When to Begin Planning for College

If you are a senior in high school, and you have not begun to plan for college, the time is NOW. You are losing valuable days, in fact, you are losing valuable time right now, surfing the internet. Finish this article, then get moving on the college items. This is your top priority until August of next year. Make this your part time job. It will pay off greatly.

First, make a list of schools you might be interested in attending.
Here is a valuable website for assisting with this process.
www.collegeboard.com

Log onto the school websites, and begin to request information from each school. Check to see what the early enrollment deadline is, and make note of that date, as well as the regular enrollment deadline. Check to see if the school accepts ACT or SAT scores, and what the minimum requirement is to receive a scholarship. Make note of this as well.

Rank the schools based on the information you have learned. Make sure the school has the major you would like to study. Take into consideration the distance from home, cost, number of students, and likelihood of acceptance.

Register for the ACT/SAT immediately. This can be done online. You need to take this test before December if possible. Don’t listen to the guidance counselor on this one…take this test as many times as financially possible. You can study and raise your scores, possibly into scholarship range.

Have your parents prepare their income tax, and be ready to submit this on January 1st. This must be done as well as a FAFSA form in order to obtain certain financial aid.

Do a scholarship search, look at local groups, consider extracurricular scholarships, and apply for as many as possible. Consider doing a little extra community service to bulk up your essays. Write two-three generic essays that you can use for a variety of applications.

Here are a few sample topics that will be helpful.
*Things I’ve Learned Through Community Service

*My Best/Worst Day Ever

*How _ will help me Succeed in College

See your guidance counselor weekly, and search continually for scholarships. The money is available.

Also, consider employers who will do tuition reimbursements for college hours. Many employers consider this to their benefit, and will reimburse up to a certain amount each semester, in addition to your salary. This is worth checking into.

Last, visit the top five schools on your list on your “Senior Day” and get a feel for the campus. Talk to their admissions and financial aid offices about scholarship and grant possibilities.

Remember that although college is costly, the education will last a lifetime.