High School Senior: Future College Freshman

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College dreaming will soon become a reality as your high school years give way to your freshmen year on campus.

College dreaming will soon become a reality as your high school years give way to your freshmen year on campus.

College Countdown — One Year Left!

High school seniors are returning to school this year with mixed feelings: on the one hand they’ll really enjoy being at the top of the academic heap for the whole year, but on the other hand they’ll be getting themselves prepared to apply for college and say good-bye to their friends. A lifetime of memories will be made, good thoughts, which can carry students through for the rest of their lives.

Let’s take a look at what you can do now to make heading off to college as worry free as possible.

College Planning And Your Family

Preparing for college isn’t a solitary endeavor. Parents get involved as they are the ones providing the bulk of the financing while offering guidance on which schools to visit, what scholarships are being offered, and which financing options are applicable. Yes, even your siblings cannot be left out as whatever family decisions are made will affect them.

College Tracking Tools To Help You Stay Organized

As you will soon find out, your last year of high school won’t be as carefree as you may think that it will be. High school seniors still must finish up course work, complete college entrance exams, and deal with constant change. The thought of planning the next four years of life while handling today’s problems can seem overwhelming which is why we have developed free tracking tools to help take the edge off of college preparation.

Four tracking tools for college planning:

  1. Student aid tracking worksheet — a worksheet to record and track your financial aid information (excel file).
  2. College budgeting worksheet — an automated file to plan and budget college aid and costs (excel file).
  3. College cost comparison worksheet — compare colleges by cost and amount of aid awarded (excel file).
  4. College spending sheets — use these spending sheets to track daily – weekly – monthly spend (PDF).

Please visit this page to find the four tracking sheets and related planning tools.

Starting Your College Search

At the same time you are taking a look at your financial condition, you’ll want to begin your college search. Chances are you spent some time last summer visiting some college campuses, but narrowing that list down to a manageable three or four schools will make college planning a whole lot easier.

Use a financial aid checklist to balance college search with student financial aid options for a clearer picture of your schooling options. Parents need to remember that Stafford loans and private student loans are two forms of student aid that have opened up educational opportunities for millions of students.

Almost Done, But Not Quite!

With the tracking tools at your disposal, college planning becomes less of a stress and much more of an enjoyable experience. You still need to consider your college major and meet with your guidance counselor, so plan wisely now to take the edge off the coming crunch time!

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