52 Weeks to College: Week 19 — Scholarships

If you submitted your early applications last week, CONGRATULATIONS! That's huge. This week, we'll focus mainly on money, because wherever you get in, you'll want to find a way to pay for it!

Week 19 To-Dos

Every Week

  • Check your email, voicemail, texts, and snail mail for any communications that relate to applying to college. Read them and take whatever action is necessary.
  • Update your parents about what you’re doing. This regular communication will work wonders in your relationship with your parents during this stress-filled year.  

This Week 

  • Finalize your 8th application.
  • Interview with colleges.
  • Investigate local scholarship opportunities.

Tips & Tricks

1. Celebrate. Submitting your first application is a big milestone, and worth celebrating. Do something special, and make sure to thank the people who helped you along the way (parents, teachers, counselors, etc).

2. Sustain your momentum. Now is not the time to conk out! Take advantage of your momentum and keep working away at your other applications. They will be harder to come back to if you lose that momentum and try to gain it back later.

3. Nag your parents about taxes. This may be pushing a boulder up a hill, but see if you can persuade your parents to finish their tax returns early for this year. If they get that done sooner rather than later, it will be MUCH easier to finish the FAFSA (financial aid application form), and you'll be more likely to end up with an appropriate financial aid award. Getting those tax returns done early really can pay for itself.

4. Think local. As you explore more scholarship opportunities, don't forget to check sources other than the internet. There might be some in your backyard. Ask at your school counselor's office, your church or synagogue or mosque, and your local civic organizations like the Rotary Club.

You can read more tips about things to do after you submit in chapter 22 of our book. Next week, we'll show you how to follow up on your submitted applications.

About the Authors:

Alison Cooper Chisolm heads the college admissions consulting practice at Ivey Consulting. She came to private consulting after working in admissions for more than 10 years at three selective universities (Southern Methodist University, University of Chicago, and Dartmouth College).

Anna Ivey is the former Dean of Admissions at the University of Chicago Law School and founded Ivey Consulting to help college, law school, and MBA applicants navigate the admissions process and make smart choices about higher education.

You can find more college admissions tips in their book How to Prepare a Standout College Application (Wiley 2013), and follow them on Twitter and Facebook

About the 52 Weeks to College Series:

52 Weeks to College is a week-by-week plan for applying to college. It breaks this complex and difficult project down into weekly to-do lists with supporting tips and tricks for getting it all done. Based on the Master Plan for applying to college found in our book, How to Prepare a Standout College Application52 Weeks to College is designed for any applicant who intends to apply to top U.S. colleges. For those of you who are just discovering the 52 Weeks series and want to catch up, click here.