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Education can have many different impacts on your career

 

Your education can have far reaching impacts on your career. For example, educations can influence your career in the following ways:

• Educations dictate what career fields you can enter. You can’t become a doctor unless you are educated in the medical field, for example. How do people become pilots? They get flight school educations.
• How educated you are determines how far you will advance in your field. People with higher educations will win advancements more often and reach higher positions over all than people that are less educated.
• How educated you are can play a role in your salary. People with higher educations get paid more than lesser educated people for the same exact work.

 Click Here... Why? Millions Of Students Want To Know How To Get A's In Exams. An 'a' Student Tells All In eBook!

Get ahead with distance learning

Wow, you say. That’s sounds good. I’d like to get more educated but how? I don’t have the time to quit working so that I can work with educators in my new program. You don’t have to quit work to get educated when distance learning is involved. You can further your career by getting a college degree with a distance learning program. Many colleges provide programs either through correspondence or using the Internet.

Imagine how proud you’ll be in your next interview when you talk about going back to school. Sounds good for your career, doesn’t it?

Preparing for college? Here's a plan created to keep you on track;

FRESHMAN YEAR
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August
August should be about preparation for school and enjoying your last few weeks of summer. Use this time wisely. Once school starts, you'll be busy!

To Do:
Go shopping for school supplies. Make sure you have what you need.
Buy a calendar or organizer so you can stay on top of assignments, school events, and your social life.
Participate in freshman orientation activities; they're a great way to get acclimated and meet new friends.

September & October
School has begun, so it's time to get your bearings. Don't get caught up in signing up for a zillion different clubs just yet—explore your new surroundings and just get comfortable. If you're playing a fall sport, remember to establish a balance with your academics early-on.

To Do:
Figure out your schedule, including how to get from class to class in between periods. If there's a problem, see your counselor right away.
Get to know your teachers and your new classmates.
Get to know (and understand) your high school's graduation requirements.

November & December
Looming end-of-term exams can make this a busy time. Stay on top of your assignments and start thinking about the end of the semester-and your plans for the coming new year.

To Do:
Investigate different activities (clubs, sports, etc.) that you think you might be interested in for spring semester.
Watch out for mid-semester Progress Reports, usually sent out in early November.

January, February & March
If you haven't yet gotten involved in any extracurricular activities, now is a good time to start-after all, it's a new year. There really is something out there for everyone. While freshmen members might not get the most glamorous jobs, chances are high that the upperclassmen with leadership roles got started when they were freshmen.
The start of your second semester of high school is an opportunity to start fresh if your first semester didn't go as well as you would have liked.

To Do:
Check out the spring sports offered by your school, including intramural teams.
Investigate opportunities in your community if school activities don't interest you.
Stay on top of your school assignments, extra-curricular activities, and other responsibilities.
If you're struggling in any of your classes, now is the time to request extra help from your teachers. Don't fail any classes or it might be summer school for you!

April & May
This is the time when many students start to lose their concentration. Summer is just around the corner and it can be tough to stay focused. Try to use spring break to restore your energy and return ready to finish off your first year of high school on a high note.

To Do:
Try to pull up any lagging grades.
Talk to your counselor about taking summer school—because you have to or because you want to.
Watch out for mid-semester Progress Reports.

June & July
School's out for the summer—woo-hoo! June is the month when most high schools finish up the academic year and shutter their doors until August (except for those that offer summer school, of course). So finish the year on a positive note (that means studying!) and pat yourself on the back—once school let's out, you can call yourself a high school sophomore.

To Do:
Get a job for the summer. You don't want to spend all your days by the pool (or do you?).
Stay busy. College may seem like a long way off, but what you do now can help your chances of admission later.
Stay on top of any correspondence from school. You don't want to miss important deadlines.


SOPHOMORE YEAR
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While your freshman year was all about transitioning to high school, your sophomore year is all about kicking off your college planning. This is the best time to start thinking seriously about what's in store after high school. You don't have to make any major decisions just yet, but you do need to start exploring and understanding your options—as well as what it takes to make them a reality.

August
Before heading back to school, review your objectives for this year—and for high school in general. As a benchmark, research a college you might want to attend and see how you stack up thus far with the average admitted student in terms of GPA and activities. If 9th grade could've gone better-you know who you are!—get yourself in shape for this year. You've still got time to improve that GPA and get more involved, so if you have some ground to make up, start now. You can't afford to blow it in 10th grade!

