After all the transcript-forwarding, SAT-prepping, and essay-editing, students who’ve sent in their college applications may find themselves with a strange sense of… loss. Now all there is to do is wait. Right? For those who aren’t able to sit patiently until decisions roll out in mid-March, here’s a few things to do with all that spare time:
- Get your financial aid information sorted out. Students who hope to get grants, loans, or work study money should fill out the FAFSA and any other school-specific forms in the coming months. These are often the most complicated and irritating forms a student (or a student’s family) will have to fill out, but they’re also crucial to helping pay for college. Get an early start.
- Apply for fellowships, grants, and scholarships. It’s not too late to search for other ways to fund your college education. For example, Johns Hopkins’s Woodrow Wilson Undergraduate Research Fellowship awards $10,000 to incoming freshman to conduct original research; its application deadline is March 1.
- Keep your grades and activities up for the mid-year reports. Many schools ask for updated transcripts and/or mid-year reports. This is not the time to slack off in class — nothing is more distasteful to an admissions committee than a student who professes to love learning, but whose grades start sinking once applications are turned in.
- Don’t pester admissions offices with questions. Schools will almost always send an email saying that an application is complete, or if any materials are missing — although this may not happen for a couple weeks, as admissions offices have thousands of files to sort through. Don’t call the office to find out if they got your extra recommendation letter, or your SAT scores; they’ll let you know if they didn’t. And if there’s one group you don’t want to get on the wrong side of, its the admissions team.