College Admissions Glossary of Terms

College Admissions Glossary of Terms


The college application world has a lingo all its own with terms like “FAFSA,” “Early decision,” and “High School Code Number.” I have listed below all the college preparation and application terms you need to know to help you talk like a native.

The College Admissions Glossary of Terms is available as part of the Preparing for College Checklists. You can sign up below to receive all of the college checklists and the Glossary of College Application terms.

For more College Preparation Help:

The Complete Guide to Paying for College

High School Senior Checklist

High School Junior Checklist


college admissions glossary

College Admissions Glossary: All The Terms You Need to Know


A standardized college admission test. It features four main sections: English, math, reading and science — and an optional essay section.


Also known as college entrance exams, these are tests designed to measure students’ skills and help colleges evaluate how ready students are for college-level work. The ACT and the College Board’s SAT are two standardized admission tests used in the United States. The word “standardized” means that the test measures the same thing in the same way for everyone who takes it.


Many colleges will require a non-refundable application fee. Waivers are available for students who are unable to pay the fee.


An agreement between two-year and four-year colleges that makes it easier to transfer credits between them. It spells out which courses count for degree credit and the grades you need to earn to get credit.


A two year degree granted after satisfactory completion of study at a community/junior college or some four year colleges.


An agreement many colleges follow that gives applicants until May 1 to accept or decline offers of admission. This agreement gives students time to get responses from most of the colleges they have applied to before deciding on one.


A measurement of how your academic achievement compares with that of other students in your grade. This number is usually determined by using a weighted GPA that takes into account both your grades and the difficulty of the courses


A standard application form accepted by members of the Coalition for Access, Affordability, and Success. You can use this application to apply to any of the more than 90 colleges and universities that are members of the Coalition.


An essay that a college requires students to write and submit as part of their application. Some colleges offer applicants specific questions to answer, while others simply ask applicants to write about themselves. Colleges may refer to this as a “personal statement.”


A standard application form accepted by all colleges that are members of the Common Application association. You can fill out this application once and submit it to any one — or several — of the nearly 700 colleges that accept it. Go to the Common Application.


A process of allowing high school students to take college-level courses that can be transferred to a college for credit.


The number of hours assigned to a class. You need a certain number of credits to graduate with a degree. Colleges may also grant credit for scores on exams, such as those offered by the College Board’s AP Program® and CLEP.


A financial aid form required by many colleges, universities and private scholarship programs in addition to the FAFSA. CSS/PROFILE is used in awarding private financial aid funds. Students pay a fee to register for the CSS/PROFILE and have reports sent to institutions and programs that use it


Permission from a college that has accepted you to postpone enrolling in the college. The postponement is usually for up to one year.


A delay by a school in making a decision to accept or deny a student. The applicant will be notified is they have been deferred.


An option to submit your applications before the regular deadlines. When you apply early action, you get admission decisions from colleges earlier than usual. Early action plans are not binding, which means that you do not have to enroll in a college if you are accepted early action. Some colleges have an early action option called EA II, which has a later application deadline than their regular EA plan.


An option to submit an application to your first-choice college before the regular deadline. When you apply early decision, you get an admission decision earlier than usual. Early decision plans are binding. You agree to enroll in the college immediately if admitted and offered a financial aid package that meets your needs. Some colleges have an early decision option called ED II, which has a later application deadline than their regular ED plan.


The amount a student’s family is expected to pay toward the cost of college.


The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a form that all students to be considered for federal financial aid. Many colleges also require it for their in-house aid. For more FAFSA terms and information see How to Complete Your FAFSA.


Money given or loaned to you to help pay for college. Financial aid can come from federal and state governments, colleges, and private organizations.


A letter from a college or other financial aid sponsor that tells the student how much aid is being offered. The award letter also usually explains how a student’s financial need was determined, describes the contents of the financial aid package, and outlines any conditions attached to the award


A number that shows overall academic performance. It’s computed by assigning a point value to each grade you earn. See also Weighted Grade Point Average.


