It’s the middle of July, but for soon to be high school seniors, they may be feeling like the pressures of college applications are already on their way. Let’s slow down and destress a bit as we can use this time over the summer to help your child prepare for college application season in the fall.
Here’s my list of ways for your child to get ahead this summer:
1. Apply for the Massachusetts Vax Millions scholarship – Let’s start with something all soon to be high school seniors should be doing. Applying for some free money! One $300,000 college scholarship will be awarded weekly starting July 22nd. The only requirements are that your child is between 12-17 years old and has been fully vaccinated at the time of the submission. Register Here
2. Hit the college tour trail – The improved version of last years virtual tour. Take advantage of time over the summer and hit some of the schools on your child’s list. But wait! First have a college money talk with your child to make sure they know the financial costs of the schools on their list before making your tours.
3. Start your college essay – Your child doesn't have to finalize their essay this summer but getting a head start will simplify their process come application time. Even spending an hour mapping out what’s important to them can be a great start to find a good topic. The best essays take time and energy, and with many schools staying test optional, the essay holds a greater importance than ever before.
4. Get involved with community service – We like to think of community service as much more than a high school graduation requirement. Hint hint: volunteering their time at organizations offering college scholarships in the spring will likely increase your child's odds of landing one of these awards. Not to mention that they’ll be making connections around the community that can help to land future positions.
5. Know your deadlines – Keep a calendar to stay organized. One of the most important deadlines to remember is October 1st, the date when you are eligible to fill out the FAFSA for federal financial aid. Also keep track of the early action and regular decision dates for the schools on your child’s list as well as dates to apply for local and national college scholarships.
6. Speak with a professional – With planning for college, there’s many X’s and O’s for families to consider before your child makes a decision in the spring. Have your child utilize the resources made available by their high school guidance counselor to start the process. For the financial side of college, speaking with a Certified College Planning Specialist™ provides families with more confidence that you’re getting the best value for your child at the best price. After all, there are thousands of dollars at stake here.
If you have any questions about how to approach the college application process with your child, feel free to reach out, I’d be happy to help!
All the best,
Andrew Holmes, Certified College Planning Specialist™
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