July 26, 2011
5 Things High School Seniors Should Be Doing Now
Hate to break it to you, but it’s that time of year where all of the stores have signs telling you that “Back to School” is looming. If you’re going to be a Senior this year, you’ll save yourself a world of angst if you take some time before settling into class, homework and ruling your high school to think about college and where you’re going when you graduate.
If you’re wondering where to start, here’s a helpful article from US News that gives you things to think about and what you should be doing now. Trust us, you’ll be glad you did.
5 things high school seniors should be doing now
By Lynn O’Shaughnessy, US News
If you are a rising high school senior, you probably thought you had all summer to get prepared for the upcoming college admission frenzy. But guess what? You’re running out of time.
To avoid the time crunch in the fall, here are five things you can do now:
1. Examine school prices: I think it’s reckless to apply to a school if you don’t have some sense of what kind of price you would have to pay. Sticker prices, however, are often meaningless. At private colleges and universities, for instance, 88 percent of students receive some type of price break.
The good news is that it’s becoming much easier to determine what the tab will be in advance by using federally mandated net price calculators. These calculators will provide you with a good idea of what the price will be at an institution based on your academic profile and your parents’ finance data. With the exception of the super rich, I don’t think anyone should apply to colleges without using these calculators first.
While the federal deadline to install these calculators on school websites is late October, lots of schools already have their calculators up and running.
[Read more about net price calculators.]
2. Check deadlines: Use a calendar to keep track of deadlines for applications and financial aid. When there is a choice, you’ll have to decide whether to apply early decision, early action or regular decision. When you apply early, the school might require that you submit your financial aid application far in advance.
[Learn about overlooked ways to pay for college.]