Congratulations, you’ve sent in the last of your applications and you are ready to lie back and relax. Wrong. For you and all the other seniors in your position, the college application process is still going. Yes, the hard part is over, but there are still more essays that will require you to conjure up “life-changing experiences” and more teachers that you’ll have to pull a recommendation from. So what else do you still need to do?
1. Scholarships. Although most private schools will provide scholarships along with their acceptance letters, you may still be in need of extra money. Most scholarships have deadlines in February or March, but you’re going to have to do sufficient research to make sure you get your application in on time. Although one scholarship of $1,500 might not seem like enough to pay off pre-law school, multiple scholarships will help put a dent in your college bills. Also, do some research into the schools you applied to and see if they have a separate application for some of the more prestigious scholarships.
2. Fill out the FAFSA. You and your parents can fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Even if you don’t think you qualify for financial aid, it is strongly recommended that you fill out the FAFSA. It seems like a pain (and it probably will be), but it’s free and many students get a lot of financial aid. By filling out the FAFSA, you become eligible for many government loans, grants and scholarships.
3. Keep those grades up. Although now might seem like the best time to stop trying as hard in school, it is actually imperative that you keep getting the same grades as you have been. After being accepted into college, the university will expect a mid-year and final report of your grades. If they see that your grades dropped dramatically, they can, and will, cancel your acceptance to their institution. Although senioritis is inevitably setting in, you have to keep your grades at least constant.
4. Interview. Although I am not up to date on the policies regarding every single college, I do know that many universities offer interviews for prospective students. It is strongly recommended that you go to an interview. A good impression can make or break a “maybe” application. If nothing else, the interview provides good practice for future ones. If you get an interview, remember to dress nicely, smile and be honest. Don’t say things that you think the interviewer wants to hear. You want to make a good impression, but they’ll know if you are exaggerating. Try to be interesting and engaging, but don’t overdo it. You don’t want to be known as the applicant who gave an interpretive dance as an interview.
It may seem difficult now, but in just a few short months, we will be free, free at last! If you can do this, chances are you can survive college.
Eileen Bennett is a senior at Clarence High School.
Although senioritis is inevitably setting in, you have to keep your grades at least constant.