As a classroom teacher and teen coach, I have found that February is an interesting month. We often gather around to see a groundhog predict the weather, we send paper hearts to our friends and loved ones and don’t forget the chocolates, and we do our very best to keep the winter doldrums at bay.
But SPRING is just around the corner...and so is college! I suggest that you follow these tips to get yourself ready for college this month.
February is all about candy, valentines, and the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. File your FAFSA and CSS Profile, if you haven’t already.
This Valentine’s Day, buy yourself a box of chocolate and sit down to fill out the FAFSA. Filling out your FAFSA is a key part of the application process, and you should fill it out even if you don’t think you’ll be eligible for need-based aid. Certain merit scholarships, like the Georgia HOPE Scholarship, require students to have a FAFSA on file.
You may also choose to fill out the CSS Profile, a College Board application for scholarships from colleges themselves. The FAFSA is free, but the CSS Profile does charge a fee; fee waivers are available, though.
Don’t hide in your groundhog den for the rest of the season. Instead, use the time to start some AP and SAT Subject Test Prep.
AP exams start on May 1st, so this is no time to hibernate! At this point in the year, it’s a good idea to start reviewing the content you covered in your classes back in the fall. Now is also a good time to think about SAT Subject Tests, because some of these 1-hr, subject-specific tests fit nicely with certain AP courses.
Some schools require specific SAT Subject Tests - like Math 2 or Physics - so check your college list to make sure you’re not missing one.
Stay warm - make yourself a cup of cocoa and a college list.
February can be the chilliest, grayest month, but you don’t have to leave your sofa to explore the wide range of college options open to you. It’s too early to apply to schools, let alone to commit to just one, but this is a great time to start thinking about what your dream school will look like.
There are thousands of colleges in the United States alone, and every school has a different atmosphere, course catalog, and mission. Google, the College Board, and U.S. News & World Report all have platforms that let you explore different schools, see admissions requirements, and figure out what’s right for you.
Take care of yourself! Make sure to prioritize your mental health.
February can be a lot for some students. The chill, the emotional work of Valentine’s Day, and the pressure of schoolwork and extracurriculars can weigh on you, so it’s important to check in with yourself periodically to make sure you’re okay.
While some stress is normal and even healthy, too much stress isn’t good for anyone. It’s never too early to start some healthy self-care habits, like journaling or meditation. If you ever feel like the stress of school or your personal life is getting to be too much, reach out to an adult for help.
We at Career and College Counselors can help your child identify interests, strengths, and stresses that will enable them to choose the right career, the right major, the right college, and graduate in 4 years with the least amount of money out of pocket with a 60-minute online assessment.
Click on the link to schedule your FREE Consultation
Tom and Maria Geffers
Career and College Counselors