Are you a bit overwhelmed with what lies ahead? Use these tips to make sure you're covering all your bases. If you need more help, consider attending the Senior Year Essentials class on Aug 27th in SC or on July 23rd in GA. (Details under the Events tab of www.Scholarshipgold.com.
1- Create a list of all of your extracurricular activities, academic awards, sports awards, athletic endeavors, leadership roles and community service from 9-12 grades. Also write down the dates and scores from your SAT, ACT, AP and SAT II tests.
2- Find and print the Admission requirements for each school you're pursuing
(Letters of rec, SAT/ACT/SAT subject tests, 2 vs 3 years of languages, transcripts, mid-year report, FAFSA, CSS/Profile, essays)
3- Get organized- Have a file folder for each school you're pursuing and note on the outside your login, deadlines and a checklist of what that school needs from you (from #2 above). Inside the folder keep any correspondence from the school, any brochures from them, confirmation pages of your application submission and more.
4- Decide which deadline you want to meet for each school- Early Action, Early Decision or Regular Decision. Be careful! Early Decision is legally binding. Note this deadline on each folder.
5- Create Logins and passwords for each school and write them down.
6- Decide if you'll use the Common App for any applications- If so, get a login & password on CommonApp.org any day after Aug 1st. Don't know if your schools use the Common App? Go to CommonApp.org and look at the list of Member Colleges. As of this year, NC State is joining the list of schools who use this application.
7- Have a talk with your parents about your list of colleges and make sure you're covering some state school choices as well as some private schools where you might get some good scholarship funding. Most students apply to 6-8 schools while high-achieving students often apply to more.
8- If you need to boost your SAT or ACT scores to improve you chances of admission and/or scholarships, register at least a month in advance and take your prep seriously, whether it's through a class, tutor, book or online source.
9- Complete your applications. You can work on an app and save it for later. Just don't hit "submit" until you're sure it is complete and free of errors.
10- Make sure each application is complete and error-free before submitting.
11- Have great essays- Essays give them an impression of your personality and intellect. If you need help with your essays, consider attending the Essay Writing workshop on Aug 27th in SC or July 23rd in GA.
12- Parents need to complete FAFSA in October of your senior year & send to all the schools you're applying to, regardless of whether you've heard that you're accepted. Do this on www.fafsa.ed.gov, not fafsa.com.
13- Once you believe a school has received everything they need, call to confirm that your file is complete with them. Some schools allow you to check that info online through a "status checker" but most do not.
14- If you are waitlisted to a school you really want, send them an update with any new accomplishments or grades that may help them review your file. Don't just resend what they already have. Include a letter stating why that school is an ideal fit for you and how you may be an asset to the campus.
15- Once you commit to a school, notify the other schools of your decision. You have to accept or decline the offer no later than May 1st.
16- Important!- Write thank you notes to all of your recommendation writers and to anyone else who helped you through the process. Thank them for the role they played in this important next step in your life and let them know where you decided to attend.
Hopefully, this list will give you the guidance you need to navigate the coming months but if not, come to the workshops on Aug 27th, mentioned above. Go forth and conquer!