prepared to move into the dorm of the chosen college. Getting any supplies that might be needed for the move into the dorm or any school supplies that the student needs is important to be done as soon as they can so that the move in day is not too hectic.
Planning ahead and working on getting into college the senior year of high school should guarantee that the student will be on the right track for life after high school. Remembering to do these certain items will help the student to be prepared for college before they enter onto the campus and walk into the dorm room. Making preparations like these should allow the student to be ahead of schedule and maybe make the transition a little easier for the student and their parents.
Source: Recent discussion at local library