Use your spring break to visit colleges but be aware of spring break schedules for the colleges you wish to visit. It’s best to see a college when students are on campus. Here are a few tips to prepare for your spring college visits.
- Create a College Visit Itinerary. Using a map, look at college locations and decide on an itinerary that fits within your given time. Don’t worry if you can’t see all of the colleges on your list. Focus on some of your top choices and then plan other school visits that are within the same geographic area.
- Register for college visits online. Once you have a list of colleges to visit, register for campus tours online with the admissions office. Resist the urge to plan “drive through” visits. An official campus tour takes more time, but gives you a better feel for the college/campus. And don’t plan too many visits in a day – one or two per day is best.
- Review your priorities for a good college fit. As discussed in the blog What is College Fit, fit includes 4 components; academic, social, emotional and physical.
- Learn the basics. Look up the school’s size, majors offered, and other details that interest you. Your visit will be more meaningful when you already know the basics.
- Create a List of Questions. Write down your Top 10 Questions for each college visit. Focus on what you would study and who would you study with.
Use GuidedPath to find links to college admission offices to schedule visits. Take a virtual tour of a college by viewing YOUniversityTV videos from the “Tours” tab.
Review the details on the colleges by clicking on the “Info” and “FISKE” tabs. Watch for upcoming email: How to make the most of your college visits.
Now is the time to look for scholarships!
College scholarships come from three sources:
- The colleges to which you have been accepted.
- Local community organizations
- National or larger regional organizations
At your College
Most scholarships come from the schools that have admitted you. See the scholarship tab in GuidedPath for your schools. It lists academic scholarships offered to 8 or more students.
Increase your chances for scholarships by starting your scholarship search locally. Many local scholarships are looking for applicants! Your high school or counselor may have an online bulletin with scholarships through your school.
Also check with:
- Your high school counseling office
- Parent organizations (PTA, Booster clubs, etc.)
- Your local library
Use your residence as a means to get more money for college. Many states offer scholarships to top students. Check to see what is offered through your state. Check deadlines for any state scholarships you qualify for.
There are dozens of national scholarship search engines available. Many are nothing more than a way to market credit cards or other products to you. These are our recommended scholarship search engines.
Add your college scholarship deadlines to your application plan.
Review the scholarship tab for all colleges on your list and determine your eligibility for specific awards. Add milestones or notes for the scholarships you are planning to apply for.
Many states have connected their scholarship programs to the FAFSA. It makes it easy to apply for a state scholarship through the FAFSA, as long as you make the deadline. Check with your counselor to see what the deadlines are for your state or region.
Finding the Due Dates
Some programs direct you to check with the state agency. Check your state for deadlines and steps you need to take to be considered for any state scholarship
Use GuidedPath application plans to create a milestone/due date for state scholarships in an assignment. Don’t miss out because you missed a deadline.
How can you ace the SAT? Here are 7 tips for you:
- Test Day Checklist. Get a good night’s sleep before the test. Be sure you arrive at the SAT prepared with the right tools. See TEST DAY CHECKLIST. Be sure to bring a protein snack, a watch, and an approved calculator.
- Consider Using Score Choice. Consider waiting to send your scores until you see them. You can send them to selected colleges later.
- Guess. SAT has eliminated the ¼ pt deduction for guessing and given you only four answers to choose from- just like the ACT. Eliminate as many answers as possible, then make a calculated guess. It won’t hurt your score.
- Brush up on Algebra 1 & 2. The SAT now emphasizes Algebra, with some Algebra 2 and Trigonometry. Not much Geometry. The math section includes many word based problems.
- Pace Yourself. Remember you have two sections to do: Evidence based Reading and Writing, and Math. The essay is now at the end of the test. The test is 3 hours 50 minutes, including the essay. It is 3 hours if you are not doing the essay section.
- Prepare for an Analytical Essay. The SAT essay is 50 minutes long, optional, and focused on analyzing content. Gone is the persuasive essay. Prepare to support your analysis in your writing.
- Relax. This is just a test. It shows your ability on this Saturday in March. It does not define the rest of your life. You will have a chance to retake it or take the ACT. You have been going to school for over 10 years. You know more than you realize.
Review your testing schedule and keep track of test registrations. Add all your spring tests to your testing schedule.
Ask at your school about taking a practice SAT or ACT test.