Road Map for Seniors

I’m so excited for all of my students as they are starting to hit submit on their applications! And I’m getting a lot of questions as they do, so I wanted to share answers to some of the most common ones.

Many of you have questions about submitting test scores to colleges that are test-optional. Colleges generally report the scores of the middle 50% of students, and the rule of thumb is that if your scores are in that range or above, they are typical for that college and you should feel comfortable reporting them. If your scores are below the 25th percentile, you will probably be more competitive as a test-optional candidate. If you choose to report your scores, many colleges will simply use what you enter in your application. However, some schools require you to send an official score report, which means you need to order these reports from the College Board or the ACT.  Be sure to do this soon, since it can take several days for the score reports to be transmitted.

Now that financial aid forms are open, I’m also hearing from families who are working on the FAFSA and CSS Profile. Keep in mind that colleges have their own deadlines for these forms and some have priority deadlines for admission in order to be eligible for aid. Be sure to meet these deadlines, because once the money has been allocated, there is less available for later applicants. In addition, if you’re applying for state financial aid programs, make sure to check their requirements as well, since many of them require the FAFSA as part of their process. The good news is that next fall when you do the FAFSA for the following school year it will be easier, since legislation was passed that will take the form from over 100 questions to 36.

Once you submit an application you should expect an email from the college with information about how to access its portal. You will need this information, so if you haven’t seen a message from a particular school, check your spam folder!  Then log in and confirm that all of your required application components have been processed, because if your application is incomplete the admissions office will not be able to review it. Many colleges share admission and financial aid decisions through their portals as well, so you’ll continue to use it even after you’ve confirmed the status of your application.

If you need help putting the finishing touches on early applications or support for the regular decision round, I hope you’ll get in touch.