Mother nature thought that our April showers meant snow here in RI, but that won't get in the way of us helping you plan for college. Seniors have a lot on their plate this month. Top among their stresses: which school they are going to attend in the fall. Juniors, on the other hand, are starting to explore colleges and figuring out what they want in a school. Check out our college planing tips for April below!
This is a big time of year for high school seniors! College decisions must be made! A big deciding factor for students when deciding which school to attend is how much each school awarded to you in financial aid. Comparing those award letters is never an easy task which is why the RISLA College Planning Center is here to help. Schedule an appointment with us to get help comparing your award letters!
While comparing award letters, you might find that you have a "gap." A gap is the amount between what you were awarded in grants and scholarships and what your family can afford to pay from salary and savings. Many students fill the gap with student loans and scholarships. You should first try to get as many scholarships as possible. Once you have taken advantage of all of your free money for college, then you should consider your student loan options. Always remember to never borrow more than you can afford to repay.
You may have been accepted or even committed to a school, but that doesn't mean you should neglect your grades and school work. Colleges will receive your final transcript and if they see you fell off the wagon, it may raise some red flags for the admission counselors. Be sure to stay on top of your work and don't let senioritis get the best of you this spring.
Once you've chosen a school to attend you must let all the other schools know that you will not be attending. When you notify a school that you're not attending, it opens up spaces for wait-listed students. If your first choice college placed you on the waiting-list, do not lose all hope. Contact the college admission office to let them know you are still very interested and keep the college updated on your activities.
Upon committing you are usually required to send in a security deposit (amount set by school) on or before May 1. This deposit holds your space for the upcoming year. If you want to live on campus, you'll have to complete a meal plan and housing application and will likely have to send it along with any necessary deposits.
You may have already taken the SAT once already but who says you can't take it twice if you weren't happy with your initial scores? The majority of students take the SAT twice in hopes of getting a higher score. There are plenty of free tools and resources available to you to help you prepare for the SAT test. Another test you can choose to take is the ACT. It is similar to the SAT but, has some important differences. To determine which test is the right one for you read this blog.
Continue visiting colleges and be sure to take notes when you visit a campus. Show up prepared for your tour with a list of questions for the guide. The guide is likely to be a student which means he or she is the best person to answer most of your questions pertaining to social life and academics. At the conclusion of the tour, it is a good idea to make a pros and cons list while your experience is fresh in your mind.
For college planning help, please make an appointment with one of our counselors. We are happy to help families in any stage of the college planning process. Book your appointment!