The six-digit code number assigned to every high school by the American College Testing Program (ACT) and the College Board (SAT) for purposes of school identification. The number is required on all ACT and SAT registration forms, as well as college applications and many scholarship applications.


A college applicant with a relative (usually a parent or grandparent) who graduated from that college. Some colleges give preference to legacy applicants (also called “legacies”).


A letter written by a high school teacher, counselor, or other adult recommending the student for admission.


Financial aid based on the student’s achievements whether academic, athletic, musical, or other achievement.


Financial aid awarded based on the student’s financial need.


A policy of making admission decisions without considering the financial circumstances of applicants.


A tool on college websites that helps students calculate what they will actually pay each year for college at that school. The federal government requires schools to post this calculator.


A policy of accepting any high school graduate, no matter what his or her grades are, until all spaces in the incoming class are filled. Almost all two-year community colleges have an open-admission policy.


Tests that measure the academic skills needed for college-level work. They cover reading, writing, math and sometimes other subjects. Placement test results help determine what courses you are ready for and whether you would benefit from remedial classes.


The date by which your application — whether it’s for college admission, student housing or financial aid — must be received to be given the strongest consideration.


The college official who registers students. The registrar may also be responsible for keeping permanent records and maintaining your student file.


The standard admission process and timeline for a school.


An admission policy of considering each application as soon as all required information (such as high school records and test scores) has been received, rather than setting an application deadline and reviewing applications in a batch. Colleges that use a rolling admission policy usually notify applicants of admission decisions quickly.


The College Board’s standardized college admission test. It features three main sections: math, reading and writing, which includes a written essay.


Hour-long, content-based college admission tests that allow you to showcase achievement in specific subject areas: English, history, math, science and languages. Some colleges use Subject Tests to place students into the appropriate courses as well as in admission decisions. Based on your performance on the test(s), you could potentially fulfill basic requirements or earn credit for introductory-level courses.


The status of a second-year student. A college may grant sophomore standing to an incoming freshman if he or she has earned college credits through courses, exams or other programs.


A method of paying for college through borrowing money. For more information about student loans see The Complete Guide to Paying for College.


The official record of your course work at a school or college. Your high school transcript is usually required for college admission and for some financial aid packages.


A student who enrolls in a college after having attended another college.


A college student who is working toward an associate or a bachelor’s degree.


A standard application form accepted by all colleges that are Universal College Application members. You can fill out this application once and submit it to any one — or several — of the more than 3,044 colleges that accept it. Go to the Universal College Application.


The list of applicants who may be admitted to a college if space becomes available. Colleges wait to hear if all the students they accepted decide to attend. If students don’t enroll and there are empty spots, a college may fill them with students who are on the waiting list.


A grade point average that’s calculated using a system that assigns a higher point value to grades in more-difficult classes. For example, some high schools assign the value of 5.0 (instead of the standard 4.0) for an A earned in an AP class.

The College Admissions Glossary of Terms is available as a FREE Printable with the Preparing for College Checklists. You may access the entire packet of college preparation materials below.


Get your FREE copy of the Planning for College Checklists - Junior Year, Summer Before Senior Year, Senior Year, FAFSA, CSS-Profile, Scholarships, Dorm Shopping, Packing for the Move, and the Parent Survival Kit for College Drop Off and the Glossary of College Admissions Terms.

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How to Get the Best Deals on Textbooks and College Essentials

How to Get the Best Deals on Textbooks and College Essentials

How to Get the Best Deals on Textbooks and College Essentials


Oh my, but the costs of a college education never end. Tuition and room and board are only the beginning. Then the school bookstore wants $298 for a textbook and you need to set up an entire living situation for your darling college student. If you are going to have to buy all this stuff, you don’t want to waste a cent doing it. With one already in college and one beginning this fall, I have researched How to Get the Best Deals on Textbooks and College Essentials. Read on for a few tricks from a mamma who has been there.

For more Back to College Tips and Tricks: Back to College: the Essential Guide to Everything You Need to Know

how to save money on textbooks

How to Get the Best Deals on Textbooks and College Essentials


This post contains affiliate links, which means if you click on a link and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. For more information, see the full disclosure in the foot bar. 


