Navigating through College Applications, Financial Aid, and Paperwork can be daunting. Difficult and confusing as it is, you have to become an expert on it. The responsibility to do it right is the student's, not the parent's, not the school's.
Here are some basic and essential college timelines and general deadlines.
Community College Applicants:
1. You must take placement tests in English and Math prior to being able to enroll in any English, Math or Science Classes. Look at the Folsom Lake College home page under quick links. Type in Assessments for details on when and where they are given. There are also some study guides for Math so you know what is on the tests.
2. For Summer and Fall Semesters, enroll in March. Watch the FLC websites for specific dates. Spring Semester enrollment is usually announced in late October/early November.
3. SAT tests are not required to enroll at a Community College
4. Financial aid is available for Community College students on a limited basis. You need to fill out the FAFSA application by the deadline. If you want to apply for a CAL GRANT, you must complete both the FAFSA and must complete the GPA Verification Form by the deadline. Usually both are due by March 2.
1. Spring and Summer of your Junior year - Go visit colleges. Don't pick a school unless you've toured it and have found out everything you can about it.
2. Spring your Junior Year - Study for the SAT tests. You can take the SAT's either in the spring or early in the fall. You can take the tests more than once, without any penalty. It just costs more. STUDY for it.
a) Study by getting a SAT study guide. I recommend "Cracking the SAT" by Princeton Review.
b) You can also pay a SAT prep company. This usually costs several hundred dollars, but can pay off if you are not self-motivated to study on your own.
3. Take the SAT in the spring or early fall. Taking it early allows you to re-take it. Taking it later allows you to study more for the test. Try to time your study with the taking of the tests. Taking a college writing class in the summer of your junior year can really help you on your skills and performance on the Writing portion of the SAT.
4. Apply to College: Most applications for 4-year schools are due in November. Check each school for specific dates
a) UC's and CSU's have websites where you can use one application to apply to several schools. Of course, you pay more for each school you apply to.
b) Many private schools use what is called the "Common Application". If you are applying to several private schools, check into it. It could save you a lot of extra work
c) Pay your fees on time and send in all supporting documents as soon as possible. If you need letters of recommendation, or essays, start on those early. NEVER write a college essay or ask a teacher for a letter of rec. at the last minute
5. January of your Senior Year. Send in your mid-year transcripts to the colleges as needed by your college. Get a sealed transcript from our registrar, Mary Calligan, at the County Office. 295-2259
6. Fill out the FAFSA application by the deadline. If you want to apply for a CAL GRANT, you must complete both the FAFSA and must complete the GPA Verification Form by the deadline. Usually both are due by March 2. You will need to have your parents do their tax returns as early as possible. The FAFSA requires information from their, and your, tax returns.
7. If you neglect to get the GPA verification form in on time, you will not get a CAL GRANT. The school WILL NOT send this in for you. You must get the form, get it to the Principal or Counselor, then mail it in. Register your letter and keep the receipt.