Several organizations are sponsoring essay and scholarship contests for primarily senior and high school students. The Essay is a very important tool that is used by most colleges, and it can make a difference in acceptance in colleges as well as access to scholarship funds. The purpose of the essay is to assist college admissions offices in evaluating your communication skills and to assess the clarity of your thought process in written form. A well-written essay can express your personal qualities, attitudes, feelings, imagination and creativity. It distinguishes you between others well beyond your SAT score, and it is a critical part of your package that you will submit to prospective colleges.
Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA): If you have a graduating senior, this application should already be in the mail. Many colleges also require a College Scholarship Service (CSS) profile form and/or the college’s own financial aid forms. Don’t procrastinate, because these forms all have priority deadlines. Approximately four weeks after your mail your FAFSA, you will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR). If you haven’t received an SAR by five weeks after mailing your FAFSA, call 319-337-5665 to check the status of your report. If you do not receive an offer from the college within several weeks after you receive your SAR, call the schools financial aid office.