The Best Deals on Textbooks


The first rule of buying textbooks is DO NOT log on to the university bookstore and put everything they recommend for the courses in your cart and check out. Your bill will be in the thousands and you will end up with materials your student does not need and that you have paid too much for. The school bookstore will put every resource related to the course that they carry. However, do print the list.

Next, go to Amazon. Search for the textbook. It helps to have the ISBN number (the little number on the back of every book above the bar code). If you do not have the ISBN number, make sure you search for the correct book by checking the title, authors, and edition. The best price will be to rent the textbook. Renting is a great option because your student will not have to think about what to do with the book at the end of the semester. They return it and are done with it. The drawback to renting textbooks is the risk of having to purchase the book if it is lost, damaged, or highlighted or written in “excessively.”

The next cheapest option is to purchase a used book. Because most of the textbook dealers list their books on Amazon, you can immediately see the prices from many different dealers.

If you like new books and don’t mind paying for them, Amazon also sells new textbooks.

As I have helped my kids purchase books, I start by checking Amazon. I write down the best price for renting and purchasing used books. Then I check other sites and the school bookstore. I almost always come back to Amazon, but occasionally there is a better deal somewhere else.

At the end of the semester or school year, list any books your student is finished with for sale on Amazon. You will get a much better price selling it yourself rather than taking what the school bookstore offers.



The Best Deals on Dorm Room Items


If you don’t want to spend too much on dorm room items, don’t over-buy. There are not many items that cannot be picked up later if your student needs them. Print out the free College Dorm Room Checklist. You do not need every item on the list or on any list. Lists are a guide of things to consider. When in doubt, don’t buy it yet.

There are a few stores we all think of when shopping for dorm items. They are listed below with strategies for shopping at each.



Nobody has cooler stuff than The Container Store. Anything you buy there will be of exceptional quality and will last all through college and beyond. The drawback is that their items are not cheap. Try to buy the more expensive items on sale (they rotate their sales on various products throughout the year.)  In addition all purchases over $75 are shipped free. Whether you are ordering online or going to the store, check out Raise for discounted gift cards. Most of the cards can be instantly downloaded, so once you fill your cart, go to Raise and buy a gift card at a discount, then use the gift cards to pay for your order. Cha-ching! Instant savings!!

Text CLASSOF2020 TO 22922 for 20% off your entire purchase between 7/16/20 and 8/16/20.




Everyone knows that BBB has 20% off one item coupons everywhere. They come in the mail. They are in magazines. They come via e-mail or text if you sign-up to receive promotional mail from them. In the stores you are able to use as many coupons as you would like in one transaction. Raise also sells BBB discounted gift cards for both online purchases and in store purchases.



I am a Target shopper. I am in there at least once a week. If you have not downloaded the Target app, do it now. It is worth the time each shopping trip to search for the discounts they are offering through the app. I can’t remember how long I have had the app, but my home screen shows I have saved $473 since I began using it. I also have a Target Redcard Debit card. When the checkout person asks if you would like to save 5%, say YES! There is no other credit or debit card offering this kind of benefit on every purchase with no limit. Again, check the Raise app for Target gift cards to increase your savings.



If you have never been to IKEA, book a trip. It is like Disney Land for furnishing and organizing small (or large) spaces. Their furniture is of good quality and is amazingly cheap. You will not beat their prices for so many items. They are a great spot for desks, tables, shelves, drawer units, rugs, and all things organizing.


Don’t forget Amazon for all your college needs. Is there anything they don’t have and have at a competitive price? Our family is Amazon Prime all the way. Free 2 day shipping on most everything they sell (plus many other benefits). I do not know how I would do Christmas without my Prime membership. Your student can use your membership while at school. They do not need their own. If you do not want a Prime membership, but your student could use one, an Amazon Prime Student is available for free for 6 months and then is half the price of the regular prime membership. I am excited about the [email protected] location. My son can receive packages and return things easily and securely with the Amazon lockers. It is also a rental book drop-off location. 



