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Blog: Summertime College Prep Tips!

It's that time of year again - summertime! While this is a great time of year (Pools! BBQs! Bonfires!) to have fun, it's important to not lost sight of what's ahead come August - that's right, back to school! Whether you're still in high school, or you're getting ready for your first year in college, there are few ways you can be preparing for college in the summer! 

If you're still in high school...

  • Go on a college visit. Think you know where you may want to go to school? Call them up and schedule a visit. Walk around the campus, talk with teachers, visit the Student Union or Fitness Center - going on a visit to experience the college is a great way to know if it's a right fit for you! 

  • Work a summer job. Working during the summer is a great way to build workplace skills, work with a team, and make money before heading into school. 

  • Start identifying what area of study you want to focus on. Check out pages 10-13 of the Junior Achievement of Kansas' College & Career Guide to take your Holland Code assessment. It's a great way to start identifying what you may be interested in for a career! 

  • Start making a list of scholarships that are and will be available to you - it is never too soon to start identifying ways to save money! The Big Future Scholarship Search is a good place to start identifying scholarships that are available to you!

  • Speaking of money, it's never too early to start making a budget for college. Talk to your parents, teachers, mentors about what you think you can afford and will need money for. 

If you're going into your freshman year...

  • Be working a summer job. Starting your freshman year with hard-earned money will give you a great start! 

  • Make sure you've filled out your FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). The deadline to fill out your FAFSA is June 30 after the year you are requesting financial aid for, but the earlier you fill out this form, the more chances you have to receive scholarships, grants, loans, and other forms of financial aid. Fill out your FAFSA and learn more HERE

  • Keep applying for scholarships. There are all sorts of scholarships with different deadlines - use the Big Future Scholarship Search tool to find out what is available to you. 

  • Start packing for your first year! You may have everything you need, and you may need to buy a few new things. Here is a great resource to start identifying what you need for that first year! 

  • Identify your budget for your first year of college. Heading into college with a plan can eliminate taking unneccesary financial aid, help you identify if you need a part-time job or not, and allows you to still budget for fun while affording your first year! Check out this budget worksheet as a starting place. .

  • Once you move in, walk your class schedule once or twice before your schedule starts. You don't want to be late your first day! 

  • Train your brain - humans are creatures of habit. Start waking up for your "first class" two weeks early so by the time your first day rolls around, you're not tired!