Consider This:

What types of financial aid packages does the school offer?

Are any tuition increases planned in the next few years?

What kind of work opportunities are available on campus?

What are the deadlines for submitting financial aid forms?

How will outside scholarships affect my aid package?

What state financial aid programs do I qualify for?

Is there a payment installment plan?

Resources

Florida Shines (www.floridashines.org) - Check your Bright Futures eligibility, create a 4-Year Plan, Search for Colleges/Careers

Florida State Grants & Scholarships (www.floridastudentfinancialaid.org) - Get up-to-date information about Bright Futures Scholarships and other Grants available to Florida students

Scholarships.com Easy Reference Guide for High School Juniors - Calendar outlining important dates and deadlines for junior year

Junior Checklist: Preparing to Apply

FALL/WINTER

Start with you: Make lists of your abilities, social/cultural preferences, and personal qualities. List things you want to study and do in college.

- Start to think about your college choices. Make an appointment with your guidance counselor to talk about your options. Conduct a free college search online at www.fastweb.com or www.collegeboard.org.
-Sign up to hear college speakers in guidance.
-Sign up to take the PSAT  - October
-Start to learn about financial aid. Read the Department of Education's Funding Your Education (about federal aid programs) and visit www.fafsa.ed.gov or www.finaid.org/calculators.

SPRING

-Take the ACT and/or SAT (fee waivers are available for those students in financial need). High scores increase your chance of winning scholarships, so you may want to take the tests again next fall if you are not pleased with your score.
-Request brochures/application information from your top college choices and visit their websites.

SUMMER

-Visit prospective colleges over  the summer. Ask college friends about their college experiences.
-If you are an athlete planning to continue playing a sport in college, register with the NCAA Clearinghouse (www.ncaaeligibilitycenter.org).
-Create a resume - a record of accomplishments, activities, and work experiences since you started high school.
-Find a full-time or part-time job, or participate in a camp or summer college program.
-Check application dates for the colleges to which you will apply. Some large universities may have early dates or rolling admissions.