Happy New Year! Can you believe it’s already 2011? Well, I hope you all enjoyed your new years celebrations and are ready to jump back into the second half of the school year.

The spring semester always tends to speed by, so the first few days of the New Year present a perfect time to check up on your college search progress.

With a little help once again from collegeboard.com, we’re here to brighten up the next part of the journey for you.


  • Try and visit some schools now that students are going to be back on campus again. It’s really never too early to start ruling out (or getting interested in) a school, and you can’t learn everything about a school from the mail-out brochure. Scope it out for yourself.
  • Use the College Savings Calculator to see how much money you and your family should start saving for college. Loans and scholarships do help, but it’s a good idea to have yourself covered.
  • Ask your counselor about the SAT Subject Tests (here’s a link to help you practice and prepare for them). It’s a good idea to take them early to practice, and while the information is still new in your mind.


  • 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.
  • Talk to your counselor 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 to a school you’re interested in now that the new semester has begun.
  • 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.
  • Use the My College Quickstart planner to prepare for the SATs and explore lists of suggested colleges, majors and careers.



  • 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.
  • Most regular applications are due before February 15. Send in your applications and keep copies of everything.
  • Contact the 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.