Pre-College and Transition
Suggested Timeline Chart for Transition from High School to College
       Junior Year of High School
     Senior Year of High School
Questions to Bring to Your College's Disability Services Offices
What is so Different About College Anyway?

 
Suggested Timeline Chart for Transition from High School to College
from http://www.CollegeIsPossible.org/paying/financial.html

Junior Year of High School
 
SEPTEMBER Meet with your school counselor and review your courses and plan for your senior year.  Ask about the PSAT/NMSQT test date, time, and place.  Begin investigating private sources of financial aid.  There are several free online scholarship search services listed in the Resource section.
OCTOBER Take the PSAT/NMSQT to prepare for the SAT I and II, and to be eligible for the National Merit Scholarship competition (scores from your sophomore year will not count in the competition).
NOVEMBER Start doing research on government, as well as private, financial aid programs.
DECEMBER Receive the results of the PSAT/NMSQT.  Read your score report and consult your school counselor or teachers to determine how you might improve.  Sign up for the February ACT.
JANUARY Begin to make a list of colleges you would like to explore.  Show the list to your parents and discuss their ideas and preferences about the kind of college you should attend.  Apply for a social security number if you don't have one.  It is required on many college applications.
FEBRUARY Meet with your school counselor to begin preparing a list of colleges to explore.  Sign up for the SAT I.  Begin to prepare for the SAT I or ACT.
MARCH Send letters or e-mails to the colleges on your list requesting information, and evaluate the materials they send you.  Share the materials with your parents.  Take the SAT I.  Continue your research on private scholarships by finding out what awards students in your school and community are receiving.

Plan visits to colleges during your spring break holiday so you'll be on campus when classes are in session.  Be sure to call the admissions office before you visit a campus.  The admissions staff will schedule you for a campus tour and arrange an interview, if necessary.  Many colleges have special programs for visiting high school students.  If possible, schedule an appointment with a financial aid counselor to learn more about the college's financial aid opportunities.  Be sure to bring your parents - their opinion is very important and they can gain very valuable information by talking with a financial aid counselor.

APRIL Sign up for the May/June SAT I and/or SAT II: Subject Tests.  Take the ACT.  Look into summer jobs or internships.  Continue to evaluate colleges and begin to eliminate some choices from your list.
MAY Attend college fairs and sessions with college representatives at your school to get more information.  Be sure to ask questions about financial aid, as well as the academic program, student life, etc.  Take the SAT II: Subject Tests.  Take Advanced Placement exams, if appropriate.

Consider enrolling in an academic course at a local college, pursuing a summer school program, or working as a volunteer make wise use of your summer.  If you work over the summer, put aside some of the money for college.

JUNE Take the ACT.
JULY / AUGUST Write for private scholarship applications.  Polish your resume and if the schools or scholarships you are interested in require them, begin to assemble writing samples, portfolios, or audition tapes.  Now is also a great time to begin work on college application essays.  If you are interested in an athletic scholarship, contact the coaches at the colleges to which you plan to apply.

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Senior Year of High School
 
SEPTEMBER Meet with your counselor to review your college plans and evaluate them in light of your test scores and junior year grades.  It's a good idea to involve your parents in this meeting and to discuss your prospects for financial aid at this time.

If you have not already taken the necessary test, or you and your counselor have agreed that you should take it again to try to improve your score, sign up for the October/November SAT I and/or SAT II: Subject Tests.

Write to the colleges on your list and request admissions, financial aid, and, if appropriate, housing applications.  Keep a checklist with all the admissions and financial aid deadlines for the colleges you are considering.  Check with your school to make sure your transcripts and other records are up to date and accurate.  Ask teachers, employers, or coaches to write you letters of recommendations.  Give them any forms that colleges require and follow up to make sure the letters are mailed on time.

Pick up a copy of the CSS Profile Registration Guide from your high school guidance office to see if any of the colleges on your list require this financial aid application form.  If so, register for the Profile service.

OCTOBER Attend a regional college fair to further investigate the college on your list.  Make sure that your transcript and test scores have been sent.  Set aside plenty of time to draft, edit, and re-write application essays.  Be sure to give your parents enough time to help you fill out any college financial aid forms, such as the CSS Profile.  If applying for "early decision," send in your application now.  Sign up for December/January tests, if necessary.  Begin to send in applications; be sure to keep copies of everything you send, with the date on which it was mailed.
NOVEMBER Continue to file admissions applications.  Obtain the Free Application for Federal Student Financial Aid (FAFSA) from your high school.  You can also file the FAFSA on-line.
DECEMBER File your last college applications.  If you've applied for early decision, you should have an answer by now.
JANUARY Request that your high school send the transcript of your first semester grades to the colleges to which you've applied.

