Meet with your counselor to review your college plans and evaluate them in light of your test scores and junior year grades. Consider re-taking the SAT and register for the October/November test. Write to the colleges on your list and request admissions, financial aid, and if appropriate, housing applications. Keep a checklist with all the admissions and financial aid deadlines for the colleges you are considering. Ask teachers, employers, or coaches to write you letters of recommendations.
Attend a regional college fair to further investigate colleges on your list. Set aside plenty of time to draft, edit, and re-write application essays. If applying for "early decision" send in your applications now. Be sure to keep copies of everything you send, with the date on which it was mailed. Sign up for December SAT test, if necessary. Keep those grades up! Continue to participate in extracurricular and volunteer activities. Demonstrate initiative, creativity, commitment, and leadership in each.
Continue to send in admission applications. Check resource books, computer, and guidance office for information on scholarships and grants. Ask colleges about scholarships for which you may qualify.
Continue to tackle those college applications. Be confident, thorough and neat. You should now receive early admission decisions.
Request that your high school send the transcript of your first semester grades to the colleges to which you've applied. Work with your parents to complete the FASFA as soon after January 1 as possible. If the financial aid processor requests additional information in order to process your application, submit it promptly.
Monitor your application to make sure that all materials are sent and received on time. Review your Student Air Report (SAR) for accuracy.
Review your financial aid award letters with your parents; be sure that you understand the terms and conditions that apply to each type of aid offered. Decide on the one college that you will attend and then notify in writing the other colleges that accepted you that you have selected another school. This is an important step. Other students will be hoping to receive your spot!
If you want to live on campus, and have not already done so, complete a housing application. Request that your high school send a copy of your final transcript to the college you will attend.
Notify the college of any private grants or scholarships you will receive. Look for information from your new college about housing, orientation, course selection, etc. If your financial aid package included a Federal Work-Study award, it may be your responsibility to find an appropriate job. Plan to follow up with the financial aid office as soon as you arrive on campus.
Pack for college and look forward to a great experience!