Continue to explore careers and colleges
Take the PSAT/NMSQT. You
must take the test in 11th grade to qualify for scholarships and
programs associated with the National Merit Scholarship Program.
for and take ACT/or SAT exams for college admission. Remember to
register in advance to have time to study the test guidelines. If you
have difficulty paying a registration fee, see your school counselor
about getting a fee waiver.
for Scholarships and know the guidelines! Some deadlines fall as early
as the summer between 11th and 12th grades, so prepare now to submit
Summer Before 12th Grade.
Narrow down the list of colleges you are considering attending. If you can, visit the schools that interest you.
colleges to request information and applications for admission. Ask
about financial aid, admission requirements, and deadlines
Decide whether you are going to apply under a particular college’s early decision or early action program. Be sure to learn about the program deadlines and requirements.
Use the FAFSA4caster
financial aid estimator, and compare the results to the actual costs at
the colleges to which you will apply. To supplement any aid FAFSA4caster estimates you might receive, be sure to apply for scholarships. Your goal is to minimize the amount of loan funds you borrow.
Find out what government financial aid you can apply for, and how, in Do You Need Money for College—Federal Student Aid at a Glance.
Learn how to avoid scholarship scams and identity theft as you look for financial aid and then attend college.
COLLEGE PREP CHECKLIST
is an important time…don’t slack off. Colleges will look at your
records. Also, be mindful, that colleges may look you up on social
media so if you don’t want your grandma seeing or reading it—get rid of
In fall semester:
- Register for and take (or retake) the SAT and/or ACT, if not already done
- Complete and submit college applications prior to deadlines
- Complete and submit scholarship applications prior to deadlines (continue to check with your counselor throughout the year for new scholarship offering.)
- Line up people to be your references for scholarships
- Request transcripts and letters of recommendation
- Register for a Federal Student Aid PIN
- Check with colleges to make sure they received your information
- Meet with a counselor to verify that graduation requirements will be met on schedule
- Sign up for www.FastWeb.com.It’s a daily scholarship finder!
- Make http://scholarshipguidance.com/ a “Favorite” on your desktop!
Other scholarship links:
During the winter months:
- Work with parents to complete and submit the FAFSA
- Review and make any necessary changes/corrections to the Student Aid Report
- Finish submitting scholarship applications
In spring semester:
- Visit colleges on their “short list.”
- Attend a financial aid workshop with your parents
- Consider college acceptances; compare financial aid packages offered
- Call college financial aid representatives with questions
- Decide on the college to attend and contact its offices
- Get a free application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) from www.fafsaed.gov.This is free!Beware of sites offering services for a fee. (apply for financial aid as soon as possible after Jan. 1)
- Take AP test (if applicable)
- Go back for additional campus visit if possible
a decision—once made, inform the colleges of your choice.Letting the
other colleges know will allow them to offer admission to another
After you choose
- Apply for housing
- Get familiar with your college and what you will need when you get there. Parking, computer (desktop/laptop)
Summer before college
- See an academic advisor at the university or college you will attend, and then register early.
- Attend a summer orientation program.Also be sure to enroll in a freshman orientation class, even if not required.