To Do:
Set your goals for the year—both academic and personal.
Review your schedule and make sure you've signed up for the right classes; see your counselor before classes start if there are any problems.
Consider taking a more challenging course load if you aced your freshman year (or a less challenging course load if you didn't).
Buy a calendar or organizer to stay on top of assignments, events, and your social life.
Look up data on at least one college (go ahead, just type a school's name into the search box on your left…)

September
Check in with your counselor about taking the PSAT as a sophomore. If you will be taking it, find out how (and if) you want to prepare. Your PSAT score doesn't mean much this year, but you still want to do your best, if only to give you confidence for next year.

To Do:
Get to know your teachers—you probably won't have any of the same ones from last year.
Take note of any major assignments.
Register for the PSAT if you need to. Your counselor should have information about this.

October
National Merit Scholarship eligibility is determined by PSAT scores, and typically, students take it during their junior years. If your school signs up sophomores for the PSAT, this is the month for it. Think of it as a practice run, since next year is when it will count. So, while you should approach it seriously, don't freak out.

To Do:
Take the PSAT, but first, repeat after us: It's just for practice.
Start investigating the college admissions process so you're prepared come junior and senior years.

Key Dates:
10/13/05 & 10/16/05: PSAT

November & December
You'll be busy finishing out your semester and preparing for your end-of-term exams, but don't lose your college-prep momentum. Researching colleges is a skill in itself. The more info you can gather about what makes a school a great match for you, the better chance you'll have of making an informed choice when that time comes (and it's sooner than you think!).

Consider investigating the different TYPES of colleges, especially if you have very specific interests, such as arts schools, or military academies, or culinary programs at a CTE (Career and Technical Education) school. Sophomore year is a great time to learn about the broad categories of post-secondary opportunities that exist. On top of this, make sure you're involved with at least one extra-curricular activity.

To Do:
Start researching a few colleges and see what it takes to get in.

January
You're halfway through the academic year! Stay focused, but try to have some fun along the way too (extra-curricular activities are a good release!).

To Do:
Think about your summer plans (even if there is snow on the ground).
Join a club or a team or something and get involved!

February & March
You're thinking about summer by now, right? That means summer school, summer travel programs, community service, work opportunities (especially unusual or creative ones)—anything to bolster your experiences and stay focused.

To Do:
If you're still looking for something to do this summer, get moving. Many programs (especially travel programs) have March application deadlines.
Keep an eye out for College Night at your school—while it will likely be geared toward juniors, attend if you can.

April & May
By now, your parents have probably started in with the advice on preparing for college. Listen to what they say, but trust your own experience and interests too. Keep exploring colleges, majors, and career options. The more familiar you are with all the options out there, the more you'll be able to focus on things that interest you the most.
Speaking of exploring, it wouldn't hurt to familiarize yourself with some scholarships, even just ones from local universities and colleges. A ton of scholarships are based on grades and test scores, and many scholarship apps ask for a list of activities, letters of recommendation, and sometimes essays. In other words, it's important that you know now what you'll be judged on later.

To Do:
Consider taking an SAT Subject Test in June to correspond with final exams (you'll be studying the stuff anyway).
Keep an eye out for College Night at your school—while it will likely be geared toward juniors, attend if you can.

Key Dates:
4/29/05: Regular Registration Deadline for 6/4/05 SAT & SAT Subject Tests

June & July
Congrats! You've made it through another year of high school. You know what this means—your high school career is halfway over (unless you're planning to graduate early or late, of course).

To Do:
Take one or more SAT Subject Tests in June (if you signed up).
Get ready for your summer program (if you're going on one).
Get a summer job. It'll look good on your college application—and you'll earn some extra money. Touch base with your parents about your saving-for-college plan.
Stay busy doing things you enjoy. College may seem like a long way off, but what you do now will help your chances of admission later.
Stay on top of any correspondence from school; you don't want to miss important deadlines.

