There are so many moving parts, it just makes sense to have a handful of checklists to follow when preparing for college.
Let’s face it – when it comes to searching, applying and (finally!) attending college, there are a lot of deadlines to keep track of. And on top of those deadlines are all of the other things you need to do to prepare for what will be one of the biggest accomplishments in your life. All of those due dates, to-do’s and lists floating around in your brain can get a little overwhelming. That’s where the college checklist comes into play.
Or, maybe you’re a parent, anxiously awaiting the day you help your baby move out of your nest and into a dorm room. You want them to be as ready as they can be, but you’re not quite sure what you can do to help.
Start with a college checklist.
Thankfully, we know exactly what you need to accomplish at each stage of the college journey. With summer right around the bend, here are the things that you need to take care of, for whatever stage of the college process you’re in.
College Checklist for Soon-to-be High School Seniors
❑ Save some spending money. You’ll want to have money in your pockets when you get to college for buying snacks, treating yourself to a good time, and anything else that may arise. Set a goal for how much you’d like to save before you go to college.
❑ List what you want out of a college. Know what you want so you know what to look for.
❑ Schedule AP classes. Advanced Placement classes not only look great on a college application, but they could also earn you college credits.
❑ Prepare for standardized tests. Find prep courses and start studying so you can ace the SAT and ACT. While you’re at it, go ahead and schedule your test date, too.
❑ Ask for letters of recommendation. What teachers are you closest with? Ask them for a recommendation letter now, before they are getting a lot of other requests.
❑ Search for scholarships on Red Kite. The sooner you start looking, the better. We’ll help find you financial aid that suits you.
❑ Beef up your college resume. Find volunteer work and job experience that will look great to colleges. It’s even better if you can shadow professionals who work in the industry you’d like to be in one day.
❑ Do your research. Attend college fairs and visit college campuses. You’ll be happy you did when the time comes to make a final decision.
❑ Clean up your online presence. Colleges will look at your social media profiles. They’ll search for you to see what’s out there on the internet. Now’s the time to clear out anything…questionable.
College Checklist for Parents of Soon-to-be High School Seniors
❑ Have “the talk.” No, not that “talk.” Sit down with your student and discuss what type of college they’d like to attend.
❑ Be a teacher. You have a lot of wisdom to share with your student. Now’s the time to do it!
❑ Mark your calendar. Put together a calendar of all the important dates you must remember, such as application deadlines. You’ll both feel a bit more at ease.
❑ Plan financially. In addition to helping your student put together a savings plan, start looking into what your options are in terms of financial aid. If you need help, visit us.
College Checklist for Soon-to-be College Freshmen
❑ Attend Orientation. Find out what events your school holds for incoming freshmen and start planning. Don’t forget to fill your parents in, too!
❑ FAFSA. File your Federal FAFSA by June 30
❑ What’s your major? Think about what you’d like to major in. If you need help, reach out to professionals working in the field that interests you. They’ll give you an idea of what major is best.
❑ Saving and budgeting. Are you seeing a theme here? Saving money for college is crucial. Make a budget to follow when you get to school, so you spend responsibly.
❑ Send your final high school transcripts. Make sure you inform your high school of the college you’ll be attending, so they can send your transcripts.
❑ Start stocking up. Stock up on everything you’ll need for college. School supplies, ramen noodles, all the basics! Plus, look for dorm furniture and a laptop if needed.
❑ Don’t start slacking. Even though you’ve been accepted to college, you still need to finish your senior year strong! Keep up the good work to avoid any problems down the road.
❑ Reach out to your roomie. When you find out who your roommate will be, try to get in contact to introduce yourself – and discuss who’s bringing the coffee maker.
❑ Spend time with your friends. You and your friends from high school are about to part ways for a while. Spend time with them while you can, since you won’t see them again until holiday break.
College Checklist for Soon-to-be Parents of a College Student
❑ Double and triple check. Make sure all necessary forms and paperwork have been submitted.
❑ Send thank yous. A lot of people played a role in helping get your student accepted to college. Send thanks to teachers, guidance counselors and anyone else who helped out.
❑ Quality time. Before they head off on this adventure, spend some quality time with your student.