College Planning Bulletin
A monthly college planning guide for Nebraska high school students
Wrapping up your senior year
Seniors…stay on track for college by completing these second-semester tasks:
Watch your grades. If you slack off and get poor grades, your college admission could be revoked.
Complete the financial aid process. By now, you should have filed your FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). If you haven’t, apply at fafsa.gov.
Compare financial aid award notifications. The colleges you listed on your FAFSA will send you notifications detailing the financial aid they’re offering. Compare the notifications to determine which school provides the best package.
Apply for scholarships. See ScholarshipQuest at EducationQuest.org to find Nebraska-based scholarships and a list of national scholarship sites
Make your final college selection. Notify the other colleges so they can take you off their mailing list.
Pay attention to deadlines. Be aware of deadlines to accept financial aid and college admission offers, housing deposit, and new-student orientation.
Juniors…why you should narrow your college choices now
Narrow your college choices soon to prepare for these upcoming activities:
ACT college entrance exam. When you take the exam this spring, you'll be asked to provide a list of colleges that should receive your score.
Completion of the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). You and your parents can complete the FAFSA beginning October 1 of your senior year. The colleges you list on the form will receive the results.
Apply2College Campaign. Early next fall, it will be time to apply to your top college choices. Many high schools will participate in the Apply2College campaign during which seniors get help during the school day with college applications.
College fairs happening across the state
EducationQuest is sponsoring five college fairs this spring. These free events provide an opportunity for juniors to narrow their college choices, and for seniors to make their final college decision.
Lincoln Area College Fair - Sunday, March 19, 1-3 p.m., Southeast Community College
Grand Island Area College Fair – Sunday, March 26, 1-3 p.m., Pinnacle Bank Expo Center
Scottsbluff Area College Fair – Sunday, April 2, 1-3 p.m., Western Nebraska Community College
Omaha Area College Fair – Sunday, April 9, 1-3 p.m., University of Nebraska Omaha Sapp Fieldhouse
Tri-State Area College Fair (South Sioux City) – Sunday, April 23, 1-3 p.m., Marina Center
Before you attend, register for a barcode at NebraskaCollegeFairs.org. Print the barcode (or download it to your smartphone) and take it to the fair. College reps will scan it to retrieve your demographic information – and you won’t have to complete their information cards.
Juniors: start scheduling your campus visits
Your spring break is a perfect time to visit schools that interest you. Follow these tips for a successful visit:
Schedule your visits at least two weeks in advance. Ask for appointments with an admissions representative, financial aid counselor, and a faculty member in your area of interest.
Visit while the colleges are in session. You won’t get the true flavor during breaks or finals week.
Be prepared with questions to ask. It’s important for YOU to ask questions, not just your mom or dad.
Ask the financial aid counselor how the college may offset tuition costs and about college-based scholarship applications and deadlines.
Find helpful college-search resources at EducationQuest.org
“Selecting a College” section walks you through college selection steps.
“About Nebraska Colleges” provides cost and contact information for Nebraska colleges.
College Profiles has information about colleges in Nebraska and across the country.
Don’t forget to apply for EducationQuest’s Scavenger Hunt Scholarship!
Apply for EducationQuest’sYou could earn $500 toward your college education! Here’s how it works:
If you haven’t already, complete a profile in ScholarshipQuest at EducationQuest.org. ScholarshipQuest is a scholarship search tool with over 2,000 Nebraska-based awards.
If you are a Nebraska resident in grades 9-12, you will see the EducationQuest Scavenger Hunt Scholarship as one of the scholarships that will appear on your results page.
“Scavenge” around the EducationQuest website to find answers to questions in a survey.
EducationQuest will draw a winner from those who answer all questions correctly. The winner will receive $500 to invest in a NEST 529 College Savings Plan.
March “To Do” List
___ If you haven’t already, complete your FAFSA!
___ Expect financial aid award notifications.
___ Continue applying for scholarships.
___ Register by March 3 for the April 8 ACT.
___ Register by April 7 for the May 7 SAT.
___ Attend the college fair in your area.
___ Schedule campus visits.