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Dates, Documents, Deadlines, and Decisions Part 2

Part two of two: Deadlines and Decisions

by Audrey Johnson


Test Registration

As a home schooling family, it was our responsibility to make arrangements for the PSAT through a local school. The College Board website provides us with all the information we need to register for the SAT and SAT Subject Tests. There are regular registration deadlines (postmark/submit by), U.S. late registration periods, and international registration deadlines: (http://www.collegeboard.com/student/testing/sat/calenfees.html ). For my son’s 2009 Subject test, we completed the registration online.

College Visits
Some colleges may provide housing for prospective students who want to visit the campus. These arrangements must be made in advance.One college asked for two weeks notice to arrange a visit. This college is asking him to complete these arrangements through his “college account” with them, where he will see if the dates he desires are available. Colleges will have guidelines about when students can visit. I recently borrowed from the library Princeton Review’s Guide to College Visits. (http://www.randomhouse.com/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=9780375766008)
College Applications
My role as a home school mother/guidance counselor warrants that I seek the information my son/student will need to be ready for college. As I search the web sites of the colleges he has chosen, I make myself aware of the college application deadlines. For each school, he will need to know how he will apply: early action, early decision or regular admission (http://www.howtogetin.com/apply-to-college/early-decision.php).
Scholarships and Financial Aid
Scholarship opportunities arise from many places. You must seek out the scholarships, complete the applications, and meet the deadlines! Each college may have their own financial aid application. The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) (http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/) is a form that must be completed. CSS/Profile is a financial aid service of College Board

(https://profileonline.collegeboard.com/prf/index.jsp) that you may need to complete as well.

As I reviewed a college website, I noticed that they have a deadline for arranging interviews. These interviews may be on the college campus, or in your hometown.
Each of these issues (dates, documents, and deadlines) comes with the question: What do you do now? What dates will you put on your calendar? Will you take the SAT and /or the ACT? When will you take them? How often will you take them? Which, if any, SAT Subject Tests are you required to take? When will you take them?

Are there any college fairs in your area? How far will you travel to spend time at a college fair or a college presentation in your hometown? Which colleges will you visit?

How much and what kind of test preparation do you want to do? Which books will you buy or borrow? Will you seek outside help?

How will you find out about scholarships and financial aid? When should you start looking?

And the biggest question of all. Where will you apply to college? What factors will determine the list of schools you chose to apply to? Where do you want to spend your college years?

How do we accomplish all this? Here are a few resources to help high school students and their parents plan for college.

http://www.howtogetin.com/apply-to-college/calendar.php (General calendar)

http://www.howtogetin.com/college-preparation/calendar.php (Month by month calendar)


http://www.collegeboard.com/student/pay/ (How to pay for college)

http://www.collegeboard.com/student/apply/the-application/23626.html ( College application calendar)

http://www.aie.org/About/index.cfm  (Adventures in Education website, featuring a weekly newsletter with checklists for each year of high school.)

In our home we have created a calender that places our families’ and my son’s major events (birthdays, orchestra rehearsals and concerts, home school group activities, etc.) on a list with SAT, ACT, and Subject Test registration deadlines and testing dates, possible college visiting dates and other high school activities. Your family can determine the best method for you to keep track of dates, documents, deadlines, and decisions!




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