November is a time to give thanks. Be grateful for all that you have in your life and appreciate those around you. That is the true spirit of Thanksgiving. This month, for members of the Class of 2020, I have created 10 things to remember in the busy world of college admissions.
For members of the Class of 2021, PSAT results will be available on Dec. 9, 2019. Make sure you link your College Board account to Khan Academy or ACT account to ACT Academy so you can start practicing for the SATs later this spring. The first quarter of school is coming to a close so make sure you keep your grades strong and consider joining a new club. A college resume is part of the application process so having a diverse list of activities is essential.
10 Things to Remember for the Month of November
1. Complete the Common Application and school-specific applications. Make sure you complete all the sections of the Common App, including college-specific questions and supplements.
2. Sign and understand the FERPA Waiver for college letters. When a teacher submits a letter on your behalf to colleges, students choose to waive their right to review the letter later. I recommend waiving your right, so it keeps your letter(s) 100% objective.
3. Make sure you request your teacher who is submitting their letter to colleges on your behalf in enough time to meet admission deadlines. Colleges have different deadlines. Check-in with your teacher to make sure they have submitted your letter on time.
4. Follow up with your school counselor to assure your academic records were submitted to each college you applied to. Once you have applied to a college, you will receive a confirmation in an email.
5. Understand what college deadlines you are applying for (Early Action, Early Decision, Regular Admission, and Rolling Admission). Early Decision is binding, and most elite colleges fill almost half of their class with ED candidates.
6. Once you have applied to each school, know how to check the status of each application. Each college has its own system for students to view their status, which includes if they have been accepted, denied or waitlisted.
7. Remember that you must send your standardized test scores from the testing center (CollegeBoard/ACT) to the colleges directly.
8. Students and parents must create an FSA ID. Once you have created this ID, you can start completing the necessary FAFSA paperwork.
9. Begin working on and/or complete the FAFSA which opened on October 1, 2019. In order to receive a financial aid package, each family must complete the FAFSA. Schedule an appointment at the College Planning Center of Rhode Island. It’s free to complete your FAFSA and they will help you. It takes 30 minutes.
10. Search for private scholarships in your local community.