Senior Spring College Checklist
Maryline Michel Kulewicz and Tracy Sullivan of College 101 Admissions Consultants
Attention seniors: The finish line is in sight! Up to this point in time, the college process has been very structured- with steps laid out in a logical fashion to help students stay on task and focused. When spring arrives, so does senioritis and the distractions that come with it. Yet, there are still important items that need to be on the student’s radar the last few weeks of school. Here are a few useful tips to follow in the months of April and May:
1. May 1st is National Decision Day: For students who applied Early Action and Regular Decision, May 1st is the deadline to make their final college decision, send a deposit to one college, and officially enroll in the student’s choice college. Although, it is good practice to confirm the admission deadline with the school that the student has decided upon. Also, if the student has been waitlisted from their top choice college, contact the Admissions Office to ask what the policy is for students on a waitlist.
2. Attend Accepted Student Visit Days: As detailed in last month’s article, this special visit opportunity is designed to give potential new students an opportunity to take a closer look at the school, meet students who may enroll, and learn more about the academic program and the extra-curricular offerings. Most events require pre-registration, and the program can fill up quickly. Remember, take notes and compare top criteria. This is also the perfect time to have the final family conversation- make sure you are all on the same page as far as college choice, logistics, tuition costs, and opportunity. Free Resource: email [email protected] for a copy of our college criteria comparison spreadsheet.
3. Send in Final Transcript: Final grades are always evaluated by the colleges. Though infrequent, colleges may still rescind their admissions offer if there has been a dramatic decrease in grades, new reports of unacceptable behavior, or misrepresentation of information on any college application. Details are usually in the acceptance letter. Advice to students: Just keep doing your best and finish the year strong.
4. Compare College Costs: For so many families, college costs are a major factor in making the final decision. Before a student accepts an offer:
a. Compare college costs (without loans) for each college. Free resource: email [email protected] to receive our cost comparison spreadsheet.
b. If a student/family needs to take out loans, understand the estimated monthly costs after graduation. The Federal Student Aid is a great resource that offers tools to determine loan amounts/payment plans: https://studentaid.gov/loan-simulator/
c. Keep debt to a manageable level. Many financial experts suggest student loans should not exceed the students first year’s salary, post graduate, using $50,000 as the average salary.
5. Inform Colleges if Student Decides to NOT attend: Students should contact each college to which they have been admitted and will not enroll. Simply send an email to the Admissions Office, thank them for the acceptance and kindly let them know you will be attending another school. A student on the college’s waitlist list will thank you!
6. Keep on top of Emails: Most high school emails will disappear on graduation day. Students should move any important emails to a personal email account. Additionally, the student should send their new contact information to their chosen college so as to not miss any important emails over the summer about orientations, housing options, course registration, etc.
7. Keep Searching for Scholarships: Continue to look, through senior year in college, for other sources of funding for your college—it’s a four-year financial commitment. There are many scholarship opportunities available.
As author Cathy Bramley said, “This is about your future. No one else can make the decision for you.” Good luck and enjoy your next adventure - college!
College 101 Admissions
Consultants LLC. Website: www.mycollege101.com. Email: [email protected]. Phone: (508) 380-3845.
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