Pulling Your Applications Together

Narrow your list of colleges to between 5 and 10 and review it with your counselor. Get an application and financial aid info from each. Visit as many as possible. Request applications and brochures from your target colleges. Make a master calendar and note:

  • Test dates, fees, and deadlines
  • College application due dates 
  • Required financial aid applications and their deadlines
  • Recommendations, transcripts, and other necessary materials
  • Your high school's deadlines for application requests, such as your transcript Ask for recommendations.
  • Give each person your resume, a stamped, addressed envelope, and any required forms.
  • Write application essays and ask teachers, parents, and friends to read first drafts.
  • Take SAT if you have not taken it. Have your scores sent to colleges.

Get Financial Aid Info

Try to apply to different kinds of scholarships. You never loose anything when you apply. But surely, you will not get/win anything if you don’t. Use Scholarship Search at collegeboard.com, fastweb, review scholarship books, and ask your counselor about local and state funding sources.


Application Details

Most regular applications are due between January 1 and February 15. Keep copies of everything you send to colleges. Get your transcripts and send them to colleges. Contact colleges to make sure they have received all application materials.

Financial Aid: Apply Early. Apply Right.

You and your family should save this year's pay stubs to estimate income on aid forms that you'll file early next year. Submit your FAFSA as soon after January 1 as possible. Men 18 or older must register for the selective service to receive federal financial aid. Many priority financial aid deadlines fall in February. To get the most attractive award package, apply by the priority date. Keep copies of everything you send.


When the Letters Start Rolling In

You should get acceptance letters and financial aid offers by mid-April. When decisions are made, make sure to compare awards (if any) from different colleges. Questions? Talk to financial aid officers. Not enough aid? Ask if other financing plans are available. If you haven't already, visit your final college before accepting.

May 1: Making Your Final Choice

You must tell every college of your acceptance or rejection of offers of admission or financial aid by May 1. Send a deposit to the college you choose. Wait-listed? If you will enroll if accepted, tell the admissions director your intent and ask how to strengthen your application. Need financial aid? Ask if funds will be available if you're accepted.


Next Steps

Ask us to send a final transcript to your college. Start preparing for the year ahead.

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