financial aid options

Preparing for College as a 12th Grader

Congratulations, you are a Senior! You can see the finish line and sometimes that’s not always a good thing. That sight can cause you to become lazy or unmotivated. Some call this senioritis. You. Must. Stop. Senioritis! This year will seem like the most relaxed you have felt about school but it is arguably the most important year of them all. So it is important to keep your eye on the prize an finish strong!

Important Things to Remember

  1. Start your applications early! Most schools will have early application deadlines that you don’t want to miss. These early applications will give you a better chance with getting you into the school of your choice.
  2. FAFSA will be available to complete starting November but won’t be able to be submitted until Jan. 1. Try your best to make sure you get your FAFSA in the moment you are able to. Financial Aid comes from a large sum of money and when they run out of that money for the calendar year, it is all gone. So the sooner you complete it the more money you could possibly receive.
  3. Do not slow down on the class workload. Its really tempting to sign up for all electives and cut your day early with a free period. Doing this will allow colleges to think that you are not a hard worker and want the easy way out. Make sure your AP classes are still being taken and you take those AP exams seriously. They could save you time and money in college if you score high enough on them.

4th year myths

  1. You can slack off your 4th quarter/2nd semester.
  2. Applying to school out of reach is a waste of time and money

Colleges often look at your final quarter or semester of high school and may even change their minds if you suddenly drop your grades. At the same time some schools will accept you (especially if you are on the waiting list) if they see you working hard till the end of your senior year. Like I said in the intro, you must work hard during your senior year. This is the year most students fall off and their hard work during their first 3 years are wasted.

What You Can Start Doing Today

  1. Divide the schools you are applying for in different categories. (Safe, Normal, and Reach are the usual terms people go with).  
  2. Apply for as many scholarships you can find that fit you. There are TONS out there and it just takes a simple search.
  3. Start asking people if they would be willing to write you a letter of recommendation. Teachers and Coaches will be bombarded towards the end of the year so it’s good if you get on this before the crowd comes.

Extra Credit

Getting into the school of your choice is great! However, getting in is not the final task. A lot of students take their foot off the pedal once they’ve been accepted to the school they want to attend. What they don’t realize is that the better you do in school also determines how much scholarship you may receive. Don’t slow down just because you got in, let’s make sure you leave debt free!