Whew! College applications are sent.
If you’re like most seniors, you’re kicking up your heels because college applications and SATs/ACTs are done. Now begins the long waiting period. You may have heard from some colleges. You have probably been accepted to a few safety schools, and you may have been denied admissions to some of your reach schools. It’s normal to feel anxious as you await the news from your #1 college.
Meanwhile, you anxiously wait... Hearing that your friends have been accepted to colleges does not mean that you’ve been denied. All colleges will send decision letters by the end of March.
There’s nothing more irritating than constantly being asked the status of your college admissions. I suggest that you keep your admissions record to yourself – after all, it’s nobody’s business but yours. That way, if you’re feeling down after getting bad news, you won’t have to answer the nosy probes of the entire student body at your school.
That said, you do need to stay on top of college admissions. Check your email every day. Colleges will notify you through email if they’re missing your transcript(s), SAT/ACT scores, letters of recommendation or other parts of your application. If you don’t respond to their requests in a timely fashion, you may be denied admission due to an incomplete application. Even if you know you’ve sent everything to each college, things can get lost or misfiled. Be prepared to resend transcripts or order SAT/ACT scores.
If you’ve won a contest or completed a project since you’ve submitted your applications, share your good news with the admissions committees by giving them a call or sending them an email. This may be the insight needed to sway the committee. Don’t just send anything for the sake of bringing attention to yourself; it may backfire on you. Only make contact with the admissions committees if you have something significant to share.
Use this time to really explore your college options. If you haven’t visited the colleges, take a tour, sit in on a class, and stay overnight in the dorms. This will give you the opportunity to get a feel for the students, the classes, and the social scene. If you know your major, or at least have a good idea, read about the courses required in the online catalog. By comparing your major at all of the colleges you have applied to, you’ll really be able to see what college offers the best programs for you. You’ll need to send confirmation to the college that you will attend by May 1 st.
If you haven’t already applied for scholarships, it’s not too late. Your parents (and you if you worked in 2007) will need to fill out the FAFSA application. Just go to www.fafsa.ed.gov. Check with your school’s counselors to see if they can recommend scholarships for you and check websites like Fastweb.com. Your parents’ employers may offer scholarships to their employees’ children. Put the word out that you’re looking for scholarships and set aside time to complete them.
With only one semester left of high school, keep your grades up. Colleges can actually rescind their acceptance offers if your spring semester grades drop. Get involved with planning your senior prom or Grad Night to ward off senioritis and general high school burn out. Just think, in just 8 months, you’ll be on your way to college!