At this time of year, a lot of high school seniors are playing the waiting game— they put in all of their college applications, requested their high school transcripts, and had their SAT/ACT scores sent to the colleges that they applied to— now they are just waiting for a response from the school. As Tom Petty said—“The waiting is the hardest part.” What is a high school senior to do at this time of year when there is nothing for them to do but wait for a response?
First, it is always good to check with the schools to make sure that they do have all of your information so that they can process your application. Pick up the phone, call the Admissions Office and ask them if there is anything else that they need from you to make a decision on your application. It may be that the college has not gotten your board scores yet or your high school has not sent your transcript in yet. It is always good to check!
Next, you can be researching and applying for scholarships! There are usually many different scholarships available at the institutional level. Search the websites of the schools that you applied to and look for them; find out which ones you qualify for and gather the required application materials. Also, you can do an internet search for local, state or national level scholarships, grants or other aid that you may have overlooked in your initial financial aid assessment. Use this time to dig a little deeper to see if you can find any other sources of funding.
Revisit campuses. Most likely you have visited the schools that you have applied to, but if you have the opportunity, go back and visit again. If you haven’t done an official visit, talk with the college coach and see if you can do an official visit. If not, go back and do an unofficial visit. Make sure that your #1 choice is still your #1 choice. Rank the other schools behind this so you have a fallback plan if you don’t get into your first choice.
Lastly, take a little time and enjoy some downtime. Once you hear back from all the colleges you are going to have to make the BIG DECISION which is going to put a lot of pressure on you again. So you may want to just take this time now and enjoy the lull in the storm.
The bottom line is this— While waiting can be the hardest part, there are proactive things that you can do in that time to get ready for the next step. Once you hear from the schools that you have applied to, you are going to have to make a decision. Use this time to make sure you know which schools are your first, second and third choice.
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