I recently found out about an online store called Dormify. Dormify was founded by a mother-daughter team who were frustrated with the lack of fashionable dorm bedding and decor. Check out Dormify and use the code LETSGETIT for 20% off your entire purchase.


I wish summer would last forever. I love having my kids around the house, but back to school and the cost of back to school is inevitable. Knowing How to Get the Best Deals on Textbooks and College Essentials will protect your wallet while you stock up on the things your kids will need for the school year is a necessity! There are several ways to squeeze every penny out of each purchase. Make your best deal with coupons, sales, tax-free weekends, and apps, then search for a discounted gift card from Raise before you check out.

What are your tips for Back to School Shopping?




The Dorm Shopping Checklist is TOTALLY FREE for members of the Almost Empty Nest Community!

The Dorm Shopping Checklist is part of the Almost Empty Nest Printables Library. Gain access by becoming an Almost Empty Nest Member. 

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Back to College:The Essential Guide

Back to College:The Essential Guide

Back to College: The Essential Guide


It’s almost here. Almost time to make the trek to college. From dorm and textbook shopping to planning for medical care away from home, it seems that there is more to do than there is time, so we better start planning. Back to College: The Essential Guide will give you all the information you need to prepare, pack, survive move in day without spending more than necessary, and embrace your empty nest.

Given the uncertainty of the entire college experience this year, it is paramount to prepare for that as well.

Back to college

Back to College: The Essential Guide


The Summer Before College

Before you say good-bye in August, spend some time preparing for the adjustment with your son or daughter. Navigating the Summer Before College by Dana E. Baker of Parenting in Real Life is a good place to start.

Shopping for the Dorm Room, Apartment, Textbook, and Other College Essentials:


Whether you are off to college for the first time or are a veteran, you likely will have some shopping to do. FREE Printable shopping lists for both dorms and apartments are available at the links below and below this post.

College Dorm Room Checklist.

New Apartment Checklist

Shannon of Skip to My Life has a wonderful video with Tips and Tricks for Organizing your Apartment. BONUS: All of the products she shows are from the Dollar Tree!

Melanie of Parenting High Schoolers shares  What Will Your Freshman Really Need in the Dorm? and also a list of Backpack Essentials.

And be sure to read How to Get the Best Deals on Textbooks and College Essentials for the skinny on how to get the best deals on textbooks and everything else on your list.

Packing and Surviving Move In Day:

After you have bought all of your stuff, you will need to pack it up and move it to school. Read about how to pack it all up, get it there, and how to survive move-in day.

How to Pack for the Move to College

Parent Survival Kit for College Drop Off

Another post to check out is Tips for a Great College Move In by Dana E. Baker of Parenting in Real Life.

College Parent Tips:


What if your college student gets sick? Whether it is a minor injury or a medical emergency, these posts will get you prepared.

Every student needs a small first aid kit in their room. This post will tell you how to make one:

How to Make The Best First Aid Kit for College

Unfortunately they may also need more than a first aid kit. Read about our experience when our son needed the emergency room and surgery at 3:30 on a Sunday morning while away at school in What to Do if Your College Student Has a Medical Emergency.


Care Packages:


While your college kid is away, be sure to send them plenty of care packages. Get tons of ideas from this list:

Care Package Ideas

Adjusting to an Empty Nest:

Start by taking the Empty Nest Super Power Quiz to find out how to embrace this new stage of life.

Read a great book about adjusting to the empty nest: The 10 Best Books for Empty Nesters

and follow the 8 Must Follow Instagram Accounts for Empty Nesters

Shannon Hale of Skip to My Life shares her empty nest experience is The Story Behind Skip to My Life.

She also shares some encouragement in her video Help for Empty Nest Moms.

Miranda Lamb of The Reluctant Cowgirl gives her tips for Coping When the Kids Leave Home.


No one ever said moving to college would be easy for the student or the parent. Thankfully we can help each other along by sharing our information and experiences. Share your best advice in the comments below to help other parents as they read Back to College: The Essential Guide.


The Dorm Shopping Checklist is TOTALLY FREE for members of the Almost Empty Nest Community!

