Senior year is coming. You’re excited! You're nervous. You're not sure how you feel. We get it. Maybe you're thinking about the next step. For some of you, that's college and that means there are a lot of new things to consider.
Explore College WebsitesIf you have ideas about a major, do some research on the program—is it accredited? Are internships available? Are there ways to customize your program? And, while you may be more interested at this point in what the campus looks like, check out the school’s retention rates and job placement rates. Your parents will be impressed.
Fill Out the Forms
Once you’re on websites, they’re going to want to know who you are and what interests you have. Fill out the forms! Give them your contact info because then they’ll send you more information. Hey, this is one of the biggest decisions you’ll make, so you’ll want to know everything about a school.
Once you choose a few schools that seem to fit your interests, start making plans for campus visits over the summer. It’s not too early. Most schools have specific tour dates available where you can view with other families to get a feel in a low-pressure situation or you can take a personal tour.
Connect with an Admission Counselor
While you're visitng the campus, get a business card from an Admission Counselor. Their job is to tell you about the school and answer any of your questions about applying. You’re going to have a lot of questions over the next year, and those folks are lifesavers!
Check out Financial Aid
You'll be getting emails, messages, and direct mail about financial aid. Cost is one of the biggest factors in choosing a college, so make sure you pay attention. The time will come when it's time to have a talk about financial aid and affordability. Make sure as you compare schools that you’re comparing apples to apples. Is the cost listed by credit hours, semester, or by year? Are you adding in fees, books, and room and board? What is the required amount of credit hours for your degree and is it the same from school to school? If you have questions, contact a financial aid specialist.
Speaking of costs, it’s never too early to start looking at scholarships. You’ll need time to research to find all that’s available and all you’re eligible for. Most schools have endowed scholarships in addition to academic scholarships, so be sure you’ve reviewed everything. Read through the requirements for those scholarships and prepare every document to be sent in.
Binders, folders, computer files, an app on your phone. You can organize yourself in any way that works. The key is to have the correct information about each college you apply to in a specific place. We recommend breaking up the info from each college into Majors, Cost, Campus Life, Student Organizations, Community, and Support Resources. You’re going to be busy your senior year and this will help keep things easy to find. You may want a folder for college deadlines as well. Every school has some key deadlines: apply date, scholarship date, FAFSA deadline. These are the important things you don’t want to miss out on.
Southeast has made it easy to find more information. If you're interested check out the links below.
Make the Best Of It
You’re making big decisions and probably learning more about price and housing options, courses, and textbooks than you’ve ever imagined. But this is a big deal. So, find a way to enjoy learning about schools, reading about majors, and time spent on tour with your favorite group of people. It’s going to be a really great time in your life, so have fun!