April can feel like a time to tie up loose ends for those who have already been accepted to college. But for students who haven't yet, it's still a month to stay on track with your college admissions plan, whether that means building out your college list or following up on waitlist placements.
Depending on where you are in the process, April is a great time to get organized, advises Anna Crowe of The Admissions Coach in Atlanta. Crowe offers the following tips for each grade level so you can stay on track with your admissions plan.
- If you haven't yet planned out your classes for next year, now is the time. Make sure your courses show an increase in rigor but that the classes aren't so challenging that you'll struggle in them.
- Ensure that your college resume is current. Add the extracurriculars you pursued during the school year, and don't forget to include activities that you participated in outside of school, including paid jobs.
- Plan your summer activities – whether you plan to get a job, participate in a camp, sign up for test prep or plan another program, now is the time to get those plans secured.
- Register for summer or fall SAT and/or ACT tests if you plan to take them.
- If you have any AP exams coming up soon, start studying for them.
- If you haven't met with your counselor yet, schedule an appointment soon to discuss your tentative college list. If you can't get in with your school counselor until the fall, it's a good idea to start exploring schools on your own so you can begin researching programs and prerequisites.
- Think about whether it's a good idea to retake the SAT or ACT. If so, register soon for the next available test dates. Remember that both now have summer sittings, so you can take the tests during your time away from high school if necessary.
- Schedule college tours for the summer months if applicable.
- Ensure that your fall schedule includes all classes that your target colleges require, and that your courses continue to show a progression of rigor.
- Nail down your summer plans, including activities or jobs.
- Study and prepare for your AP tests that are approaching.
- Think about which teachers you'll be asking to write your recommendation letters for college, and consider requesting them before the school year ends.
- If you have committed to a college, ensure that you secure your housing as soon as possible.
- Study for AP tests even if you don't think your colleges will accept the credits, since some schools use your test results for college course placements.
- If you plan to attend your college's “admitted student day" or summer orientation, make sure to sign up now.
- Make an appointment with your physician to complete the college's health forms.
- If you aren't happy with your financial aid package, consider appealingit to see if you might be able to get a better offer.
- For students on waitlists, ensure that you're on top of communications with the school and submitting all requested information.
- Continue filling out scholarship applications, if applicable.
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