Can you believe it is already September? The weather is cooling down and many students have returned to school. Many college applications are now open and students can submit their applications now. The SAT and ACT has multiple test dates this fall. It is a busy time for college bound students.
High School Seniors
A big misconception is that students who submit their applications earlier have a better chance of being admitted. Many colleges will review all applications that arrive by the deadline the same way. Many admission offices say students who submit their applications earlier in the application window will not have an advantage. Therefore, take your time with your applications and essays to ensure you are submitting the best application possible!
Most colleges will need transcripts, test scores and recommendations before they will read applications and make decisions. You may want to rush to your school counselor and teachers’ offices to request these documents. However, keep in mind they, too, are just returning to school and have a lot of things on their plates. They may not be able to submit documents as fast as you like, but as long as they receive notice from you, they will submit materials by the deadline. Be patient with them because they have other duties and have a lot of other students also needing documents.
Look at your class schedule and make sure you are challenging yourself. If any changes need to be made to your schedule, make sure to reach out to your counselor as soon as possible before it is too late to make changes.
Look at your extracurricular activities. Have you found that activity that brings out passion in you? If possible, dig in to the activity you love and do more if you have just been sitting back. Take a lead by running for an elected position, coordinating an event, or by participating in activities.
It doesn’t matter if you have a high school senior or a high school freshman, if they are looking at colleges, have a financial conversation. Learn about your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) and the amount of money your family can afford to contribute to their education. Colleges award financial aid differently and no financial aid award will look the same. As your children are looking at colleges, there will be colleges that are better financial fits than others. In addition to looking at the academic offerings, extracurricular activities and admission requirements, check out the net price calculator at the colleges your child is considering to learn about the amount of financial aid they may receive if they are admitted in the future.
Pay Attention to Deadlines
Know the deadlines for college applications, scholarships, and everything else. Keep these dates in mind and make sure everything is submitted before the deadline. If you submit something just one minute past the deadline, you will be late and many colleges and scholarships will not consider your application. And, just because the deadline is on a certain date, strive to get everything in at least a few days before the deadline. Sometimes, unfortunately, life happens and you may not be able to meet the deadline. You might have a family crisis or the weather will take out electricity. While some colleges and scholarship providers might be understanding of the situation, there is no guarantee. To ensure you meet the deadline, strive to get everything in a little early.
Continue looking for outside scholarships. As you know, I have a lot of scholarships available on my website. Don’t forget to check out the scholarships with September and October deadlines. Scholarships are added to the list as I learn about them or once they open for submissions. In addition, I have recently added some scholarships for interests, hobbies, and talents.
More scholarships for interests, hobbies, and talents will be added soon!
Good luck with the start of the school year! If you ever have any questions or think there is an article that could be helpful, send me a message. My goal is to help students and their parents as much as I can as they move through the college admissions and financial aid process.