THE BLOG

High School Seniors' January - June College Admissions To Do's, Redux 2014

01/21/2014 07:24 pm ET | Updated Mar 23, 2014

Seniors! If you're not completely finished with your college applications now, surely you will be very soon. There are a few more things you need to do before you say "buh bye" to high school. Since it's easy to forget about admissions details once applications are submitted, this blog will help you finish up your senior year knowing that everything that needs to be completed, turned-in, or checked-off is taken care of.

Here is what to do during the months of January through June:

JANUARY
ED APPLICATIONS
If you received an Early Decision acceptance to a college, you need to cancel your other applications. Write to each campus to which you applied, letting them know about your desire to withdraw.

EA AND REGULAR APPLICATIONS
For students who applied Early Action and/or Regular Admission, be sure to remind your high school counselor to complete the Midyear Report forms. All of the information entered on the Common App School Report form is automatically transferred to the Midyear Report. Midyear Reports should be submitted as soon as possible after 1st semester grades are available.

REGULAR APPLICATIONS
Complete and submit any regular applications that are due after the first of the year.

FINANCIAL AID
Fill out and submit FAFSA and PROFILE financial aids forms, as well as any individual college financial aid forms. Note: you will need your parents' help with this, and they must have their 2013 tax return information available.

FOLLOW-UP WITH COLLEGES

  1. For colleges that provide application information on-line, check the respective websites to make sure they have received all of your materials. Follow-through appropriately.
  2. Alternatively, call each college on your list to see if they have received all of the required application materials. If the answer is yes, say thank you and relax. If the answer is no, find out what is missing and immediately get the missing materials to the colleges.
  3. Through a letter or email, update colleges with any new information, including recent awards, athletic achievements, volunteer efforts, etc. If you have one, send them an updated copy of your activities resume.
  4. Also, let them know if there are any changes in your academic record since you submitted your application (you changed schools, added or dropped a course or received a D or F in a course). This is particularly important for students deferred for Early Decision, or Early Action Single Choice applications.

ADMISSION INTERVIEWS
If a college offers you an admissions interview, by all means, do it! On my adMISSION POSSIBLE website there is information about "Exactly What to Say and Do for Admissions Interviews." Doing a little prep work ahead of time will help you put your best foot forward with the admissions reps.

FEBRUARY FINANCIAL AID/FAFSA/PROFILE If you are applying for financial aid, make sure that you meet each college's requirements and deadlines. FOLLOW UP WITH COLLEGES

  1. Send an updated copy of your school transcript that includes first semester grades to each college to which you have applied.
  2. If you have not done it before, update colleges with any new information, including recent awards, athletic achievements, volunteer efforts, etc.

GRADES
Many colleges pay close attention to second semester grades. Whatever you do, don't slack-off! Some colleges actually rescind acceptances if a student's senior year second semester grades drop precipitously. Continue to do your best work.


HIGH SCHOOL COUNSELOR

Make sure that your high school counselor has mailed in the Midyear Reports to all of your schools, including those at which you were accepted Early Action or Restricted Early Action.

MARCH
COLLEGE VISITS
As acceptances start coming in, consult with your parents about last-minute college visits to schools that really interest you.

APRIL FINAL CONSIDERATIONS

  1. If you can, attend "Admit" programs offered by colleges to which you have been accepted. (These are on-campus programs offered to accepted students that provide more information about the schools and experiences with other accepted students. Colleges usually provide information about Admit Weekends when they send their acceptance letters.
  2. Attend any local alumni receptions for admitted students. These events offer you the opportunity to meet current, former and newly accepted students who might be attending a college. They are very useful in getting a sense for whether a college is right for you.
  3. Narrow-down the list of schools in which you are interested, reviewing and discussing the financial aid packages offered by the schools with your parents. If you need it, try to negotiate more financial aid from a college you want to attend, particularly if other colleges have offered you better financial packages.
  4. If you have trouble deciding which college you want to attend, consult with your high school counselor, independent college counselor, teachers, parents/grandparents or other people you respect. You can also read my "Making Your Final Choice."
  5. If you are on a wait list for a college you really want to attend, discuss what you can do to get off the list with your college counselor. Also have a look at my HuffPost blog, "Getting Off a College Wait List."

MAY YOUR COLLEGE CHOICE

  1. By May 1, send in your admissions deposit and notify one college that you have decided to accept their letter of admittance. Also, complete the housing preference forms for your chosen college.
  2. Inform all other colleges that you will not be accepting their admissions offer.

RECOMMENDERS
Let your college counselor, teachers and other recommenders know about your college decision. Be sure to thank them for their help!

TESTING
Take your final AP/IB tests.

JUNE
FINAL TRANSCRIPT
Make sure a final transcript is sent to the college of your choice. Also, send in any AP/IB test scores you have so that this information can be used by the college to determine which course levels you should be in.

ROOM, BOARD, TUITION
Note on your calendar when room and board and tuition are due for your college.

MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL
Have a great summer!