Your child is in his or her junior year and before you know it they will be seniors. Now you are wondering what comes next. Should my child go to college or not. There are many reasons to consider college. Statistics have shown that individuals who go to college earn more that those who don't. There are more career opportunities available to those who have matriculated through halls of higher learning. Additionally, college graduates have a broader knowledge of the world and those who live in it. Another reason for going to college is that it helps us to be better prepared to serve Christ in the professional world. Jesus reaches humanity through humanity with doctors, teachers, lawyers, physical therapist and the list goes on and on. So getting a college degree can also help the gospel.
It is recommended that you get started planning for college as early as possible, but even if you have not started until your senior year in high school, it is still possible to attend. Here are some tips to help with the process.
- Make a list of colleges of about five to eight colleges. Check with your counselor to make sure that you meet the entrance requirements of each college. Look up each school on the Internet and download an application if available online. Most schools provide an online application
- Set a timetable and keep notes on the following:
Fees (ask if your college choices offer an early estimate of financial aid eligibility)
All deadlines (financial aid application, registration, application and essays)
- Think of individuals who can provide a recommendation or serve as a personal reference and supply each one with your resume, a pre-stamped envelope and any required forms
- Write entrance essays and get feed back from your school counselor, teachers, family members and friends
- Consider Apply Early Action or Early Decision, which is fully explained at http://www.collegeboard.com/student/apply/the-application/104.html
- For early admission, colleges require SAT scores and applications in the beginning of November
- Regular applications are due between January 1 and February 15. Make a copy of everything you send to colleges
- Ask your counselor to send your transcript to colleges
- Confirm with colleges that they have received all application materials.
- Request financial aid information for each school. Research to see what scholarships they offer to help with the cost of tuition. If possible, visit as many schools in your area
- Go to the Internet and do a search on scholarships. We provide a number of suggestions on our scholarship page, however there are a hundreds of scholarships available. Also available are scholarship books at the library or you can check with your counselor about state and local funding
- Ask your counselor to explain CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE® which is also provided by the College Board. For a detailed explanation go to http://www.collegeboard.com/student/pay/scholarships-and-aid/8374.html
- Have your family keep track of their year to date income on their pay stub to estimate income on financial aid forms
- Submit your FAFSA by January 1 or in the first week in January. Men who are 18 years of age or older must register with Selective Service to receive federal financial aid
- Most financial aid deadlines fall in February. To secure the best aid and scholarships available make sure you make these deadlines
- Colleges that have accepted you will send letters and financial aid offers by the middle of April
- Use Compare Your Aid Awards to compare awards from different colleges. Talk to financial aid officers at your college if you have questions about the award offered
- If you haven't already, visit your final college before accepting.
Make Your Final Choice by May 1
- Send a deposit to the college of your choice
This information is taken from CollegeBoard.com and is a college plan for seniors. Visit CollegeBoard.com for additional plans for juniors, sophmores and freshmen as well as more information about planning for college.
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The resources and links provided on this page are intended to support students or shared decision-makers in the education process.