The Opportunity: A College Access Newsletter

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We believe in human potential, opportunity, and the ability to succeed.
We are student-founded, student-led, and dedicated to empowering students to access and afford college.

This is The Opportunity: A College Access Newsletter.

It features tools, tips, and advice from our own experiences and also the best college access tools we've found.

Issue Seventeen: May 16, 2019
Issue Theme: What are those final steps before college? [Hint: they're REALLY important!] 

What You Need to Do Between Now and Fall Semester:


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 if 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!

 

Top Detail:

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


 

Fair Opp Faves: Tools We Like

Each issue of this newsletter we’ll highlight one cool tool or resource. Maybe it’s for finding the right college, covering college costs, or staying on top of the application process. We only share tools that we’ve checked out and that are free for students.
 

Accuplacer Placement Test

Not every college requires a placement test for what level English or math class you take in your first year. Many colleges use their own placement tests. For those colleges that use the Accuplacer test, here's a free tool from College Board that offers study tips and practice tests. 

Don't forget about another free tool that we really like: all the great instructional videos from Khan Academy. These videos can really help you brush up if you find you're rusty in one or more math or English topics. 

WHAT'S YOUR QUESTION?

Send us your questions and we’ll respond to them here!
 

I've got a packed summer. Is the college orientation program worth it? --Bodhi M. 

Heya Bodhi! Summertime is sweet time. It’s definitely when you want to max out each precious minute.

If you’ve selected your college by now, you’re probably starting to hear regularly from them about housing, registration, parking permits...it might seem as if you’re getting the info you need.

But here’s the thing.

Orientation programs put it all out there, live action, face to face. You meet other students, find out about clubs and sports, see where the dining hall is, maybe meet your college advisor and professors. If you’re headed to a big campus with lots of students, you want every advantage available to know where things are and how you fit in.

 

College really is about the relationships and how to explore who you really are.

 

There’s so much to take in during your first semester. In fact, it can be the most critical time in your college years for finding your groove. This is why colleges develop orientation programs and other special first year opportunities. You’re not just learning new facts and skills; you’re learning about yourself and what’s important to you.

 

We answer “Yes.” The college orientation program is worth it.

NACAC College Openings List

Still Looking for the School for You?

 

You’ll find nearly 500 colleges (and counting!) that are still accepting applications for freshman and/or transfer fall 2019 admission. You can search NACAC's handy list a number of ways: by state or whether financial aid is still available, for example.

 It’s a big list. If you don’t see the college you’re interested in, go ahead and contact them—there are likely more opportunities out there!
A college admissions mentor can make all the difference in college success.
That's why Fair Opportunity Project is launching the Mentor Network. 
Learn about The Mentor Network
Your donation to Fair Opportunity Project will allow us to reach more students with free resources about college admissions and financial aid.
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That’s it for this issue! Thanks for reading. We've got one more issue before we wrap it up for the school year. You’d make us even happier by sharing this newsletter. It’s all about giving and getting a Fair Opportunity.

 

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