Calling All College-Bound Seniors!

August 23, 2021

Do you feel like there are too many moving parts to the college application? Are you struggling to remember everything that needs to be done? Fear not! This is the place to get the information you need to make getting into college a breeze. Follow these not so simple steps, and you’ll be on your way to your dream school!

Step one: Research and finalize a college list! There are many factors that can go into choosing which school is right for you. When researching schools, make sure to consider location, faculty, dorm life, acceptance rate, and financial aid. Remember, you have two days of school to use as an excused absence to go visit colleges.

Step two: Apply for scholarships! There are countless opportunities to fund your college experience just waiting to be taken. Melanie Armstead, fellow Class of ’22 Senior, recommends, “Even when you think it’s not worth applying for, do it. A 3% chance is still better than none at all.” Remember, it’s never too early to start applying for scholarships. Even applying for just a few a week will set you on track to an affordable degree.

Step three: Build your resume! Make sure to compile all your achievements, activities, and awards for your application. A great way to do this is through the senior brag sheet! This will also help your counselor write a compelling recommendation for you. You will need to make sure your ACT and SAT test scores are the best they can be. The SAT is even hosted right here at Cass High! Free test prep is available through Khan Academy.

Step four: Complete the FAFSA! The application opens on October 1, 2021. The earlier you fill it out, the better because you will want as much time as possible to review your qualifications for financial aid. This part is much easier when done with parents as you will need tax information. This is also a great time to start looking into the different types of financial aid and how to qualify.

Step five: Complete your application! Most universities use the common app, which streamlines the process using a shared profile and essay. Make sure you pay attention to each school’s unique requirements. Certain majors may also have additional requirements.

Step six: Submit applications! Pay close attention to deadlines. These deadlines can range from as early as October to as late as March. Erick Rodriguez, CHS alumni, advises, “due dates are earlier than expected, especially honors programs.” If you decide to apply early to schools, make sure you are aware of which type as some can be legally binding. Early action deadlines allow you to see acceptance earlier than general admission. Early decision deadlines legally bind you to a school if accepted unless strict exceptions apply. Limited early action is a system ivy league schools use to keep you from applying early to too many schools. You will legally agree to only apply early to said school.

Once you’ve completed all of this, you’re done! Remember you have until May 1, 2022 to decide your school of choice. This may seem like a lot of hard work, but don’t worry. You have many resources here at Cass available to help through the process. CHS Counselor Andrew Griffin would like to let seniors know that “We really want to make sure that all of the information that we give out is being followed through on because it is absolutely vital information.” If you take the time to put 100% into each step, it will all be worth it. Good luck Seniors!

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