Work with your parents to complete the FAFSA on or as soon after January 1 as possible.  Send it in no later than February 1.  If the financial aid processor requests additional information in order to process your application, submit it promptly.  Check with your high school to find out if your state student aid program requires an additional application.

FEBRUARY/MARCH Monitor your applications to make sure that all materials are send and received on time.  Review your Student Aid Report (SAR) for accuracy.  If necessary, correct any inaccurate items on the SAR and return it to the FAFSA processor (if you had a college transmit your FAFSA data directly, you must notify the college of any changes or corrections).  If you have not received an SAR four weeks after you file your FAFSA, call 1-800-4FED-AID to inquire about your application status.

When a corrected SAR is returned to you, review it one more time.  Then, if it is correct, keep a copy for your records.  If a college requests your SAR, submit it promptly.  Do this even if the SAR says you are not eligible to receive a Federal Pell Grant, as the college may be able to offer you other aid based on the information in that report.

If you haven't decided on a favorite campus, try to arrange a second visit.  Talk to students and sit in on some classes so you can make an informed decision.

APRIL Review your financial aid award letters with your parents; be sure that you understand the terms and conditions that apply to each type of aid offered.

Decide on the college that you will attend and send in your tuition deposit.  Notify in writing the other colleges that accepted you that you have selected another school.  This is an important step.  Other students will be hoping to receive your spot!  Be sure to respond by May 1.

If your first choice college places you on its waiting list, do not lose all hope.  Some students are admitted off the waiting list.  Contact the college, let the admissions office know you are still very interested, and keep the college updated on your activities.

Remind your parents to check their eligibility for the HOPE and Lifetime Learning tax credits when they file their taxes.  Next year, they may be able to reduce their taxes by up to $1,500 by claiming one of these credits for college expenses.

MAY  Work with your parents to establish a budget for your books, supplies, and living expenses.  Determine how much of the budget grants and scholarships will cover, how much your parents will contribute, and how much your parents will contribute, and how much you will need to supply.  Then determine how much of your contribution will come from savings, from a student loan, and from what you might earn at an academic year job.  Then, if necessary, complete a loan application form.  Be sure you understand the terms of the loan before you and/or your parents sign a promissory note.

If you want to live on campus, and have not already done so, complete a housing/meal plan application.

Take Advanced Placement exams, if appropriate.

JUNE Request that your high school send a copy of your final transcript to the college you will attend.  Notify the college of any private grants or scholarships you will receive.

Find out when payment for tuition, room, board, etc. will be due and investigate whether your college offers a tuition payment plan that lets you remit these charges in installments.  Be sure you understand how financial aid will be disbursed and whether you can defer bill payment until the funds are available.

Apply for a summer job.  Plan on saving a portion of your earnings for college.

Look for information from your new college about housing, orientation, course selection, etc.  If your financial aid package included a Federal Work-Study award, it may be your responsibility to find an appropriate job.  Plan to follow up with the financial aid office as soon as you arrive on campus.

AUGUST/SEPTEMBER Pack for college and look forward to a great experience!

NOTE: This calendar is based on material from the National Association for College Admissions Counseling and the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators.  The dates in this calendar are approximate.  Be sure you know and adhere to all college deadlines.

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Questions to Bring to Your College's Disability Services Offices

What kind of interpreters are available, sign language interpreters, oral interpreters, cued speech interpreters?
Who makes arrangements for interpreters?
What other services and/or programs are available in the community for someone with a hearing loss?
image of student
Are interpreters available for out of classroom activities?
Will I get priority or early registration for classes?
Would I get academic and career counseling here in your office or from the general counseling offices on campus?


 
Who does the scheduling?

How are notetakers recruited?

Is there a TTY available to me on campus?

How do I make arrangements for notetakers in my classes?
image of student
How are they paid?

Are there assistive listening devices available for my use in the classroom?

Do any of the televisions in the dorm have closed-captioning?

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What is so Different About College Anyway?

Course syllabus
Semester Assignments
No one checking over your shoulder
Learn to budget your own time
No one calls your parents if you miss class
Larger class size
Possibly new living arrangements / roommates
No tardy rules
New environment
Must use self-discipline to complete assignments / required readings
Form study groups outside of class
New friends
New experiences / opportunities
May need tutoring in college
Professor's office hours
Use e-mail to contact professors after class
Learn to use a much more extensive library
Must request your own interpreter, transliterator and/or captionist
Learn to budget your money


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