There may still be snow on the ground but spring is just around the corner. With spring comes the looming end of the school year, though it is still just out of sight. While the last day of school may still be just a blip on the calendar radar, we’ve got a fresh list of college to-dos to keep you on track.
-Try to visit a few schools on your “want” list. Ask your parents to take a weekend trip with you to visit a school – it’s not only an opportunity for a fun family trip, but it can help prepare you for the future.
-Use the College Savings Calculator to see how much money you and your family should start saving for college.
-Start preparing for the SAT Subject Tests (here’s a link to help you practice and prepare for them). Check out the subjects available online and get a jump on them while you’re still in classes and before the summer slump sets in.
-Stay involved in extra-curriculars at school. That after-school band practice may seem like just a good time now, but schools are looking for someone involved outside the classroom.
-If you’ve taken the PSAT/NMSQT test in school, use the My College QuickStart planning kit provided by collegeboard.com. Your score report will provide you with an access code to log in.
-Keep inquiring about the SAT Subject Tests – you may be interested in taking these in the next part of the semester.
-Use the College Savings Calculator to see how much money you and your family should be saving for college.
-Schedule a visit. Schools look a lot different in person than they do online or on paper.
-Stay involved in extra curricular activities like sports and clubs. These will come in handy later on.
-Learn more about college costs and how financial aid works.
-Talk with your counselor and finalize plans to take the SATs or SAT Subject Tests. You can register online; the next registration deadline for this year is February 11.
-Stay involved at school and keep a plan with your counselors. They are there to help you stay on track.
-Check out websites like fastweb.com to find scholarships not included in a school’s award packages. Many of them require little more than a short essay to enter, and if you can get a little money for your work it always helps.
-Use the My College Quickstart planner to prepare for the SATs and explore lists of suggested colleges, majors and careers. There’s always a chance you may find a major you hadn’t even considered before when you enter your interests, so don’t rule anything out quite yet.
-Now that January is over, fill out your FAFSA as soon as possible (check out the link for full instructions). That is the key to getting the ball rolling on your financial aid packages to get the money you deserve. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from your parents or counselors in filling out the paperwork. It can get to be a little confusing, but if you’ve got another pair of eyes on it you can make sure you enter everything correctly and get all the cash for college you deserve.
-Most regular applications are due before the 15th of this month. Send in your applications and keep copies of everything.
-Contact your enrollment advisers at schools you applied to if you haven’t heard back from them yet to be sure they received all application materials.
Follow the College Search series here on Edge.