Peter Englert is the Plan For College's fourth guest blogger. Peter Englert has served as an Admissions Counselor at Valley Forge Christian College in Phonexville, PA since May of 2009. He contributes to the institution’s Admissions Blog, which offers tips about visiting colleges, choosing a major, attending college fairs, and more.
For more tips and discussions about planning for college, connect with Valley Forge Christian College and The College Planning Group on Facebook.
Can you believe that in a few short months you will embark on your first semester of college? It may seem like a long time away, but it will be here before you know it. Maybe you have already selected the school you are going to attend. Or perhaps you have to narrow down your list of schools to your top choices. Or maybe you are just starting the college application process. No matter what stage you are at in the process, here are some helpful tips to help you along the way:
1. Make a master calendar of deadlines and campus visits.
When do enrollment deposits need to be mailed? Will I make one more visit to campus to finalize my decision? What forms need to be sent to the Admissions office?
There can be so many details and dates. Sit down with your parents and write all of this information down. To make sure that everything gets out in the mail, send forms and deposits at least one week before their deadlines. Staying organized will help alleviate anxiety.
2. Save all mail and emails.
Many people have a tendency to get mail and leave it in a pile or, even worse, throw it away. Keep all of the letters and packets an institution sends to you. Read them immediately and contact the Admissions office with any questions. Also, keep a file of the emails you receive. Simply put, you don’t want to miss any important information or deadlines.
3. Photocopy or scan any forms that you mail or fax to a school.
Sometimes mail does not get to the Admissions office and faxes can get delayed. So protect yourself by having copies made. Add these copies to your college file. Keeping copies of everything also helps you to see what you still need to finish for your registration process.
4. Finish high school strong.
One of the best ways to start college is by gaining confidence from a valiant last semester in high school. You will have many distractions in your senior year of high school: prom, class trips, graduation, and athletics. Don’t lose focus now. Institutions take into consideration your final high school transcripts. The best gift you can give yourself is the confidence of a great senior year.
Keep these tips in mind for the next few months. Staying prepared and organized will allow you to enjoy your last year of high school and prepare for an incredible first year of college. Don’t miss a beat.
Have any questions about preparing for your first semester? Please ask in our comments section below.