Checklist for High School Seniors going on to College (From the Iowa College Aid Insider)

Make sure you're ready for college by the end of the year with this checklist:

  • Review coursework with your school counselor.
  • Complete and submit the FAFSA
  • File the Iowa Financial Aid Application.
  • Register for the ACT/SAT retake if needed.
  • Prepare a final list of colleges and submit applications.
  • Ask the Guidance Office to send official transcripts to colleges.
  • Compare acceptance letters and financial aid awards.  Also check with your college for the scholarship priority deadline date.  
  • Choose your college and mail your commitment deposit check - deadline is often May 1.
  • Take AP exams. 

How to get a great letter of recommendation (Insights from The Iowa College Aid Insider). 

  1. Pick the right person. Approach someone who knows you well. A teacher or extracurricular advisor is a good option, but don't limit yourself to school. A religious leader or community project organizer can also provide strong recommendations. 
  2. Ask early (at least a week in advance).  Don't wait until the end of the semester, when teachers and other school professionals are flooded with requests.  Request early, and give them plenty of time. 
  3. Ask in person. If possible, pop the question in person and explain what the letter is for and when you need it. Make sure the person knows why you chose them. 
  4. Give your letter writer everything they need.  Make your letter writer's life easier and give them all the details they need. (Mrs. Bosma requests your resume so she can include important information about you in the letter she writes for you.) Is there a word or page limit? Do you need more than one letter? Do she/he need to submit the letter online or by mail?  Give the letter writer the school or scholarship description and highlight characteristics and achievements the writer could mention.