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2019 September College Planning Checklist for High School Students

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Wisconsin High School Seniors Turn to our College Prep Advisors for Information & Tips on Financial Aid 

Milwaukee college prep consultants understand planning for college can be an overwhelming experience for high school seniors. Not only do you have to learn in class, but your time spent outside of school has to be balanced between extra curricular groups, your possible part time job, personal life and learning as much as you can about the colleges you're interested in! With Integrated College Planning, its easy to:

Our Wisconsin college prep advisors have compiled a list of the most important college planning events high school seniors should be aware of in September. Read below for the college planning Milwaukee students and parents rely on for a smooth college application process.

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1. How to Get Organized for College

Organization is the key to success when it comes to college planning. The overwhelming amount of paperwork and deadlines make it easy to miss something important.  Here are a few ideas to begin organizing your college prep materials:

  • Make a list of prospective schools: Research colleges and universities with qualities you're looking for, whether that's location (close to home, across the country, even international), class size, scholarships available, or types of majors/degrees offered. Don't be afraid to include private colleges or schools outside your price range. With the right financial aid, you can go to your dream school.
  • Mark your calendar: Get a calendar and mark deadlines for admission, registration, and financial aid. Having this information in one place makes it easy to see what needs to be done when. 
  • Sort paperwork: It’s a good idea to get separate folders for each college you are applying to.  Separating applications, brochures, and other paperwork helps you keep track of what has been done and what still needs to be completed. It is also helpful to have folders dedicated strictly to Wisconsin financial aid information and scholarship information.
Prep for College

2. Registering for the ACT or SAT

If you haven’t taken the ACT or SAT by now you should begin the registration process. If you have completed the exam during your junior year, but did not receive the score you hoped, register for a retake. A few things to remember when registering:

  • Check with prospective colleges to see if they prefer results from the ACT or SAT. 
  • Take a test prep course to be fully prepared and comfortable when test day comes around. 
  • Use study guides specifically made for ACT or SAT prep if you choose not to take a prep course.
ACT & SAT Registration in Wisconsin

3. When to Start Applying to Colleges

Applying to colleges is a process which requires time and patience. There are several parts of the application process to remember and prepare for and if you start in September, its easy to complete everything you need:

  • Fill out applications completely and with the most up to date information.
  • Gather recommendation letters from employers, teachers, and guidance counselors to send along with your application.
  • Begin writing the first draft of college essays to send with your application. It is a good idea to begin this process early as it often takes quite a bit of refinement before your college essay is perfected.
Most Important Factors of College Applications

4. The Best Time to Apply for College Scholarships in High School

There are hundreds of scholarships available to help you with tuition, supplies, and text books. Applying for Wisconsin college grants in September increases your chances of receiving free money! When applying for scholarships or grants remember:

  • Edit application essays several times to make sure your thoughts are well represented and organized. Have a teacher or parent help in the editing process as well. 
  • Send applications in by or before the deadline. There are no second chances when applying for scholarships or grants, so mark down those deadlines and stick to them. Getting your application in prior to the deadline shows college admissions you’re organized, on top of your game and motivated to get in.
How to Pay for College without Parents' Help

5. When to Tour a College Campus

You know what schools you're interested in, but do you know what they're really like? Find out whether the schools on your list have special visit events for prospective students as soon as possible - students who plan tours in September won't have to compete for touring spots in the following months. It will also give you more time to reflect on your different options. 

  • Register to attend: It's the perfect opportunity to meet faculty, staff, and students and get a feel for the school.
  • Personal visit: If you can't make it to an event, contact the admissions department to arrange an individual visit, which could include a campus tour, shadowing a student, visiting a class, and meeting with an instructor.
Wisconsin College Planning Advisors

6. Planning for College in High School? Turn to Integrated College Planning.

Attending a Wisconsin college planning seminar provides you with valuable information on all aspects of the college planning process. In addition to college funding workshops, utilize your high school’s resources. 

  • Going to college info nights at your high school to meet representatives from your prospective colleges. You can learn a lot about the colleges you are interested in. Finding out their specific expectations and preferences in the application process gives you an advantage over the competition. 
  • Talk to your guidance counselor for information about the college application process. Your counselor will be able to tell you about various scholarships, grants and financial aid which are available. 
  • Go to a free Wisconsin college financial aid workshop: Our college planning experts offer financial aid help and college funding assistance for families throughout Wisconsin, including Brookfield, Milwaukee, Waukesha, Pewaukee, and Madison.

Milwaukee College Prep Advisors Share College Planning Knowledge

Our Wisconsin college prep advisors ensure your college application process goes as smooth as possible. Our extensive knowledge makes us uniquely qualified to help high school students of all ages through each stage of the Wisconsin college planning process. We share our expert college prep and Wisconsin college financial aid information to provide you with the best chance of getting into your college of choice. Talk to the college planning consultants at Integrated College Planning for more valuable college prep information.

View the October college planning checklist to see more of our monthly college planning guide.

Contact our Wisconsin college grants and financial aid consultants today and get a jumpstart on the application process.
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