JustStartApplications.com Releases College Top 10 Checklist for High School Seniors

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There's still much to do for college admissions at end of senior year. Today JustStartApplications.com releases a checklist for students and parents.


Don’t hesitate to call the school’s financial aid office for help.

It’s February, and within two months, most high school seniors will know where they’re headed to college. But while the hard part will soon be over, there are still a slew of important things to consider and do. Below are the top 10 most important things for parents and students to stay on top of as senior year concludes.

1. Make That Final Decision
This is of course easier said than done, as not all applicants will have gotten into their top choice school, or there will be monetary constraints. When deciding what college to attend, consider all of the factors, like financial aid packages, the presence of honors programs, and access to professors. Re-visiting campuses and sitting in on classes is highly recommended.

2. Say Yes or No by the Decision Date
Applicants should make sure to say “yes” to their top choice school by or well before the due date, sending in all relevant forms and their deposit. They should also be sure to notify the schools whose offers they’re turning down, so the schools can offer spots to waitlisted applicants.

3. Parents, Turn in Income Tax Forms ASAP
Household financial information will be essential for filling out financial aid forms. The last thing families want to do is ruin their shot at financial aid because they lingered in filing their taxes.

4. Send in Financial Aid Forms
The most important financial aid form, the FAFSA, will have both a state and a federal deadline. File those forms immediately upon making a decision, and make sure you get your Student Aid Report back within three weeks to acknowledge processing and begin budgeting. Don’t hesitate to call the school’s financial aid office for help.

5. Work Hard at School
As tempting as Senioritis may be, applicants shouldn’t let their grades slip, as colleges have been known to revoke their admission based on low senior year performance. AP students also won’t want to miss the chance to skip over a few freshman year courses.

6. Apply to More Scholarships
From community banks to national philosophy clubs, scholarships abound both locally and on the web. Use a site like Scholarships.com to keep track of al that’s out there.

7. Request Final Grade Transcripts
Each college will need your final grades by a certain date, which will usually be specified in the admissions packet. Admitted college applicants should request theirs from their high school registrar at least 2 weeks before the deadline.

8. Send AP Scores to Schools
Each school will have a unique code. When taking AP exams, students should make sure to enter the code for the school where they’ll be enrolling so they can be sure to get credit for all of their hard work.

9. Decide Whether or Not to Enroll in an Honors Program
For students who have been admitted to a medium sized or large school, an honors program can help keep the experience intimate with opportunities for one-on-one research or study and small group seminars.

10. Celebrate!
With all that there is to decide and do, students and families should make time to celebrate. After all, it’s not long before everyone will be saying goodbye and starting anew, so it’s important to take time to indulge. Go out to dinner, throw a party, and have a great time!

Founded in 2009, the mission of JustStartApplications.com is to help students applying to college, graduate, medical and law school tell the kind of authentic, compelling stories that will get them into the programs of their choice. Headquartered in Austin, TX, Just Start Applications operates entirely online through Skype and Google Docs, providing access to expert writers and admissions coaches to anyone in the world at the click of a button.

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Leah Kaminsky
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