Key Dates:
4/29/05: Regular Registration Deadline for 6/4/05 SAT & SAT Subject Tests


JUNIOR YEAR (CLASS OF 2006)
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Many people speak of your junior year of high school as the MOST IMPORTANT year of all. And to a point, we agree. But don't let this panic you. It simply means that you have a bit more work to do.
The college admissions process begins in earnest this year, then heats up during your senior year. You need to spend a lot of time this year trying to figure out what you want to do with your life and where you want to apply to college. During your senior year, you'll follow through with those plans by filing all the paperwork and presenting yourself to the colleges you've chosen along the way.
Before you start the year, let's go over a basic schedule. The PSAT is offered nationwide every October. Most high schools participate in the program—if yours does, take the test. Colleges don't require it, but if you do well on the exam, you can qualify for a National Merit Scholarship. So while you don't want to blow it off, you don't want to obsess over it: it's not that important.
In the spring, you'll take the SAT (usually in March, April/May, or June). You should also seriously consider taking some SAT Subject Tests as well, since you'll need to submit two or three Subject Test scores if you plan to apply to highly selective and some selective colleges. If you plan to take the ACT (either in place of or alongside the SAT) you should take that in the spring as well.
Do you have to take these tests in the spring of your junior year? No. Should you? Absolutely. If you wait until your senior year, your options are a lot more limited. Plus, you'll have the added stress of starting your college applications at the same time and without knowing your test scores. This is not a wise idea. Take them in the spring and, if you're not happy with the results, retake them in the fall.

August
Your junior year may be your busiest yet. Not only will your courses be harder (remember, you're challenging yourself), but your grades are more important than ever. Your junior year grades will be used by college admissions officers as a measure of how well you will do in college. Remember, even though an upward trend counts, grades are cumulative: If you hope to be admitted to a selective or highly selective college, you need to continue to crank out good grades in every class throughout this year and next. Also, since your junior year teachers are the ones you'll most likely ask to write your letters of recommendation, make sure your junior year teachers know you well—and have a good impression of your overall attitude and character.

To Do:
Review your academic schedule: Make sure you're taking some challenging courses.
Prepare for the PSAT. At the very least, do a practice test to alleviate anxiety.

September
Start off the school year by getting oriented to the college admissions process. Take a look around at the seniors in your school: What are they doing? Understanding the basics at the beginning of this year will make planning ahead that much easier. Also, junior year is the year to do some housecleaning with your extra-curricular activities. Think about focusing on the activities that are truly enhancing your life and dropping those that have turned out to be less valuable. It's quality, not quantity that matters.

To Do:
Check in with your counselor about the October PSAT and make sure you're signed up.
Review your transcript. It's always nice to know where you are.
Prepare for the PSAT. At the very least, take a practice test to alleviate anxiety.
Attend a local Strategy Session about the SAT & PSAT.

October
This is the month of the PSAT. Remember, don't obsess about it. Rather, think of it as practice for the real thing. Now is a good time to learn about the SAT, ACT, and SAT Subject Tests because one or more of these tests are required by most colleges for admission. You'll be taking these tests during your second semester, so you should understand what they're all about now.

To Do:
Take the PSAT.
Begin to Prepare for the SAT, ACT, and SAT Subject Tests.

November
There are approximately 4,000 four-year and two-year colleges in the United States-it would take you decades to research and visit them all. You don't have decades. Obviously, you need to focus on schools that meet your needs, desires, and qualifications. Start your research whenever you have some spare time during first semester. Colleges will want the following four things when you apply: a completed application (including possibly an essay or essays), test scores, transcript(s), and letters of recommendation.

To Do:
Start researching colleges with Counselor-O-Matic.
Look at a real college application online just to see what one looks like.
Think about which teachers you might ask for a college recommendation (and ask them!).

December
December is a good time to think about your schedule for next year. Students have traditionally taken the SAT in the spring of their junior year and, if necessary, again in the fall of their senior year, often in hopes of improving their score. Don't wait until fall—get that first test in next spring. Sit down with your parents and counselor to discuss how you plan to prepare.

To Do:
Only about one-third of four-year colleges require SAT Subject Tests; find out if any schools you're considering will require them.
Determine how you plan to prepare for the SAT, ACT, and SAT Subject Tests.

January
Nope, it's not too soon. You're halfway through your junior year, and the time has come to prepare for the college admissions process. If you haven't already done so, take a look at a real college application, review your transcript, and starting talking with your teachers about writing a recommendation for you next year. (Review November)

To Do:
Think about what to do this summer. Explore these summer programs!
Consider a summer internship, take a college-level course at a nearby school, or do some volunteer work.
Stay focused on your academic performance.
If you are taking the March SAT, think about preparing in advance.
Attend a local Strategy Session about the SAT/ACT.

