It’s Time To Decide

Tomorrow, May 1st is NATIONAL COLLEGE DECISION DAY, the deadline to choose your college.

If you haven’t already decided, re-examine the schools you’re still considering. Think about what was important to you when you originally made your list and what left an impression on you after you completed your research.

If you have any additional questions, don’t hesitate to call a current student to chat and find the answers that may help you.

A pro/con list can be a helpful tool as you try to organize your thoughts and compare schools.

Talk to your parents about what’s on your mind.  Once your decision has been made, celebrate— you’re on your way to college!

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You’ve Got Mail

Seniors,  National College Decision Day is quickly approaching. You have a big decision to make by May 1!  Check your email and your mailbox frequently, as the schools you’ve been admitted to have been and will continue to send you many important announcements.

You may receive invitations to local get-togethers for admitted students, often hosted by alumni. Many schools invite admitted students to special on- campus events. If you haven’t already attended one, these “admitted student” days offer a chance to take a good look at the campus, ask questions and meet your prospective classmates.   Take advantage of these opportunities, if you can, to get to know more about what the school has to offer and how you feel about attending.

Financial aid packages have already arrived, but check your mailbox to find any follow up requests for information and forms the school requires you to complete.  If financial aid is an important piece of your decision, take the time to read through all mailings and understand the details. Be clear on how much is gift aid such as scholarships, grants and tuition waivers and how much requires repayment, and on what schedule.

Make your decision and be sure to send in your deposit by the May 1st deadline. Re-read your acceptance letter and any correspondence you received from the school to confirm that you’ve submitted all the required documents. Also, as a courtesy, don’t forget to notify other colleges that you won’t be attending.

Once you’re a member of the class of 2020, you’ll begin receiving lots of important and time sensitive mail requiring your attention. Be on the lookout for details regarding housing, roommate selection, course registration, orientation and summer events. In addition, expect to hear from the health office, registrar and bursar. Check your mail regularly to be sure that you don’t miss any deadlines and opportunities.

Your mailbox is going to be full, so check for new information daily!

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Your College Community is Waiting to Meet You

 

Using social media can be a great way to connect with your future classmates, friends and potential roommates. You can also stay up to date on what’s happening on your college campus. Don’t wait to get started.

Facebook groups for your school will let you hear about group meet ups with future classmates in your area. You may find potential roommates and friends with common interests. You can also talk about the best classes to sign up for and post questions you may have about the college. Check the school’s Facebook page to stay up to date with approaching deadlines for required forms, deposits and special programs.

LinkedIn University Pages offer the latest news directly from the schools. These LinkedIn pages are also where you can read what alumni are doing, where they’re living, what fields they’ve gone into and the jobs they’ve had since their graduation. This is your future network.

Twitter accounts belonging to your future professors may be of interest. You can follow what they’re writing about, researching and learn about the latest news in their field. Campus organizations, including fraternities, sororities and clubs use Twitter to stay connected with the school community.

Look on Instagram for your college’s page and see what students are doing on campus now.

These are exciting times! You’ll be joining a new college community and it’s never to early to become an active member.

 

 

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Get Ready For Tomorrow’s ACT

A few thoughts if you’re scheduled to take tomorrow’s ACT.

To minimize your stress tomorrow morning, it’s a great idea to get organized ahead of time. The last thing you need on test morning is a desperate scramble. These are some of the things you can do tonight to get your big day off to a great start:

First, check with your parents to make sure they know when and where you’re scheduled to take the test, and arrange how you’ll get to the test center. Next, gather and pack all the things you’ll need to take with you. Some of the things on this check list are “must-have” items, while others are optional.

REQUIRED: Don’t forget any of the following items or it will be a long ride home!

  • An approved calculator
  • Sharpened #2 pencils
  • An acceptable form of photo ID
  • Your admission or standby ticket

SUGGESTED:

  • Water
  • Snack
  • Sweater
  • Back-up calculator
  • Extra batteries for your calculator
  • Watch (to keep track of time)

Set your alarm, get a good night’s sleep and have a healthy, satisfying breakfast.

Good luck!

 

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Appealing Your Financial Aid Offer

There are a number of useful strategies and resources to help students successfully negotiate their financial aid packages. So, if your aid award does not meet your needs, appeal, because many colleges are open to increasing the amount of aid they offer.

You may be eligible for additional aid if the school is looking for a student just like you. Are you that special student to round out the incoming freshman class? For example, if you have a specific talent or skill, or belong to a demographic group, or have excellent academic credentials, you may be successful in receiving more aid.

 There are many valid reasons you may qualify for additional aid. Your family’s financial circumstances may have changed since you applied or you may have received a more generous offer from a school you’re not as interested in attending. Share your situation with your financial aid office representative and begin a dialog.

 

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Registration Reminder

Remember, today is the registration deadline for the May 5th SAT and Subject Tests.

 

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Financial Aid: It’s All About The Details

Now is the time to focus on details. With your admissions decisions and financial aid offers in hand, it’s so important that you understand the fine print, including the terms of your aid package(s), a school’s requirements for you to keep your aid and how the aid you’ve been offered may change from year to year.

Any of the following provisions may be included in your offer:

  • Aid may not be the same over the course of four years, as it is common for financial aid to change after freshman year.
  • Some scholarships have strict academic requirements and can be rescinded if you do not maintain a specific grade point average.
  • Merit aid may be offered to entice you to join a freshman class but that same aid may not be available in your sophomore, junior and senior years.
  • Deadlines are crucial as most schools require students to reapply annually to qualify for aid and you can lose your aid if you fail to file the necessary paperwork on time.
  • Grants may not be available to transfer students, or less money may be offered to transfers, so students should not assume they’ll have access to the same aid package if transferring to a new school.

If you have any concerns or questions about your financial aid package(s), call the school’s financial aid office and ask a financial aid officer to help you.  Make sure you understand the terms of your aid before you select the school you will attend next fall.

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