College Planning Bulletin
A monthly college planning guide for Nebraska high school students
Seniors … it’s decision time!
Follow our advice to decide on the college that’s the right fit for you.
First, compare your college acceptance letters, financial aid award notifications and campus visit notes. Write down pros and cons for each school you’re considering using the following criteria:
Location – Is the college too close? If you come home every weekend, you won’t experience true campus life. Is the college too far away? If so, you may not make it home as often as you’d like.
Cost – Can your family afford the school? What can you expect for financial aid beyond your freshman year? Did you receive renewable scholarships? How much in student and parent loans will you need to cover expenses?
Academic program – Does the college offer the program that interests you? What happens if you change majors? Does the college offer other programs that interest you?
Student life – Does the school offer activities you will enjoy? Do you like the living arrangements provided by the school? Will you have an opportunity to work on or near campus?
Make your final decision by May 1 – and then notify the colleges you’re rejecting so they can offer your spot, and any financial aid, to another student.
Juniors … start looking for scholarships
Follow these tips to begin the scholarship application process:
Start searching! Check in often with your school counselor, and visit free sites including ScholarshipQuest at EducationQuest.org with over 2,000 Nebraska-based scholarships.
Get involved in extracurricular activities and community service - a critical component for many scholarships. Track your involvement using the Activities Resume at EducationQuest.org.
Do your best to get good grades in school and good scores on ACT/SAT exams. These factors are especially important for college-based scholarships.
Determine if you will qualify for need-based scholarships by completing the College Funding Estimator at EducationQuest.org.
Learn about scholarships and tuition assistance programs offered by colleges that interest you. Programs such as Collegebound Nebraska at the University of Nebraska, NSCS Advantage offered by the Nebraska State College System, and Access NWU at Nebraska Wesleyan University, cover the cost of tuition if you meet income and academic criteria.
If you receive offers for scholarship and financial aid services, investigate them if they charge a fee. EducationQuest will help you complete financial aid forms for free and will guide you to free scholarship resources. To learn more, talk to your school counselor or contact EducationQuest.
College Fairs coming up in Omaha and Lincoln
If you live near, or plan to visit, Omaha or Lincoln on the following dates, attend a college fair!
The Omaha Area College Fair is Sunday, March 20 from 1-3 p.m. at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, Sapp Fieldhouse.
The Lincoln Area College Fair is Sunday, April 10 from 1-3 p.m. at Southeast Community College in Lincoln.
If you plan to attend, register for a barcode at NebraskaCollegeFairs.org. Print the barcode and take it to the fair so that college reps can scan it to retrieve your demographic information.
April “To Do” List
___ Continue applying for scholarships.
___ Start purchasing dorm essentials now to avoid sticker shock in August.
___ Start looking for a summer job.
___ Register by April 8 for the May 7 SAT.
___ Register by May 6 for the June 11 ACT.
___ Schedule campus visits while colleges are still in session.
___ Start looking for scholarships.
For free help with college planning, contact EducationQuest Foundation:
Kearney Lincoln Omaha
308-234-6310 402-475-5222 402-391-4033
800-666-3721 800-303-3745 888-357-6300
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