You’re into the swing of classes and the semester is well underway. If you’ve applied early to college, you might have already heard back by now! If not, that’s okay, you’ve still got time.

Either way, you’ve got a lot of work to do this month.

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1) Finish Your FAFSA

Although the Federal Aid deadline is June 30th, 2016 it is crucial that you submit your FAFSA as soon as possible. Not only do states and colleges have their own deadlines, but most schools require a completed FAFSA in order to award financial aid.

Many states offer aid on a first come first served basis so it’s always a good idea to apply early before funds run out.

Be sure to do this for additional financial aid forms, such as the CSS (College Scholarship Service) Profile.

Read: 7 Ways to Be Prepared for FAFSA

2) Check-In with Your Guidance Counselor

From now and until you graduate, it’s a good idea to check-in with your guidance counselor at least once throughout the semester.

Your guidance counselor can not only help ensure you’re on track to graduate, but also offer valuable insight on your college choices and admissions decisions.

3) Keep in Touch With Admissions

Colleges want to admit students who are likely to matriculate. This means students who have visited the campus, completed an interview (if required) and been in contact with admissions. Demonstrating interest can tip the scale in your favor if you are a borderline candidate. Try tips like:

  • Email a regional admissions representative at each college you haven’t heard from.

  • Contact an admissions officer to update them on your new academic achievements this semester.

  • Nothing to brag about? Call or email an admissions officer and ask what you can do to bolster your candidacy.

4) Thank Your Fans

Still waiting to hear back from some your colleges? Turn that anxiety-inducing waiting game into something positive!

Take some time to thank and appreciate your biggest supporters. Thank your college counselors and teachers for writing letters of recommendation and supporting you throughout your high school career. Not only will you feel good about it, but it’ll get your mind off of waiting.

5) Research Scholarships

Remember that January New Year's resolution we talked about? Keep it up.

With so much going on your last semester, it’s easy to forget the small things like scholarship applications.

However, most scholarships are surprisingly easy to apply for; it literally pays to be vigilant about researching and applying for scholarships. As you slowly receive financial aid from your dream schools, a scholarship can mean the difference between attending, or not.

Check your school's’ listings, which come trickling in throughout the winter and spring. If your school uses the college counseling software program Naviance, use it to search for scholarships.
If you have applied to schools that offer merit scholarships and the deadlines haven’t yet passed, get on it!

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Earlier in the series:
January College Checklist for High School Seniors
December College Checklist for High School Seniors
November College Checklist for High School Seniors

Authored by Gilmar Rosas

Gilmar works with American Honors and covers tips on how students can excel both inside and outside the classroom.