The Dorm Shopping Checklist is part of the Almost Empty Nest Printables Library. Gain access by becoming an Almost Empty Nest Member. 

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What to do if your College Student has a Medical Emergency

What to do if your College Student has a Medical Emergency

What to do if your College Student has a Medical Emergency


It’s a parent’s worst nightmare. A call from your child (or worse, a call from someone else) explaining symptoms or injury requiring immediate medical attention. Preparing ahead of time and having a few things at your fingertips  (like a HIPAA authorization form) will help you stay calm if your College Student has a Medical Emergency.

We received this kind of phone call from our son 3 years ago. It was 3:30 in the morning and he had awakened with shaking chills, fever, and terrible lower abdominal pain. Less than an hour later he had been diagnosed with an appendicitis and my husband was on the road for the six hour drive to be with him.

What to Do if Your College Student has a Medical Emergency

Disclaimer: I am not an attorney, physician, or college official. Please do not consider this post as medical or legal advice or as an explanation of any school’s policies. Please contact the appropriate people for further clarification. 


Here are some steps to preparing for and handling, in the moment, a medical emergency involving your child who does not live near you:


Before your College Student has a Medical Emergency:

Make sure they have their health insurance card in an easily accessible place.

Either call your health insurer or carefully read the materials from your health insurer concerning seeking care in another city/state. Find out if there are “in-network” health care providers and facilities in the new college town. Our son is in another state, so fortunately, our health insurer allows us to seek emergency care anywhere and it will be classified as “in network” for the deductible and out-of-pocket portions of the bill. If there are “in-network” facilities where your child lives and your student goes somewhere else, you could be in for a large bill.

Consider executing a HIPAA release and a medical power of attorney with your child. Once your child is 18, you will need YOUR CHILD’S PERMISSION to access their medical information.  Hospitals and doctors are not allowed to discuss your child’s medical care with you without signed consent. I recently interviewed a physician about HIPAA forms and here is his take:

Every institution will prefer their own forms for HIPAA purposes, but it is a good idea for the person who will be making the decisions and/or paying the bill to have an executed HIPAA form on file to fax or e-mail if the medical provider/institution will not give you adequate information, especially over the phone. If the patient is unconscious, the provider will talk to the next of kin, but that can sometimes be difficult to determine. Divorces and other family situations can complicate “the next of kin” issue.

Tell your child to put you as the emergency contact and as a person with whom health care providers may share medical information when filling out ANY AND ALL medical forms.

Have your child fill our whatever forms they need to with the insurer before they go to college, so that you can discuss their bills with the insurer. Even though you are the “insured” and are paying the bills, an insurer is also not allowed to discuss their bills with you without their consent. This was a bit of an issue with us because our son needed to give notice within 24 hours of his emergency to get in network benefits. We ultimately got it straightened out and were given the correct benefits, but did have to argue a bit that we tried several times to call them. They were arguing that the notice had to be from our son!

Discuss with your child what campus clinics, urgent cares, free-standing ERs, and hospitals are available. Do you have an opinion about where they seek care?

If possible, select a local friend or family member, who can act as the emergency contact until you arrive.



Understand what a HIPAA and Medical Power Of Attorney Do and Do Not Do:

I have seen post after post and thread after thread with misunderstandings about HIPAA forms and Medical Powers of Attorney. These documents WILL NOT get you a call from a medical institution, the student’s dorm, or anyone else if your student is ill or seeks care. These forms will get you information WHEN YOU ASK FOR INFORMATION. 

There is not a place for you to file these forms on campus. You keep them with you and produce them should you ever need them to access information about your student.

A Medical Power of Attorney only goes into effect if the student is incapaciated and unable to make medical decisions for themselves.

As an adult, your student may also revoke your access to their medical information anytime they wish.

Remember: the student you send to college is just as much an adult in the eyes of the law as you are. It may seem crazy, but that is the way it is.


Communication with your student is everything

Discuss these issues with them before they go to school. Make sure they understand how limited your information will be without their cooperation. We have the kind of kids who call with every hangnail, but I have heard stories of kids who really want to adult and try to handle situations on their own that they really need help with.

