- Do your research before applying. This will save you time and money. Apply only to schools you are truly interested in. For most students, this varies from 2-5 schools.
- Apply by the Fall scholarship deadline. This varies by school but is often Dec. 1. Most applications are online. Email or visit your counselor if you don't know your class rank. There is a fee to apply to most schools so choose only schools you are seriously considering. If you receive free/reduced lunch, you can usually get the application fee waived. Talk to your counselor or Mrs. Gerringer.
- Many schools are now using The Common Application. You complete one application and can send it to various schools. Everything is done electronically. Be sure to monitor your progress from the website. You may need to remind teachers/counselors of deadlines for recommendations. (See #5 for more info. on recommendations). It is recommended that you waive your right to read letters of recommendation submitted on your behalf. This shows that you feel confident that a positive letter will be written. However, it is your decision.
- Apply for any scholarships the college offers. For automatic scholarships, the admissions application is usually all that has to be submitted. For competitive scholarships, other things are required like essays, letters of recommendation, and a separate application. Check out scholarships offered for specific majors too. (Example: Mizzou's Trulaske College of Business offers competitive scholarships for students majoring in business.)
- If you need a letter of recommendation, give the teacher at least two weeks notice. Complete a Request for Recommendation Letter (download from this link or pick one up in the guidance office); make sure to include a resume or list of activities. If it needs to be mailed, include an envelope that is stamped and addressed, or supply the email address/website if it needs to be sent electronically. Follow up with a thank-you note. You may want to request that the letter be general in nature as opposed to specific so that it can be used for several schools/scholarships.(example: I recommend "Susie" for this scholarship....as opposed to, I recommend Susie for the Rotary Scholarship.)
- Request high school transcript to be sent. Pick up forms in the guidance office or print from one of the links at the bottom of this page. If any other forms need to be sent, it is best for us to send them all at once. Complete one form for each school. You only need addresses for out of state schools. If you are completing The Common Application or another form of electronic submission (like SENDedu), you do not need to send a paper transcript.
- Check the college websites to see if they will accept your ACT score from your transcript or if you need to send it from ACT. Each time you register for the ACT during senior year, include your college school codes so that they receive your ACT as soon as possible. You may send 4 free and will be charged for any others. If you need to send scores after the fact, you can do so through your online ACT account.
- Continue to take the ACT either to meet admission requirements or to earn scholarships. Most schools will accept your ACT score throughout senior year for admission but will likely have a cut off date for scholarships. Study the scholarship section on your college websites carefully.
- Once admitted, submit housing/enrollment deposit to the school to secure your spot. Check with your colleges regarding the pros and cons of submitting early. These deposits are often refundable or partially refunded until early Spring which allows you time to make your final decision. But, check your particular school for guidelines.
- Make every effort to visit the campus and learn more about what the school offers in terms of your interests both academically and exra-curricularly. It is best to visit before applying but if you can't visit in the fall, don't delay your application.
- Apply for outside scholarships.
- Complete the FAFSA after October 1. This is a new deadline, beginning with the class of 2017. Read details at https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/about/announcements/fafsa-changes. Send your FAFSA information directly to the schools you are considering. You can get these codes on the FAFSA site. **Be aware of similar sites (like fafsa.com) that will charge you money.Use ONLY fafsa.ed.gov or fafsa.gov) Try www.studentaid.ed.gov for more information about federal aid. Meet deadlines in order to receive the best financial aid package. The state FAFSA deadline is April 1. The federal deadline is June 30. Colleges will list "preferred" FAFSA deadlines. That is their way of saying earlier is better.
- Narrow down your choices after considering the financial aid packages offered, (this might be March or April) as well as all other aspects of the "best fit" school for you. May 1 is often a deadline for any deposit reimbursement from schools you have decided not to attend, schools have their own guidelines on this.
- Request final transcript to be sent to the school of your choice. This will be a part of your senior packet you will get 2nd semester.
- Attend an orientation/registration session at your college. These fall at different times depending on your school, but are typically May - August.
- If you are completing a class for college credit, or have taken an AP exam, you will need to have that information sent to your college of choice. Click here for information on AP scores accepted at various colleges. You can also find AP credit information on each college website.
- If you took any dual credit courses (PLTW, Anatomy & Physiology, dual enrollment through SCC), you will have to request the college where you earned the credit to send your transcript to the college you will attend in the fall. This is done online through the college where you received credit and will carry a small fee.
- Some 4-year schools offer scholarship money for completing the A+ Program. Even if you choose a school that doesn't offer money, being able to include 50 hours of tutoring (community service) on your applications for scholarships is a positive thing. See A+ Information on this website for a listing of schools.
To see how and if your AP credit will transfer to your colleges of choice, click here.
Visit the NACAC website for good college prep. information.
If you have questions, please visit the College and Career Center!