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).
Find—and apply for—more scholarships
What’s the most important thing you can do while waiting to find out where you’re going? Figuring out how to pay for it once you get there.
Use this time to seek out scholarships and grants that can help fund your education. You can use scholarship search engines like Fastweb or Collegeboard, or check out the scholarships for high-achieving students we’ve highlighted in the past.
Keep your grades up
Senioritis is a real thing, and it can be easy to let your grades slip when you’re in the home stretch of graduating high school. Do your best to avoid this temptation, and focus on keeping your grades high and turning in your best work.
Keep in mind that some schools will rescind an acceptance if your grades plummet in your last semester of high school, and others may place you on academic probation.
Definitely not how you want to begin your college journey, right? So keep those grades up.
Think about the “what if’s”
If you applied to multiple schools, you may have a very important decision ahead of you, especially if you receive multiple acceptance letters.
Start thinking now about all the different possibilities of choices you might have to make. You can start prepping for your decision by:
- Making a list of pro’s and con’s for each school (and revisit your list after a week or two)
- Follow your schools on social media (and pay attention to how you feel about the content they post)
- Compare costs and potential financial aid awards (including housing)
And while it’s the last thing in the world you want to think about now, it’s not a bad idea to at least consider your plans for the worst case scenario: what to do if you don’t get in anywhere.
Think through your financial aid options
Hopefully you’ve done some research already on the different types of financial aid, including the difference between subsidized and unsubsidized student loans (and how much in student loans is too much).
But soon you’ll have to make some really important decisions about your financial aid package, and it’s helpful to be prepared well in advance, especially when calculating the true costs of attending college. While you may not know all the details of your financial aid package when your admissions decisions come in, cost of attendance is likely to play a big role in your final decision about where to go to school.
Whatever you do, try not to worry too much over the next couple of months while you wait for your decisions. For better or worse (and we hope it’s for the better), it’s now out of your hands. Try to keep your mind occupied and focused on the other things you can do in the meantime, and the time will go by before you know it.
And if you’re looking for more information on what to expect as you wrap up your applications and prepare to make a decision, be sure to download the Ultimate College Decision Timeline.