Ask them to put you as the emergency contact on all of their forms, so if someone is looking for someone to call, they can contact  you.

Ask them if it would be ok for their roommate or other friend to call you if they are taken to the hospital or the friend judges it to be an emergency.

Assure them that whatever the issue is, they are not going to be in trouble for making you a part of a medical emergency even if the circumstances that led to the medical emergency are not something you would normally be happy about.

Try not to be too panicky or overly controlling when discussing these issues with your student. Most kids do not want surgery or serious testing without the support of their parents, but they may start to desire some privacy about mental health and other sensitive issues. Tell them that you trust them to call you when they need help.

What to do when you receive “the call”:

Determine what action your child should take when they call with “symptoms.” After 18 years, you are probably pretty good at interpreting your child’s voice and level of drama. Some kids will call hysterical because they have a splinter. Others will call and say, “I decided to jump off my raised bed and I fell on my arm. My arm is now a weird shape. Do you think I should show it to the pre-med student down the hall or do you think it is nothing?” (If it is just a splinter, send them to the first aid kit from The Best First Aid Kit for College.)

If you decide they should seek medical attention, remind them to take their insurance card with them and to PUT YOU AS THE EMERGENCY CONTACT and person to whom the doctor may give medical information.

Boys do not like to ask for help even if they are in incredible pain. But, depending on the situation, encourage your child to have a friend drive them. Our son drove himself to a free standing ER. The free standing ER made him call a friend to take him to the hospital. We are extremely grateful for the young man who came to his side at 4:00am.

The next step is the toughest: wait by the phone for your child or a doctor to call with news of what is wrong and what the next steps will be.

Find your HIPAA form in case you need it.

If you have a local friend or family member who can stay with your child until you get there, call them.

Plane, train, or automobile it to your child’s side.

Another mom’s experience (What if my child is unconscious?):

I recently interviewed my friend Rexann, who received this kind of call from an ER doctor. Her son played baseball for his college and had collapsed during a workout. He spent over a month in the ICU after a heatstroke and experiencing the breakdown of his muscles from a condition called rhabdomyolysis. He has since recovered thanks to the excellent care he received and the prayers of family, friends, and strangers far and near.

Rexann says they did not have an executed HIPAA document, but had no trouble receiving information from the doctors at the hospital even over the phone. The drive to the hospital was about 8 hours and she received information even on the way.

She had the same experience we did with her insurance company. They said they did not have permission to talk to her about her son because he was over 18. After repeatedly explaining to them that he was unconscious, they finally relented and talked to her about the financial side of things.

I also asked her if she had any advice for parents who find themselves in this situation. She said that there is no way to really prepare for the moment you receive that kind of call. As a sports mom she had dealt with many injuries and issues over the years and was not initially concerned to hear from an ER. Her only advice was to  stay calm because you will receive better information and the hospital staff will respond better to a calm person. 

Knowing What to do if your College Student has a Medical Emergency is a necessary part of the college preparation process. Neither you nor your student wants to be in this situation, but sometimes it is unavoidable. Take the necessary steps to be prepared.


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College Preparation Checklist for High School Seniors

College Preparation Checklist for High School Seniors


Get your FREE copy of the Planning for College Checklists - Junior Year, Summer Before Senior Year, Senior Year, FAFSA, CSS-Profile, Scholarships, Dorm Shopping, Packing for the Move, and the Parent Survival Kit for College Drop Off and the Glossary of College Admissions Terms.

College Preparation Checklist for High School Seniors


Senior Year is FINALLY HERE!! It’s time for an exciting year of lasts and firsts – last high school football game, first college application complete! It is going to be a crazy and busy year. To help you to stay organized and keep track of every application, scholarship, and every other aspect of finishing high school and beginning college,  I have prepared a College Preparation Checklist for High School Seniors. You may download your free Checklist for High School Seniors by clicking on the link above or below this post.

Other Helpful Posts:

College Preparation Checklist for High School Juniors.

