Road Map for December: Seniors

Many of my students have already gotten some good news from colleges—congratulations to all of you who have received admission offers! If you applied Early Decision, you will need to pay your enrollment deposit and withdraw any applications you’ve submitted to other schools. (For those of you who applied Early Action, you have until May 1 to make your decision and deposit.) You should also let your recommenders know your good news and thank them for their help during the application process.

Of course some students are also getting disappointing news. If you’ve been denied admission to a top choice, I know that stings. And if you’ve been deferred, or are considering converting a Regular Decision application to ED2, you may be unsure about how to move forward. If you need guidance on these topics or help putting the finishing touches on your last round of applications, please feel free to get in touch.

Students and parents are also anxiously awaiting the opening of the FAFSA on December 31. The Department of Education just announced that this will be a “soft launch,” and families should expect to experience some processing delays as the new system gets up and running. This article describes the roll-out plan, including “pauses” during which families can continue to work on existing applications but will not be able to start new ones. I am recommending that everyone create their FSA ID now (students and parents EACH need their own) so you can start your application as soon as it’s available, and continue making progress on it during scheduled pauses. Students should also keep an eye on colleges’ financial aid websites for updates on deadlines as colleges adjust their own processes.

Finally, students who are considering a gap year have some upcoming opportunities to learn about program options through USA Gap Year Fairs. This organization offers both virtual and in-person events to plan your “year on.”  For additional guidance on gap year options, please contact me to schedule a consultation.