2016 January College Readiness Tips for Seniors
We hope you had a happy and healthy winter vacation. High school seniors are entering the final semester of their secondary education. Rather than slide into graduation, they need to keep up the great work. Here are some January tips.
- Seventh and eighth semester grades really do count. First and second semester senior year grades count for many students applying to four year colleges and for scholarships. Students need to do the best they can. Please remind any student who got accepted early to a college to keep grades up, as falling grades can risk a spot in college.
- Finish those last minute applications. Many colleges are still accepting applications. More than half of the state universities are accepting as are many private colleges with deadlines ranging from January 15 to July 1.
- Keep track of college admissions’ portals. Most colleges now have separate portals for applicants requiring unique usernames and passwords. They communicate the status of your application materials, admissions decisions, and access to special programs. Check these weekly as after you get admitted they also provide information about financial aid, housing, and more.
- Send all test scores. If you haven’t sent your test scores directly to colleges, it’s not too late. You must send out OFFICIAL scores from the College Board or ACT.
- It’s time to apply for financial aid. Students can now apply for 2016-2017 financial aid. That means completing the FAFSA and the CSS profile along with state based financial aid program apps. Remember, this year it’s easier than ever with your families submitting the past two years of taxes—prior, prior.
- Placement tests are here. Many public universities require placement tests for English, math, foreign languages, and more. Many require these tests before enrolling, so sign up for these tests now.
- Scholarships abound. January is a great time to focus on scholarship applications. There are local, private, regional, non-profit, and national scholarships. One good place to start is the scholarship page of colleges, as many have merit scholarships available. Be persistent. Many of the essays seniors wrote for college applications can be used for these applications. Applicants can’t get the free money unless they apply.