March Feature: What You Should Be Doing This Month for Your Admissions Plan
If you haven't gotten your college acceptance letter yet, this could be the month it arrives. Many schools are expected to release their admissions decisions in March, which will finally mark the end of your admissions journey. Many other schools will be sending out likely letters this month, which could give you a hint of where you'll get accepted.
For underclassmen and high school juniors, March is a great time to explore the college list, plan for AP tests and get a handle on summer plans, 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're registering for tenth-grade classes soon, sit down with your parents and your school counselor to discuss your expected college path. Ensure that you're registering for the classes that will show increasing rigor and that will also meet the requirements of the colleges where you're likely to apply.
- Begin thinking about what you'll do this summer. If you're too young to get a job, you may want to volunteer somewhere, participate in enrichment opportunities or even plan to get ahead on reading to increase your reading speed and give you a leg up before tenth grade starts.
- Keep a running list of your freshman year activities so you don't forget them later. You'll need to add them to a college resume in the future.
- Think about whether you'll be taking the SAT or ACT during junior year. If so, it may be a good idea to plan for some summertime preparation.
- Carefully evaluate the classes you plan to take next year. Remember that you should be showing an increase in rigor during the years of high school, but you must balance that by ensuring that you don't take such a hard caseload that your grades suffer.
- Begin going over what you learned in your AP classes to plan for the upcoming AP Tests.
- Are you planning to work at a summer job? Attend camp? Take classes? Start making those plans now.
- If you haven't taken the ACT or SAT yet -- or if you have and you don't like your scores -- plan out your test prep plan and register for upcoming test dates.
- Double-check the requirements of the colleges where you plan to apply so you can ensure that you've met all of the prerequisites before you register for your senior-year high school classes. If, for instance, your goal college requires a fourth foreign language and you were planning to stop at three, it's important to register for another foreign language class for next year.
- Check out the websites of the colleges where you plan to apply to see if any open houses are coming up. Register for those or for college tours/visits so you can get a look at the campus.
- Look back on the teachers you've had so far and consider which one(s) you plan to ask for recommendation letters for your applications.
- Review the financial aid packages from schools that have sent them. Discuss the information with your parents to get a good handle on which schools were the most generous and which might be out of the running for financial reasons.
- If you're still waiting to hear from any colleges, stay on top of communications from the schools and check your portals frequently for news and updates.
- If you have any scholarship applications left, fill those out as soon as possible.
- Apply for housing at the school you plan to attend, if you've already made that decision.
- Stay on top of your current high school classes – you're in the home stretch, but you still should do well in school. Remember: Colleges will request your final transcripts!