4 Things to Take Care of While You’re Waiting for a College Admissions Decision

Posted by IPFW Admissions Team on 1/12/17 8:30 AM

And just like that, your last application has been submitted. First of all: congratulations! If you’ve followed our advice over the past few months, you’ve put a lot of time and work into applying to college and you should feel proud.

Waiting to hear back from the schools on your list can be agonizing, but it doesn’t have to be. The trick is to keep busy. 

Shifting your attention to other things on your college application to-do list will help make the time go by faster, and ensure you’re ready to hit the ground running once you’ve received the last of your decisions.

Here are four things to do during the next couple of months (that don’t involve hitting refresh on your admissions status portal).

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Topics: Applying to College, Common App

5 Questions College Tour Guides Are Dying to Answer

Posted by IPFW Admissions Team on 1/10/17 8:30 AM

Your campus visit is your best opportunity to make sure the schools on your list are a good fit for you and your goals. 

We’ve written a lot about how to prepare for your trip, including important questions you’d never think to ask, what to ask students in your major, and how you can learn about campus before you even get there.

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Topics: Choosing a College, Questions to Ask

2017 FAFSA Changes: What’s New and What You Need to Know

Posted by IPFW Admissions Team on 1/5/17 8:30 AM

Ah, the FAFSA—that time-honored tradition of getting a crash course in your parents’ tax

information from two years ago. (But hey, it helps you keep college affordable, so it’s worth

poring over the details of IRS deductions and withholdings.) 

We’ve written a lot about the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), including filing tips for parents, six things you’ll need to finish the FAFSA, and a first-timer’s guide to filling it out.

However, in 2017, the Department of Education is making a few changes to how the FAFSA works that are important to note, especially for first-time filers.

You can now submit earlier 

In the past, you had to wait until January 1 to file your FAFSA, but that’s no longer the case. If you’re filing for the 2017–18 school year, you can file now—submissions opened on October 1.

The new, earlier submission date is permanent, so you’ll be able to file your FAFSA beginning October 1 from here on out.

You will now be asked for income information from earlier years 

If you filed your FAFSA for the 2016–17 school year, you would have been asked for income information from 2015 only. That’s changed, however. The new FAFSA will ask for income information for two previous years.

So, if you’re filing for 2017–18, you’ll need to provide income and tax information for 2016 and 2015.

The FAFSA website has a great chart to help breakdown this information. They also provide a fact sheet for parents and students about the 2017–18 changes.

If you’re filling out the FAFSA for the first time, be sure to download our FAFSA Checklist so you can be better prepared for what to expect.

Get the guide: FAFSA Checklist

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Topics: Financial Aid, FAFSA Help

6 Questions to Ask on Your College Tour—Because Your Parents Won’t

Posted by IPFW Admissions Team on 1/3/17 8:30 AM


Bringing your parents to a college tour is a really great idea. They can help you keep track of all the information being thrown your way, and help you understand a lot of the details when it comes to tuition costs and financial aid.

(Plus, who knows? Maybe you’ll get to hear stories from when they were in college.)

But while your parents only have your best interests at heart, they may not ask all the questions that really matter to you. We’ve written before about what to ask students in your major, as well as questions to bring to your admissions representative—but what about the little things that will affect you day to day? Those little things are the kinds of things that your parents may not know—or may not want—to ask.

Check out these six questions to pose to your tour guide that your folks probably won’t.

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Your College Application Checklist for January 2017

Posted by IPFW Admissions Team on 12/29/16 8:30 AM

Happy (Almost) New Year! We hope your holiday festivities were exactly what you needed to take a break from the demands of junior or senior year and get recharged. We have a new year’s resolution idea for you: set yourself up for success in your college search and application process.

To help you know exactly what you need to do each month, we’re continuing our monthly checklist series throughout 2017.

Now that January is upon us, things will start to move more quickly. Don’t panic! You’ve got this. This checklist should help you stay on top of everything.

For High School Juniors

  • Continue to do your best in your classes—this is really important! This is your chance to further improve your GPA—and it goes without saying that if you improve your GPA, you’re going to have better access to more colleges and more scholarships.
  • Take the PSAT Exams if you haven’t already. If you’ve taken them once, consider taking another shot at it to see where you stand vs. last time.
  • Continue to seek out leadership positions in clubs, sports, and organizations at your high school or in your spare time. This will not only help you get into college, but also help you build relationships with teachers or staff that can give you an amazing letter of recommendation.
  • Keep researching schools
    • Talk to your guidance counselor
    • Attend all the college fairs you can – call your local colleges and see which ones they are going to
    • Follow schools on social media
    • Try to refine your list at least once this month
  • Research majors that might be of interest to you

For High School Seniors

  • Triple check your list of deadlines for every school on your list
    • Have you submitted your application?
    • Have you sent your official transcripts?
    • Have you sent your letters of recommendation, if necessary?
    • Have you completed all the financial aid paperwork?
  • Research and apply for at least two scholarships
  • If the weather cooperates, try to schedule at least two campus visits this month

Check back with your list throughout the month, and try to check one or two items off every single week. If you find yourself with a lot of spare time, double up—seek out more scholarships, or look for volunteer opportunities to help make your application stand out.

Want more?

Want to know what’s coming up in the rest of the year? Be sure to download our Ultimate College Decision Timeline.

Download the checklist - The Ultimate College Decision Timeline

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Topics: Choosing a College, Applying to College, Application Timeline

10 Questions to Ask Colleges That Your Guidance Counselor Never Told You

Posted by IPFW Admissions Team on 12/27/16 8:30 AM

Whether you’re visiting a college in person, talking to a representative, or following a school on social media, knowing what questions to ask will help you make a better and more informed decision about where you want to go, and how well a college fits your goals.

New Call-to-action And while schools are great at sending you tons of information on majors, housing, and tuition, there may be things that are important to you that get left out of the brochure.

Check out these ten questions that your guidance counselor might not have told you to ask. 

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Topics: Choosing a College, College Visits


 

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