The holidays are quickly approaching which means it won't be long before it's time to hit the slopes and make snow angels. Thankfully, December is a low key month in for many students terms of college planning and college applications, but that doesn't mean you can slack off. Both Seniors and Juniors have things they can be doing in order to be prepared for the next step. Being proactive and getting ahead will save you the frustration and stress of struggling to meet deadlines in the future.
We've gathered the most important college planning tips for the month of December to help you stay on track.
College Planning Tips for High School Seniors
As we head into December, the college planning process and application craze should (hopefully!) be dwindling down. Before you head into vacation mode, make sure to get all of your college applications in and submit your FAFSA. If you submit your college apps and your FAFSA, you will be taking a huge weight off of your shoulders right before the holidays. Completing the FAFSA before your school's deadline ensures that you are eligible for the most aid possible. If you still need help filling out your FAFSA, make an appointment with the College Planning Center.
Send in your test scores to any colleges that require them as part of the application materials. If you have the option to send just one of your test scores, be sure to choose the ones that best reflect you. If all of the schools you applied to are test optional, then refrain from sending unless your scores are outstanding. To send your test scores, you must logon to the SAT or ACT website and select the appropriate schools that you want your scores sent to.
If you applied to any school Early Decision, you should've heard by now. On the off chance that you haven't received any notification, reach out directly to the school for information on the matter.
Focus on obtaining money for college. Yes, we are talking about scholarships! Start searching for local scholarships online at RIScholarships.org. You don't need to be an A+ student or star athlete to get scholarships; being financially needy or intending to pursue a certain career track can be enough! Check in with your guidance counselor or local newspaper for more scholarship opportunities. The more "free money" you get to pay for college, the better!
College Planning Tips for High School Juniors
At this time of year, juniors should continue to explore colleges in-person and online and begin to determine what they want in a school. Be on the lookout for college planning events hosted by your school or one nearby. The college planning process is a long, time-consuming process, and the more knowledgeable you are, the easier the process will be.
Hopefully at this point you've received your PSAT scores. Use your scores as a baseline for determining which schools are realistic and unrealistic based on the average test scores of admitted students. Not all schools require test scores as a part of the application. Sign up to take the SAT/ACT in the Spring, leaving yourself enough time to re-test if need be.
If you find yourself confused about planning for college or the college application process, book an appointment with one of the counselors at the College Planning Center.