If your student has entered his senior year (Class 2024), there is no question that the high school what an exciting year… but is also extremely busy! Between the college admissions process, college applications, scholarships, financial aid processes, tests, finals, proms, graduations, and more, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed.
When it comes to college planning, it may seem like a million things to think about and accomplish, but being prepared is key to limiting stress levels for you and your students. There are a few important ‘barriers’ your students need to overcome if they are planning to go to university next year. Besides, Time is essential when it comes to the financial aid process because you don’t want your students to miss important deadlines (like college application deadlines and financial aid deadlines). With the right resources, it can create some much-needed breathing space for both you and your students, keeping both of you awake during this busy time.
We have created a full version college prep checklist to make sure you and your students are fully prepared. Right after that, your high school will be leaving college and starting a new chapter of your life. Let us help you make that trip as smooth as possible!
Should be completed before the last year of high school
- Make a list of potential universities you want to attend
- Make sure your resume is up to date and keep it up to date throughout the year
- Discuss careers and majors that could lead to it
- College Information Gathering: Attend college fairs, college nights, and talk to representatives from colleges attending your high school
- Apply for scholarship opportunities
- Find out and organize your financial aid
- Consider ways to earn college credit through Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, CLEP or Dual Enrollment courses
- Arrange appointments with top universities of your choice including personal interviews, campus tours and professors/coachs if desired
- Start writing your college application essay: Have your teacher read it and discuss it with you
- Discussing Letters of Recommendation: Request these letters with at least 2 weeks notice
- Take the SAT/ACT
- Get Involved: It’s never too late for students to get involved
- Continue to visit the schools
- Finalize your college list: use all the information that has been gathered from university visits, interviews and your own research to determine which schools you want to apply to
- Keep track of your grades and extracurricular activities: don’t neglect, many colleges also take a look at what you did in your senior year!
- Take your standardized test: Register and take the test ACT, SAT, or SAT . Subject Tests (when necessary).
- Create a detailed calendar of application deadlines, financial aid and scholarships
- Create a final draft of your resume
- Ask for a letter of recommendation: request these with at least 2 weeks notice
- Meet with your guiding school counselors to discuss scholarship and admission options
- Retake the ACT/SAT at least once, perhaps twice depending on the score
- Complete Application: Complete application forms for the schools of your interest. *To avoid hasty implementation application deadlines, complete them before winter break*
- Check if the university has received all the documents: application form, letters of recommendation and test scores
- Submit financial aid form: Fill it out FAFSA no matter what, and if necessary, PROCESS as soon as possible starting in October
- Continue your scholarship search: used successfully Strategies we include – October is big scholarship month!
- Continue to build engagement
- Keep track of your college applications: Check with schools to make sure they’ve received all of your information, including test scores, transcripts, and letters of recommendation
- Take the ACT/SAT if you can still submit scores to colleges
- Keep working hard on your score
- complete the rest Admissions applications
- Compare the cost of the schools your child is considering
- Updated personal statement with fall semester experience
- If one course memberwinter break is a great time to do a big piece of material
- Work part time to gain experience and save money
- Continue your scholarship search: The holiday season is a great time to drop some applications
- Continue saving for college (part-time job pay)
- Follow mail for announcements from universities: Admission decisions will be made in March or April
- Keep your score up
- Hold a college finance/financial aid family meeting and compare financial aid packages: the ideal options are debt-free
- Check your options if you are waitlisted: Remember that being placed on the waitlist does not mean being denied. You will receive a decision in May
- Prepare for any final standardized test: AP, IB and CLEP exams
- Select Your school: Notify all colleges of your decision by May 1st
- Complete the enrollment paperwork for the university you will be attending: complete all paperwork ahead of time (this includes: course schedules, orientation sessions, housing arrangements. and other required forms)
- Don’t give up on scholarships, there’s still time to apply and receive money for the fall semester! Use the success strategies we mentioned
- As a precaution, start researching and learning about student loan
- Get involved: Get your kids involved in organizations if they haven’t already
- Work and save money for college expenses
- Keep applying for scholarships – deadline extended until the end of July and until August to receive funds for the fall!: use the success strategies we cover
- Stay tuned for college admission announcements
- Research student loans if necessary, narrow your choices
- Talk to your kids about college bills
It’s easy to get caught up in all the college prep courses but don’t forget to cheer your students up during their college search. They worked incredibly hard to get here and deserve TONS of praise for their efforts and hard work!