The biggest thing to remember about applying for college is get your applications and fill them out as early as possible. Different colleges have different deadlines for when they will accept applications, so make sure to find out when yours are due. Most applications are going to be due the fall of your senior year if you are wanting to start the year after you graduate.
Most applications ask for some type of essay. If writing isn't your thing, ask for help. Even if you're the best writer in the world, ask for help. It's good to have someone read over your work. A fresh perspective can often help strengthen essays.
If you're lost as to where to begin, feel free to come by the Counseling Office.
Want to look at some different schools? Here's a list of colleges and universities in Washington State and links to their websites.
Students planning to take the SAT for admisstions to a four-year college or university need to register online at sat.collegeboard.com/register. You can find everything you need to register and get ready for the test, as well as to send scores and learn from your performance on test day.
TEST PREP RESOURCES:
Most schools accept the Common Application. This is an online application completed one time and submitted to participating colleges and universities. Students complete a profile and application as required directly online with The Common Application. Tutorials are available on the website. For more information, visit www.thecommonapplication.com.
In order to access financial aid, everyone who plans on going to college needs to fill out what is called the:
FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid)
You can fill out this application beginning January 1st of the year before you want to go to school. You want to fill out and submit this application as early as possible.
The earlier your application is in, the more money you can access.
When you fill out the application, it makes you eligible to receive financial aid from July 1st the year you fill it out to June 30th of the following year. The FAFSA needs to be completed at the same time before each year you attend college.
You can access the FAFSA at http://www.fafsa.ed.gov
In order to sign your FAFSA electronically, you need to apply online for a pin.
You can do this at: http://www.pin.ed.gov
You can also sign your FAFSA by hand and mail it in, but this does take longer to process.
If you are male?
In order to receive financial aid you have to register with the Selective Service
Go to http://www.sss.gov for more information
FINANCIAL AID LINKS:
Come by the Counseling Office
For more information on financial aid, visit www.federalstudentaid.ed.gov
AES Engineers – $500 Scholarship. To be eligible, the student needs to answer one of the essay questions found at http://www.aesengineers.com/scholarships.htm. Deadline: Oct 7, 2011.
Imagine America Foundation – $1000 scholarship. Applicants need 2.5 or higher GPA, financial need and community service. Go to www.imagine-america.org. Deadline: December 31, 2011.
Wendy’s High School Heisman scholarship. To be eligible, must have maintained a “B” GPA, participated in one of 27 sports sanctioned by NFSHSA, and demonstrate active involvement in the community. Apply at www.WendysHeisman.com. Deadline: October 2, 2011.
Gates Millennium Scholars Go to www.gmsp.org Deadline: Jan 11, 2012
The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards. $1000 and a trip to Washington, D.C. next May. Visit http://spirit.prudential.com or www.nassp.org/spirit, click on the "Apply Now" link. Deadline November 1, 2011.
2012 Profiles in Courage Essay. up to $10,000. Essay. Go to www.jfklibrary.org. Deadline: January 2, 2012
Olympia World Affairs Council Essay Contest. Cash prizes. Go to www.olympiawac.org. Deadline: November 15, 2011
FIRE 3rd Annual "Freedom in Academia" Essay Contest. $5000 scholarship. Go to www.thefire.org/contests. Deadline: November 5, 2011
ESA Foundation Scholarship. Amounts varied. There are 34 scholarships to choose from for Washington students. Go to www.epsilonsigmaalpha.org/esa-foundation. Deadline: February 1, 2012.
National scholarships are great, and you should definitely apply for those as well, but make sure to spend some extra time on local scholarships. Less people will be applying for these which equals a higher likely hood that you'll get one. Plus, national scholarships will likely ask for similar information and essay topics, so you can just reuse some information from local scholarships you fill out. Check out the Scholarship Binder in the Career Center for more information.
Look in your experience areas
Do you have a job? Are you part of a club, organization, or church? All of these locations tend to have their own scholarships. Because of your involvement, you may have a higher chance of getting these.
Look online at some of your Counselor's favorite websites:
There are many College specific Scholarships available too; come in and talk to the counselor!
Stuck? Not sure where to go next? Come by the Counseling Office for a brainstorming session.