Road Map for February: Seniors

If you’re a Washington, DC senior and have applied to public colleges or universities, DC-area schools or HBCUs, the DC Tuition Assistance Grant (DC TAG) application is now available.  Be sure to complete and submit this, as well as the FAFSA, as soon as possible to ensure your eligibility for the grant (up to $10,000 to cover the additional tuition for out-of-state students and smaller amounts for HBCUs and private colleges in the DC metro area). Although the program has always been able to provide funding for students who submitted their forms on time, there’s a chance that funding could run out, in which case earlier applicants would likely receive preference.  To learn more about the DC TAG program, click here or read my recent blog post.

Your school counselor will be sending mid-year reports soon if they haven’t already gone out, and admissions decisions are trickling in.  If you’ve received admission offers already, you may also be getting invitations to Accepted Students Day events on various campuses.  These are good opportunities to take a closer look at your top choices as you decide where to enroll.  Click here for advice on making the most of these final visits.

Most students are still waiting to hear from some of the schools on their lists.  If so, think about whether there are any recent accomplishments that were not included in the applications you submitted, such as awards, internships or leadership positions in your activities.  It’s appropriate to contact admissions officers where your application is pending to let them know any new information. Don’t go overboard however; updates should be substantive and not repeat things you’ve already told them.

If you’re a DC-area student considering a gap year, the USA Gap Year Fair this Thursday will showcase a variety of programs and offer the opportunity to talk one-on-one with organization staff about the experiences they offer, as well as logistics like travel, cost and financial aid.  The Gap Year Association has also announced that it’s joining with the National Association for College Admissions Counseling to offer gap year information at national college fairs, which will be coming to the DC area in April.  Students in other locations can check here for the full USA Gap Year Fair schedule and here for the complete NACAC college fair schedule.