Key Dates:
1/7/05: Regular Registration Deadline for 2/12/05 ACT
1/21/05: Late Registration Deadline for 2/12/05 ACT

February
Guess what's coming up? Spring break! This is a good time to start to visit college campuses. You might also be able to schedule an interview. Even if you can't visit campuses out of town, or you aren't sure where you want to apply, try to visit a local college campus or two to get a feel for the campus environment and to practice talking to college Admissions Staff in person.

To Do:
Start preparing for the SAT/ACT/SAT Subject Tests (whichever you are taking).
Talk with your parents about take a college road trip over Spring Break.
Attend a local Strategy Session about the SAT/ACT.

Key Dates:
2/7/05: Regular Registration Deadline for 3/12/2005 SAT
2/12/05: ACT
2/16/05: Late Registration Deadline for 3/12/2005 SAT

March
Start visiting colleges; if you can, schedule an interview. You should also have your feelers out for "college night"-type announcements from your counseling office—and start getting to know your academic advisor while you're at it. By now you should have a good idea of which teachers you'll want to have write letters of recommendation for you; it also doesn't hurt to list your high school activities so you won't forget about anything when it comes time to complete your applications. Even if you don't have time to do all this stuff during your junior year, do it over the summer. That way, you'll start your senior year ahead of the game.

To Do:
Got a plan yet for summer? Check out these summer programs.
Keep preparing for the SAT/ACT/SAT Subject Tests (whichever you are taking).
Attend a local Strategy Session about the SAT/ACT.
Ask a few teachers if they'd be willing to write you a letter of recommendation next year (they'll appreciate the advance notice).

Key Dates:
3/4/05: Regular Registration Deadline for 4/9/05 ACT
3/12/05: SAT
3/18/05: Late Registration Deadline for 4/9/05 ACT
3/25/05: Regular Registration Deadline for 5/7/2005 SAT & SAT Subject Tests

April
This is a good time to take a break and think about financial aid. When you apply to college, you will also apply for financial aid (at least, most of you will). These are two separate processes. In order to receive aid from a college, you may have to complete two separate forms: the FAFSA form (which you complete no sooner than January of your senior year, and no later than March) and the financial aid/scholarship form(s) for the colleges to which you are applying. All this happens during your senior year. For now, it's important to think about aid from sources other than the colleges themselves. This means outside scholarships. Begin looking for scholarships now.

To Do:
Start researching scholarships.
Keep preparing for the SAT/ACT/SAT Subject Tests (whichever you are taking).
Attend a local Strategy Session about the SAT/ACT.

Key Dates:
4/6/05: Late Registration Deadline for 5/7/05 SAT & SAT Subject Tests
4/9/05: ACT
4/29/05: Regular Registration Deadline for 6/4/05 SAT & SAT Subject Tests

May
After you receive your first semester grades and take the SAT or ACT at least once, you should have a good understanding of the credentials you'll have when you apply to college. Narrow your research by focusing on colleges that you believe might accept someone with your grades, scores, and characteristics. There's no need to decide where you want to apply for sure, but you should begin to develop some strong possibilities.

To Do:
If you're taking a June test (SAT/ACT/SAT Subject Tests), keep preparing.
Ask a few of your teachers if they'd be willing to write you a letter of recommendation next year (they'll appreciate the advance notice).

Key Dates:
5/7/05: SAT & SAT Subject Tests
5/11/05: Late Registration Deadline for 6/4/05 SAT & SAT Subject Tests
5/6/06: Regular Registration Deadline for 6/11/05 ACT
5/20/05: Late Registration Deadline for 6/11/05 ACT

June
Obviously, different colleges focus on different credentials. Beyond good grades and solid test scores, more selective colleges put a lot of weight on the difficulty of the courses you took, your college application essays, your high school, your activities and accomplishments, and your letters of recommendation. The time is now to gather the admissions criteria for different colleges and continue to fine-tune your list. You should start brainstorming potential application essay topics—that little essay is an application officer's window into your personality, so start thinking hard about this.

