A huge mistake people make in the college application process is missing deadlines. With this in mind, it is important that families understand their student’s timelines. Students need time to craft essays, study for exams, get good grades, volunteer, and–let’s face it–do a whole ton of other stuff. If a students waits until their Senior year to plan, they will be stressed and unprepared for the entire process.
First are admissions deadlines. Whether it is early action, early decision, or regular admissions, knowing these are essential if you want to get in to your school of choice. Why? Because a college’s admissions office doesn’t have time to mess around. They themselves are on strict deadlines. Apply earlier will also allow your child the opportunity to be fully considered for admittance. Once applications come pouring in counselors can’t devote as much time to each one.
2) Financial Aid
Second are financial aid form deadlines. Most people don’t realize that there are multiple forms depending on your family situation and the schools to which you are applying. As seasoned advisors, we have seen this mistake cost families thousands in both financial and merit money. Many colleges and universities require forms as early as November 1st of the senior year. Every school requires FAFSA for financial aid, but nearly 800 schools now require the FAP (Financial Aid Profile) which requires more information. There are no second chances for financial aid packages, so you must know these dates.
Some students rely entirely on scholarships to pay for college. Which works for certain families’ financial situations. Scholarships can really do a lot. But, you need to get in line. There are tons of other student who really need that money too. But, don’t worry–there are plenty of scholarships. They can range from academics, to volunteering, to an activity your student enjoys. Just make sure you know the deadlines for scholarships you’re interested in.
Our college planning team at Peachtree hopes you learned a little something from this blog post. If you’re just starting the application process and want even more information, register for a workshop! You can learn more about the process of applying to school and meet members of our team.