Getting Ready for College as a High School Senior Reply

Student Loan

Student loans and scholarship money.

It’s crunch time for high school seniors preparing for college. For many, the end of the prior school year and the summer before senior year was spent applying for scholarships and grants ¬†and spent September applying to colleges.. Most students will have a decision from the colleges they have applied to by April, but there are things that need to be done before then.

Finishing up scholarship applications:

High school seniors should be finishing up the application process for most of their scholarship requests. It is important to review the scholarship application deadlines as well as ensure that all requested information for each scholarship is completed correctly. Many scholarships are very competitive and incomplete or incorrectly completed applications are often not considered. Others may require essays or letters of recommendation or transcripts. It is important to take the time with each scholarship that has not already been submitted to ensure that all requirements have been accurately completed.

Even though college starts in the fall, it is not too late to continue to look for other scholarship opportunities. This may be a good time to check with local social and philanthropic organisations in within the community for further opportunities. College expenses add up quickly and any extra fund sources, even smaller scholarships, are worth the time to investigate.

Two misconceptions regarding completing the FAFSA:

It is time to complete the FAFSA application, if it has not been completed already. Some students and parents think that they must wait until after 2016 income taxes are completed. Others think that they cannot apply for financial aid until they have been accepted by a college. Neither of these are true. FAFSA applications can be completed prior to income tax returns, and can be amended once the returns are completed. If a student has applied for more than one college, information on all colleges can be included in the FAS application.

With the FAFSA application, timing is everything. Many of the grants and financial aid options offered by the FAFSA are offered on a first come, first served basis. The sooner the application is completed, the more opportunities for financial aid will be available.

Most applications to college are decided in March or April. If a student has applied for Early Decision or Early Action, then likely he or she has already received the decision. It is important to speak with admissions counselors and understand the complete admissions process. Regardless of the admissions process for the individual college, having the FAFSA completed will simplify the process.

Learn more about what seniors in high school should be doing for college applications with Peterson’s.

Malcolm Gladwell’s David and Goliath and Your College Decision Reply

checkmateMalcolm Gladwell is one of those writers who is always interesting to read, whether or not there are flaws with his reasoning, argumentation, or evidence. If nothing else, his books always give you something to chew over. In his most recent book, David and Goliath, he puts forward the notion that students should not necessarily go to major, prestigious universities just to take advantage of that prestige. Instead, students should go to universities where they are likely to truly and notably excel. This Business Insider article does a pretty good job of summing up Gladwell’s argument, and critiquing that argument. So what should you do when you’re making decisions between schools, both for applications and for acceptances? Where should you aim yourself?

More…

Fear the Book of Faces! …Or not. Reply

iStock_000001927691SmallRyan Hickey points to two articles in his Monday Link Round-up about social media and how it’s being used in the college admissions process. We’ve talked about this on Peterson’s before, too, in an article about how to use social media in your application, and in an article about how to use Facebook carefully and intelligently with regard to admissions. It’s not news that admissions officers are looking at social media when they make their decisions.

So why does it keep coming up? What do you need to know to be safe, really? How worried should you be?

More…

Recommendations for Grad School – Choosing a Recommender Reply

We just added a new article on the site designed to answer some of the most important and basic questions about letters of recommendation for graduate school. In this first release, we focus on how you should decide on someone to write your recommendations. Check it out:

http://www.petersons.com/graduate-schools/graduate-admissions/choosing-a-recommender/

And be sure to stay tuned, as we’ll have another related article up in the coming weeks that focuses on some other important considerations when it comes to your recommendations. Have further questions or ideas for an article we could write on this topic? Let us know in the comments!