To Do:
If you haven't yet done so, finalize your list of teachers to write your letters of recommendation.
Start brainstorming potential application essay topics.

Key Dates:
6/4/05: SAT & SAT Subject Tests
6/11/05: ACT

July
If you've identified your standout first-choice college, consider applying "early decision" or "early action." The great thing about applying early is that you find out if you're accepted sooner rather than later, which makes the balance of your senior year a whole lot easier to deal with. But here's the catch: if you do apply early decision, you're committing to attend to that school if accepted (early action is not binding and follows different rules). Some colleges don't permit students to apply to other colleges until they've received their early decision notification; you also won't be able to compare financial aid offers if you apply early decision. Make sure you know—and play by—the rules if you decide to go this route.
Also, if your first-round SAT/ACT didn't go according to plan, consider retaking it. Figure out where you didn't prepare enough the first time (or what went wrong) and fix it this time. It's the highest score, not the most recent score, that counts, so make a strong effort.

To Do:
Retake your SAT/ACT if necessary.

Key Dates:
6/4/05: SAT & SAT Subject Tests
6/11/05: ACT


SENIOR YEAR (CLASS OF 2005)
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You've finally made it to senior year!
It's going to go by quickly, so try to stop and enjoy it along the way. Within the first few months of your senior year, you'll decide where to apply, what scholarships to apply for, and who you'll ask to write your letters of recommendation. You'll also begin to complete your applications, write your essays, and possibly retake the ACT, SAT, or SAT Subject Tests. All the while, you'll need to make sure to get great grades on your senior year classes and take on positions of responsibility and leadership in your extracurricular activities.
We've outlined a rough guide of what you should be doing and when you should be doing it, but keep in mind that some of these tasks will vary, depending on your schedule and the schools to which you choose to apply. There are more than 4,000 colleges and trade schools out there—which means a lot of variation.

August
Soon (this month or next) you need to decide if you are going to apply to highly selective colleges. If so, you need to understand that many of the applications require multiple (yes, more than one) essays, and that many of the regular application deadline dates will be in January, possibly even December.
You also need to decide if you are going to apply to a college through early decision or early action. If so, you will need to have your application completed by the end of October or middle of November, depending on the school's deadline.
If you're not going to apply to highly selective colleges but still intend to apply to selective colleges, most of the application deadlines will be in January, February, or March. This gives you a bit more time to complete your applications and even take the SAT or ACT again in December, if needed.
Also, keep in mind that school-based scholarships have deadlines. Lots of colleges will automatically consider you for their school-based scholarships when you apply—it's your application for admission that triggers the process. Yet their scholarship deadline might precede their admissions deadline. So it's best to try to complete your applications by December.
Open admissions colleges, such as a community college, usually have deadlines in April, May, or even June. But if you are interested in financial aid, you'll still need to complete your FAFSA between January and March and complete a financial aid form by February if you want to be considered for aid.

To Do:
Determine your college direction.
Brainstorm your semi-short list of colleges.
Decide if you are applying early decision/early admissions.
Prepare for the SAT/ACT if you plan to retake them.

September
Whether you choose to apply to highly selective, selective, or open admissions colleges, it's a good idea to have a backup plan in case you either don't get accepted or don't receive enough financial aid to attend. This means making sure you are applying to at least one safety school-a college that you are sure will accept you and that you can afford, such as a college in your community where you know you can live with your parents or with friends, or a college that you know will give you a scholarship based on your grades or test scores.
Still considering whether to apply early to a school? Read what we had to say about this in August. Even if you are applying early decision/early action, it's still important to apply to other schools in case your application is not accepted. Don't wait until you hear to start working on the other applications.

To Do:
Finalize your short-list of colleges (if it's on your list, you should be willing to attend).
Make sure you have at least one true safety school on the list.
Review the list with your guidance counselor.
Decide if you are going to take the SAT/ACT again. If you are, prepare.
Research scholarships.
Start collecting information on application deadlines and requirements.
Mark the deadlines on your calendar (if you don't have one, buy one now).
Determine if you need to take the SAT Subject Tests for the schools on your list.
Ask your teachers if they would be willing to write you a recommendation.

