5 ‘Must Do’ Tips This Holiday Season for College-Bound High School Seniors

December 19, 2018 |

Mankato, Minn. – As high school students get excited for a week or more off from school and getting together with family over the holidays, here are five “must do” tips for high school seniors during the break to stay on top of the college search and ensure they won’t have to panic once school starts again, courtesy of Minnesota State University, Mankato Director of Admissions Brian Jones:

  • Turn everything in – applications for admission, scholarship applications, etc. Even if there are no deadlines or if the deadlines are later in the year you should get these things done now so that you can focus on choosing the right school in the spring.
  • Get in line – Make sure to have the FAFSA® (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) submitted to the federal processor and reserve a space with on-campus housing. Need-based financial aid dollars and the most popular residence hall rooms get awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis. You’ll will want to have the most and best options available when deciding where to enroll.
  • Check your email – Colleges send lots of mail and email and some of it is critically important. Go back through all of your email accounts to make sure you didn’t miss an important message from your school of choice. There might be a deadline or scholarship opportunity that slipped past when you were busy studying for your math test that you don’t want to miss out on!
  • Plan a follow-up visit – The winter and spring are going to get really busy during your senior year so it’s good to have a plan. Think hard about what other information you need to make a decision: information about the major you’re interested, trying the food in the cafeteria or figuring out just how far of a walk you will have to class in the winter. Then plan another visit to campus and schedule a meeting with a faculty member, eat lunch in the cafeteria and take a tour or walk around during a different season of the year.

  • Work smarter, not harder – It is very difficult to do all of these things at 10 different colleges. You need to get serious about narrowing your choices and limit yourself to your top two to four schools. You have to make a decision eventually and it will be easier to get the follow-up information you need about a limited list of potential options.

According to Jones, teenagers have enough stress in their life and choosing a college is a part of it. It’s a big decision, he says, but it doesn’t have to have one “right” choice and a series of “wrong” ones.

“If you are engaged in the process and thinking ahead you can make a decision you’ll feel good about and finish high school excited about the future,” says Jones.

Students interested in more information from Minnesota State Mankato may learn more by:

Minnesota State Mankato, a comprehensive university with 14,227 students, is part of the Minnesota State system, which includes 30 colleges and seven universities.