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1. Cross Your T's and Dot Your I's
Make sure your application is complete and colleges have received all of your documents. After you have submitted your application, follow up with the college to be sure you did not miss anything.
2. Give Thanks
Genuinely thank your teachers and counselors for their help in the admissions process and for their letters of recommendation. Give them a thank you note and/or small gift to show your appreciation.
3. Take One Last Look
Revisit colleges to help you make your final decision. Only visit colleges you have been accepted to in order to refresh your memory during decision time.
4. Figure Out Your Cash Flow
If you qualify for financial aid, ask your parents to help you file the FAFSA and other financial aid documents. Try to do this as soon as possible after January 1st. If cash is tight, find a part-time job to help you pay for college.
5. Scout Out Scholarship Opportunities
Most colleges have extensive scholarship programs. Do some research and find out which ones you qualify for. Know the due date and submit the applications on time.
6. Take A Breather
If you need a break from school or want to travel the world, research and plan a gap year filled with real-life experiences. Avoid this tempting option if all you want to do is lay on the couch and watch T.V.
7. Make a Summer Splash
Plan to do something meaningful during the summer before college. Take on an internship, volunteer work, travel, or research. If you don't have time to take a gap year, use this summer to try something new and move out of your comfort zone.
8. Know The Ropes
Familiarize yourself with the core requirements of the college you will be attending in the fall. Explore the courses and majors offered at your college to have a better idea of which classes you want to take your first semester. Most colleges have an extensive course catalog so get an early start on picking classes.
9. Gear Up For Your First Semester
Start preparing for college by attending orientations, registering for classes, and shopping for dorm supplies. Begin your back-to-school shopping early because on top of the basic school supplies, you have to furnish a dorm room.