January is a significant month for high school seniors in the college application process, often marked by finalizing applications and beginning the wait for decisions. Here are the key dates and tasks to consider:
- Regular Decision Deadlines: Many colleges have their regular decision application deadlines in early January, often on January 1st or 15th. Ensure all materials are submitted before these dates.
- FAFSA and CSS Profile Deadlines: If you haven't already completed your FAFSA and CSS Profile (if required), do so as soon as possible. While the FAFSA is open until June 30, some colleges and states have earlier deadlines for financial aid consideration.
- Scholarship Applications: Continue searching for and applying to scholarships. Many scholarships have deadlines in early to mid-January.
- Mid-Year Reports: Many colleges require a mid-year report to be sent by your high school, which includes your grades from the first semester of your senior year. Check with your guidance counselor to ensure this will be sent to the colleges where you've applied.
- Finalizing and Submitting Applications: If you're working on applications with deadlines later in January or February, focus on completing these applications, including final revisions of essays.
- College Interviews: If any colleges on your list offer or require interviews, complete them as soon as possible.
- Track Your Applications: After submitting applications, check your emails and each college's portal regularly to ensure all your materials have been received and there are no outstanding requests.
- Review Admissions Decisions: If you applied early action or early decision and were deferred to the regular applicant pool, keep an eye out for decisions, which might start coming in this month.
- Stay Focused in School: Maintain strong academic performance. Colleges will look at your final year grades, and significant declines can impact admissions decisions.
- Plan for Financial Aid Discussions: Start conversations with your family about how you will approach college financing based on the aid packages and scholarships you receive.
- Thank You Notes: Consider sending thank you notes to teachers, counselors, and anyone else who helped you with your college applications.
- Looking Ahead: Begin to prepare for any potential college interviews, acceptance decisions, and waitlist opportunities.
- Relax and Recharge: It's important to find some time to relax after submitting your applications. The waiting period can be stressful, so engaging in activities you enjoy can be beneficial.
Remember, specific dates and deadlines can vary depending on the colleges you're applying to, so it's crucial to verify the exact dates on each college's website or admissions portal. Keep up with your high school work and extracurriculars, as colleges will want to see a strong finish to your high school career.