15 Mar Road Map for March: Seniors
Most students are still waiting on some decisions but many of you are attending admitted student days on campuses where you’ve been accepted. These events are an excellent way to inform your decision by getting a better feel for the academic atmosphere and campus life at each school. I recommend reviewing your financial aid offer carefully before you go, and visiting the financial aid office if you have any questions. (Check out this article on understanding your award.) Financial aid is an important factor for most families, and if your award wasn’t what you expected you may want to consider an appeal. This article by my California colleague Jeff Levy offers some good advice on aid appeals; one important point is to act soon so you have a final award before the May 1 deposit deadline.
You should receive all of your admission decisions by the beginning of April, which will allow you about a month to make your choice. This article offers suggestions for making your enrollment decision. As always, keep your grades up since college you enroll in will receive a final report from your high school. On a related note, seniors occasionally push the boundaries of their new levels of freedom. Don’t let this go too far—and if you’re tempted, read this message from Rick Clark, Director of Undergraduate Admission at Georgia Tech.
Gap year candidates are also making plans for their “year on.” If you’re interested in a 10-month service experience, AmeriCorps NCCC is accepting applications now. Apply by April 1 to serve from July 2019 to May 2020, or apply by July 1 to serve from October 2019 to August 1, 2020. Many colleges will hold a seat for you in the following year’s class; contact me for guidance on fitting your gap year into your college plan, or help identifying a gap year program that fits your goals.
And finally, most students will get some rejection letters in addition to the offers of admission; it’s simply part of the process. Here’s some advice for parents on helping students cope with those disappointments in a healthy way.