|Cliché:||Take the time.|
|POCS Reality:||Students can do a lot of college prep in an hour.|
Sure you are busy prepping for the holidays, but it’s important to squeeze in some serious college prep before you are completely swept up in the celebrations. Here are 6 things you can do in one hour:
- Check prep Contact colleges to make sure your application file is complete. If it’s incomplete, your application may not be processed and you could lose your opportunity for being selected for admission. If you haven’t sent the app in yet, complete it, proofread it, make sure you followed all the directions, and make a copy for your records before sending it in.
- Update prep Create a list of your new information including accomplishments and activities that have occurred after you submitted your college application. Send the info to the colleges to enhance your application if you haven’t heard yet or final decision has been deferred.
- Q & A prep Revisit the website of each college to make sure you still want to attend. Take a virtual tour, read the course catalog, and review its FAQs. Read the student newspapers/magazines and listen to the college radio station. Your goal is to learn as much as possible and form a list of questions you need answers to before accepting an offer of admission. No longer interested? Rescind your application. There is still time to research and apply to other schools.
Financial aid application
- Documents prep Find the documents (SSN, Driver’s license if any, last year’s W-2s and federal tax returns, amount of child support paid if any, bank and other investment records), you will need to file your FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). Documents are needed for parents of dependent students and the student applicant. You will be all ready to prepare this important financial aid application for college when it becomes available in January 2012.
- PIN prep Most FAFSA applicants file online and you will need a PIN (personal identification number) to access your data online to make corrections, view your Student Aid Report online, find your info on other Federal Student Aid websites like National Student Loan Data SystemSM, and use as your electronic signature. Both students and parents of dependent students each need to apply for their own PINs and you can do this now at www.pin.ed.gov and be ready to file your FAFSA.
- Q & A prep Get familiar with the process and the kinds of questions you will likely be asked by checking out last year’s FAFSA. FAFSA 2012-2013 will not be released until January 1, 2012.
If you have more than an hour, read this for 10 Things High School Students Can Do Over Holiday Break.
POCSmom’s College Prep DIY Insight: Taking a little college prep time now can save you a lot of college stress later. Happy Holidays!!!