October
Make sure you have a clear understanding of the application requirements and procedures for each college you've selected. That includes application fees (fee waiver are sometimes available to qualified applicants), which test scores (SAT or ACT) you need to provide, how many letters of recommendation you need, what essays or personal statements you need, each school's tuition and chances of receiving aid, and whether or not you can apply online.
Keep a very close eye on those deadlines! These dates dictate the precise schedule by which you need to complete the remaining tasks until acceptance.
NOTE: If you are applying early action/early decision, you'll need to speed up this process.

To Do:
Stay on top of all school assignments. Grades still matter!
Take advantage of leadership opportunities within your activities. Don't back off now.
Meet with your guidance counselor if you haven't yet.
Review your official transcript (before you send it to a single school) and make sure it's correct!
Prioritize the schools on your list (by deadline and by your desire to attend that college).
Start working on your college essays. Have others read early drafts.
Continue researching scholarships.
If you haven't already, ask your teachers if they'll write you your college recommendations.
Deliver recommendation forms if possible.
Discuss financial aid application requirements with your parents.

November
The grunt work of completing your college application forms starts now—if it hasn't already. First off, prioritize. Complete them according to two criteria: 1) the colleges you most want to attend; 2) application deadlines. Spend the greatest amount of time on colleges you most want to attend.
We know you know this, but students whose applications are filled with misspellings and poor grammar look like students who don't care. When applicants look like they don't care about their own application, why should an admissions committee? Be careful—and don't rely on your spell-check to catch mistakes!
NOTE: If you are applying early action/early decision, you can only apply to one school throughout this process.

To Do:
Keep working on your college applications.
Deliver all recommendation forms to your teachers. Make sure the deadlines are clearly marked.
Edit your essays, and keep getting input from a trusted source (or sources).
Modify your college list to make sure you have a good range of reach/match/safety schools.
Send transcripts (you'll have to send them again after first semester, but don't wait).
Have a full list of scholarships offered by your chosen colleges with deadlines.
Decide if you're going to (or have to) interview.

December
Keep working! And don't lose sight of the bigger picture: You need to complete scholarship applications and talk financial shop with your parents (if you're like most of us, they're the ones paying for most, if not all, of the bill). Also, presuming you haven't been accepted at an early decision college, you should regularly reevaluate your list of colleges, making changes based on new info you've gathered. Even as you make changes, make sure you always have both an admissions safety and a financial aid safety school (which might be one in the same college). Maintain a balanced list in terms of both admissions criteria and tuition/financial aid.

To Do:
Keep working on your college applications.
Follow up with your teachers about your recommendations (gently remind them of approaching deadlines).
Complete scholarship applications.
Discuss financial aid application requirements with your parents.
Interview, if desired, at your chosen schools.

January
Try to complete your FAFSA by February, and know your application deadlines for your chosen scholarships. If the questions about your income and your parents' income and assets seem annoying to you, think again. Presuming you qualify for at least some financial aid, think about completing the FAFSA as a paid job. If you get $2000 in grant money by completing the FAFSA (and lots of students will qualify for even more), and if it takes you and your parents four hours to complete it (it probably won't even take that long), it's the same as having a job that pays you $500 an hour. If you worked 40-hour workweeks that paid you that same rate, you'd earn $1,000,000 a year.
So quit your whining. Complete the FAFSA.
Don't forget to send your transcript to all of the colleges to which you've submitted an application. Also don't forget to send updated transcripts to your scholarships.

To Do:
Complete FAFSA.
Finish any outstanding apps with January deadlines.
Make last effort to find and apply for appropriate scholarships.
Make sure all your recommendations have been sent.
Send in updated transcript with first semester grades.
Determine if you need to/want to apply to any additional schools.

February
Even though your second semester grades won't be released until after admissions decisions have been made, they'll still impact several things.
First, of course, is graduation. If you fail a required class, you're not going to graduate. If you don't graduate, all bets are off. A second possible impact would be on scholarships. Plenty are based on year-end class rank, and if you're requesting a review of your financial aid package, strong final grades can certainly help. A third possibility: a college's offer of admission could be rescinded if you royally screw up your final grades. And your second-semester grades truly matter if you've been waitlisted. By submitting strong grades for your senior year, you're giving the admissions committee one more reason to review your application favorably. The fourth point, of course, is if you're taking Advanced Placement classes your senior year, you'll take AP exams in May. Since most colleges give college credit if you earn a high enough score on these exams, you'll certainly want to do well in those classes so you won't have to pay to retake them one you're enrolled.

