In a couple of very short weeks, high school seniors across the country will say good-bye to their schools and start on the next phases of their lives, including college. Your mind is probably eagerly anticipating your upcoming graduation ceremony and the final day of high school. But, before you can head across the stage to get your diploma, there’s still some work to be done. To help you stay on track for college, we have prepared this helpful ‘to do’ list for high school seniors – students should tackle these tasks before the end of school.
1. Choose a College
This should be an easy task, right? Not necessarily. If you received admissions letters from several schools on your short list, you may be trying to decide which is best for you. Consider what each school has to offer, such as courses, study abroad opportunities, housing options and financial aid packages. It may be helpful to create a list of ‘pro’s and con’s,’ or simply use the handy ‘How to Decide’ handout offered by WiseChoice.com. This way, you can compare the schools and make an educated choice on which is right for you. Once you have chosen your school, you’re ready to move on to the other tasks on your list.
2. Complete Your Financial Aid Forms
If you submitted the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), but estimated your family’s income, be sure to go back online soon and update your form. Also, contact your school’s financial aid office and find out if you have any outstanding documentation that needs to be submitted. Nothing is worse than finding out you were eligible for an award but did not receive the funding due to insufficient or missing documentation.
3. Apply for Scholarships
If you find that you did not receive enough federal or institutional aid to cover all of your college expenses, be sure to look into other types of aid, like scholarships. Check with your high school guidance counselor to see what might be available locally, review your college’s financial aid website and use a free scholarship search service, like ScholarshipExperts.com, to find scholarships that are perfect for you. Be sure to apply to at least five to ten scholarship programs each month, and keep applying until you finish college.
4. Submit Your Housing Contract
Many colleges require freshmen to live on campus. The earlier you submit your housing contract and deposit, the better chance you typically have at securing the type of room your desire, especially if you are hoping to get a private or double room. Freshmen rarely get the cream of the crop when it comes to college housing, but the longer you wait, the more likely it is that you’ll be sharing space with multiple people.
Once you choose your college, complete your housing contract and start applying for scholarships, what’s left to do? Celebrate, of course! You’ve managed to survive 12 years of school and it’s nearly at an end. Take some time to hang out with your friends and family, create some new memories and get ready to graduate!
Be sure to complete each task on this ‘to do’ list so you can spend as much time as possible enjoying your last moments of high school. It would also be a nice gesture to stop by and thank those educators and administrators who have helped you with your college admissions packets too. Oh, and one more thing: be patient with your parents. They’ll probably be taking tons of pictures and giving you countless hugs over the next few weeks. If you think it’s hard to say good-bye to your friends, just imagine how your parents feel. Before you know it, you’ll be heading off to college, so enjoy it while it lasts!
Please Note: The WiseChoice website will be discontinued later this month. Before the site becomes unavailable, we
encourage you to download & save any stored documents you may want to keep from your account. Email us if you have questions.