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Important March Dates

Important March Dates

March 19, 2024CSG Staff

March is a crucial month for high school seniors as college admission decisions start rolling in, and financial aid packages are clarified. Here’s a guide to help you navigate through March:

  1. Admission Decisions: Many colleges release their admission decisions in March. These decisions will be communicated through the colleges' portals, emails, or sometimes, letters. Be prepared for any outcome—acceptance, waitlist, or rejection—and plan accordingly.
  2. Financial Aid Offers: Alongside admission decisions, colleges also send out financial aid offers. Review these offers carefully. They can vary significantly from one college to another and may include a mix of grants, scholarships, work-study opportunities, and loans.
  3. Compare Financial Aid Packages: If you receive multiple offers, take the time to compare them. Consider the total cost of attendance, not just the tuition fees but also room, board, books, and other expenses. Use tools like the net price calculator or the College Board’s comparison tool to help in your analysis.
  4. Appeal Financial Aid Packages: If your circumstances have changed or if the offer is less than what you need or expected, consider appealing the financial aid package. Contact the college's financial aid office to inquire about the process.
  5. Visit Colleges: If you haven’t visited the colleges you’ve been accepted to, try to do so in March. Many colleges offer admitted student days or weekends in March and April. These visits can be crucial in helping you make your final decision.
  6. Plan for Waitlist: If you're placed on a waitlist, decide whether you want to remain on it. If you do, follow the college's instructions on how to accept a spot on the waitlist and consider sending a letter of continued interest.
  7. Thank You Notes: Send thank-you notes to teachers, counselors, and anyone else who helped you with your college applications, especially if you haven’t done so already.
  8. Keep Up Your Grades: Remember that colleges expect you to maintain your academic performance through the end of your senior year. Offers of admission are conditional and based on your continued strong performance.
  9. Scholarship Deadlines: Continue applying for scholarships. Some scholarships have deadlines in March or April, so don’t miss out on these opportunities to secure additional funding.
  10. Decision Preparation: Start preparing for the decision you’ll need to make by May 1st, which is the National College Decision Day for many colleges.
  11. Review Deferred Applications: If any of your applications were deferred to the regular decision pool, stay tuned for those decisions to come out in this month as well.
  12. Plan B: Start thinking about your Plan B. If things don’t go as expected, consider your next steps—whether it’s attending your second-choice school, considering community college, or exploring gap year options.

Staying organized and informed during this time can help you make the most informed decision for your future. Remember, the college decision is not just about prestige but finding the right fit for your academic, social, and financial needs.