To Do:
Complete FAFSA if you haven't already.
Consider taking on an internship this summer.

Key Dates:
Pay attention to Financial Aid deadlines: Get your FAFSA completed by 2/28.

March
There are four types of decisions from the Admissions Office: (1) acceptance, (2) rejection, (3) wait list, (4) provisional. Acceptance and rejection are self-explanatory. Wait lists and provisional acceptances deserve some attention.

Wait Lists
All selective and highly selective colleges admit more students than they have room for. They do this because they know that many of the students they admit won't actually enroll. Guessing how many students actually will enroll is a very inexact science. To protect themselves, most colleges have wait lists. An applicant who is "wait-listed" is one who may be admitted if enough students decide to go somewhere else.

Provisional Acceptances
Sometimes a college will provisionally accept a student, meaning that the student can attend the college if he or she accomplishes whatever is outlined in the provisional acceptance letter. For example, a college may be uncertain that you are ready for college-level work, so they may ask you to submit your final grades and take two summer school classes at the college before you are permitted to attend. If you pass both classes, then you can enroll in college-level classes in the fall semester. If you receive a provisional acceptance, the provisions will clearly be outlined in the letter.

To Do:
(Re-)Visit schools at which you've been accepted.
If you've been waitlisted, consider appealing the school's decision.
Chat on the Discussion Board with other HS Seniors.

April
Along with your admission/rejection decision, colleges will send you a decision from the financial aid office regarding your financial aid package. While the decision from the admissions office is almost always final, the decision from the financial aid office can be appealed.
Oftentimes, the decision to enroll needs to be made in early May. As part of that (huge!) decision, carefully consider your financial aid package(s). Don't rule out borrowing money to attend your first-choice school, especially if the value of the education is more than the amount you'll borrow.
Some suggestions on your final choice:
Pay attention to your heart. You're much more likely to be successful in college if you're excited about being there.
Review your criteria for choosing colleges. Your opinion or circumstances may have changed since junior year.
Visit the campuses again if you're having trouble deciding. Can you imagine yourself walking around that campus, building a life in that community, and establishing friendships with those people?
Decide and be happy. Whatever decision you make, once you've made it, don't regret it.

To Do:
Compare financial aid packages.
Make final decision on where to attend.
If waitlisted, start working on improving your chances.
Start investigating student loans.

May
This is it! You've made or are about to make your final decision. Even if you've decided to stay on the wait-list at a school that's higher up on your list, you'll still need to say "yes" to somewhere just to be on the safe side. Review April if you need some help making that final decision. Once you decide, don't delay. Be sure to follow all the instructions included in the acceptance letter and meet all the stated deadlines. If you're unclear on anything, talk to someone at the school.

To Do:
Get paperwork in to the school you've decided to attend.

Key Dates:
Pay attention to enrollment notification deadlines!

June
Don't forget to send in all of the paperwork to the college you've chosen to attend. Not only will you need to submit a deposit with the form that tells them you're enrolling, but you also will need to send in a housing form if you plan to live on campus, and you will need to accept or decline the various parts of your financial aid package. You will probably also need to send your final transcript from your high school. If you're still hanging out on a wait-list, you'll also want to send in this stuff so they can re-evaluate your application. Consider sending in a supplementary recommendation—you don't want to overwhelm the office with extra stuff, but if it provides previously unknown information, go ahead and do it.
Make sure you complete this paperwork on time and accurately. Over the summer, it's a good idea to double-check that everything has been taken care of and that you are ready to roll. If you do, you can spend the first week of college living your new life rather than filling out forms you should already have turned in or standing in lines to get basic questions answered.

To Do:
Get ready for school.
Stay on top of ALL official school mail.
Turn in ALL official school documents ON TIME.
Touch base with any schools at which you are wait-listed for a status check.

July
Over the summer, it's a good idea to double-check that everything has been taken care of and that you are ready to roll. If you do, you can spend the first week of college living your new life rather than filling out forms you should already have turned in or standing in lines to get basic questions answered. If you're still hanging out on a wait-list, check in with the school (nicely, of course).
And one last thing: Congratulations!

To Do:
Shop for school (and your dorm room).
Stay on top of ALL school mail.
Turn in ALL official school documents ON TIME.
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