7 Summer Musts Before Senior Year.

College Admissions Glossary of Terms

College Visit Checklist: 30 Must Ask Questions

The Planning for College Planner 

senior year checklist

College Preparation Checklist for High School Seniors


The senior year is here and it is time to finish strong and complete these steps.


  • Finish your college visits by the end of September. 
  • Make final decisions about about which schools to which you will apply. 
  • Gather all of the information you will need for each school’s application including all application requirements and all deadlines (admission, financial aid, supplemental department applications, scholarships). Set up a system for organizing all of your applications. The Planning for College Planner is the perfect solution. 
  • Apply for outside scholarships. Read How to Win Scholarships and Pay for College and An Interview with the Winner of over $126,000 in College Scholarships for advice about applying and winning!!
  • Fill out the FAFSA. The FAFSA is the only way to receive any federal aid or federal loans. Many schools require the FAFSA for in house aid as well. How to Complete Your FAFSA will give you the information you need to know.
  • After decisions are announced, make note of housing and other deposit deadlines.
  • Possibly attend Admitted Students’ Days at the schools you are trying to decide between.
  • Graduate from high school!!!
  • Send final transcript and anything else your school requires. 
  • Schedule your orientation.


The senior year is a fun-filled, but sometimes stressful time. This College Preparation Checklist for High School Seniors will help you get through it. Be sure to print out your checklist pack. It is available by subscribing below.

If you would like more college preparation checklists, calendars, and planning tools, go to the Planning for College Planner.


Get your FREE copy of the Planning for College Checklists - Junior Year, Summer Before Senior Year, Senior Year, FAFSA, CSS-Profile, Scholarships, Dorm Shopping, Packing for the Move, and the Parent Survival Kit for College Drop Off and the Glossary of College Admissions Terms.

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How to Win Scholarships and Pay for College

How to Win Scholarships and Pay for College

How to Win Scholarships and Pay for College


Wondering how to win college scholarships and pay for college? So did Monica Matthews.

When Monica Matthews’s son was a senior in high school, she wondered if she would have to go back to work full time to pay for his college education. But before sending out her resume, she decided she would do everything in her power to help her son win enough scholarship money to pay for college.

She partnered with her son in the research and application process and he was awarded so much scholarship money that she and her husband paid NOTHING for his education. She has compiled her knowledge and experience into her book How to Win College Scholarships: A Guide for Parents in 10 Easy Steps.


For more Scholarship and Financial Aid Posts:

Which Scholarship Search Sites are Worth Your Time?

How to Complete Your FAFSA

The Scholarship System Review


How to Win Scholarships and Pay for College

This post contains affiliate links. If you click on a link and make a purchase, I will receive (at no additional cost to you) a small commission, which helps pay for this blog. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Monica provides readers of How to Win College Scholarships with the “been there, done that” method that she used to help her own son win over $100,000 in scholarships to pay for college. The book includes a step-by-step guide that she has used over and over to teach desperate parents how to help their own students win thousands of scholarship dollars.

Her expertise will guide you and your child through the process of working together to research, apply for, and win scholarship dollars. Her unique system reveals that the key is the partnership between parent and child. She breaks the tasks down into easy to follow steps that the parent can do to assist in the applications without doing the applications for their student. She includes everything from how to organize your application procedures to exactly what kind of paper to buy to keep your child’s application packet at the top of any scholarship committee’s stack.

How to Win College Scholarships gives tips on letters of recommendations, essays, awards and honors, volunteering and leadership, and even how to keep track of your winnings. Monica advocates the S.M.A.R.T. system in every aspect of the application.

S = Share personal details

M = Market Yourself

A = Answer the Essay Question

R = Review Guidelines

T = Trusted Eyes (Have 2 people review the entire application before sending it.)


How to Win College Scholarships: A Guide for Parents in 10 Easy Steps will help you and your student apply the S.M.A.R.T. system to assure that the applications sent are the absolute best and will WOW every committee that views them.



Get your FREE copy of the Planning for College Checklists – Junior Year, Summer Before Senior Year, Senior Year, FAFSA, CSS-Profile, Scholarships, Dorm Shopping, Packing for the Move, and the Parent Survival Kit for College Drop Off

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