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The path to going to college is a very exciting one! As one of the high school school counselors, I absolutely love working with students and families to figure out what school is the right one, to help with attaining scholarships, and then seeing our kids walking across the stage at graduation knowing they are heading to the school of their dreams.

When it comes down to it the process of going from a high school senior to becoming a college freshmen is relatively easy. The tough part is making sure that things are done correctly, determining which college is the right fit, and students and parents are getting the best deal possible in attending that school. Here are a few things that really need to happen in order to make the college transition:

1. Visit the campus (junior year or throughout the senior year).

2. Apply for admission as early in the senior year as possible (August through October of the senior year).

3. Apply for housing if the student is planning on living in the dorms (ASAP after being accepted from a college).

4. Apply for scholarships from multiple sources, but most of all , investigate how to get as many scholarship from the colleges the student is applying to. These scholarship opportunities can be found on the financial aid page on the college’s website (Junior and Senior year),

5. Have all college entrance exams been taken? ACT? SAT? ALEKS? Check the admission requirements to determine what tests need to be taken.

6. Apply for financial aid by the priority deadline by using the FAFSA form as soon as possible after October 1st during the senior year.

7. Once award letters from all the schools have been received (January to March of the senior year) students will see a more detailed picture of what the costs of attendance will be and the financial aid package the college is offering.

8. Accept and decline the award letters. Let the colleges know if the student will be attending or not (Before May 1 of the senior year).

9. Set up a time for orientation at the school (Early summer after the senior year if at all possible).

10. Send a final high school transcript after graduation. Also, request transcripts from DMACC and/or ISU, if you have earned credits from those schools, to be sent to the college you are going to attend after high school.  You can do this by following directions on these pages:


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Gilbert Community School District

Gilbert Community School District

103 Mathews Drive, Gilbert, Iowa 50105  |  (515) 232-3740