It’s May. Homestretch on the senior year. You’ve done an amazing job getting to this point! If you’ve selected a college and made your deposit, you’re almost on your college way. (If you still need some college options, here’s a great list.)
Slapping down that college deposit isn’t the final step. Don’t forget some key details. You’ve got some important items to take care of before loading up the car.
The Academic Details:
Final senior exams. End the year strong, because your college is going to want to see that final transcript.
Final high school transcript. Does your college want to see your transcript, after your final grades are posted? Let your school counselor know—before school lets out for the summer.
Did you take AP exams? Check with your college to see whether they’ll give you college credit for your test score: you’ll likely need to score at least a 3. Going into college with college credits under your belt can shorten your time to graduation and save on tuition.
Speaking of college credits, did you take classes at a community college or four-year college? You should send this transcript as well, even the credits are on your high school transcript.
Register for fall classes. Your college advisor can offer guidance on this. Have a plan for what classes you’re taking, and in what order. This keeps you on track to finish in four.
Placement tests. Does your college require them for English, math, or a foreign language? Find out when and where they happen. If you want extra preparation, check out the free Accuplacer tool highlighted below.
The Financial Details:
You completed the FAFSA, right? Because about 40% of last year’s high school graduates did NOT, and left $2.6 billion in Pell Grant money unclaimed. You don’t want to be that person.
Do a double check with the financial aid office. Do they have all the forms they’re expecting from you?
Crunch the budget numbers. If your aid falls short, meet with the financial aid office to see what your options are, like a monthly payment plan. Make private loans your last option, and only borrow what you truly need.
Jobs. Start looking for campus jobs, especially if you’ve been awarded work/study. Your campus might have a job center website, or you can reach out to departments, the library, the athletic center or dining hall. Don’t work so much that you jeopardize your grades or drag out the time needed to complete the degree. You’ll have many more higher-earning options once your degree is in hand.
The College Life Details:
Will you be living on campus? Odds are, you’ll have a roommate. Connect with them over the summer and then that first day on campus won’t feel awkward.
Dorm rooms: small! Get the deets on your new space before loading up on the decor. (Tip: dorm room beds are usually “long” so bring the right bed sheets.)
Doctor/Dentist/Prescriptions: if college is not close to home, now’s the time to schedule those appointments and confirm access to any prescription meds to get you through the fall.
Orientation: really good idea. See our “Ask Us a Question” below!
Make time for you and your relationships this summer. Sleep, laugh, hang out with friends and family. We know, life is busy. Taking care of yourself is the best way to get it all done. #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek