The college application process has been a near full time occupation since I blogged back in October. No matter how responsible your high school senior, I highly recommend a team effort within the family. Too many details and deadlines to keep track of alone on top of academics and extracurriculars. I foolishly thought the main job was accomplished when the final application was submitted before Christmas. You should basically set aside all of January to gather your financial records, file the FAFSA with preliminary information, complete your tax return, amend the FAFSA with final information, complete the even longer Profile, make sure your child is finding any and all scholarship opportunities and writing the necessary essays(yes….more essays), writing thank you notes to interviewers, setting up access to and regularly checking portals, confirming receipt by admissions of all required documents, updating applications for first semester grades and last minute SAT, Subject Tests or ACT results from the Dec exam. Oh, is your child considering sports? Don’t forget to register with the NCAA and request official SAT/ACT test results for them also. Basically it’s a follow up nightmare but all worthwhile when the first acceptance arrives and you know that your child is at least going to college. Steady yourself for the heartbreak of the horrible reject letter. I hope your child escapes the reject experience, but in this era of state budget problems and reduced enrollment, it’s not likely. The UC system announces next week on the 15th and the remaining Private schools will be soon too. Can you believe it’s still not over? Now we have to make final school visits. I truly pray that your child opts for early decision and you can enjoy a relaxing and peaceful January and February.
From a wiser but wearier financial planner