Thanksgiving is a time for being thankful and spending time with family and friends. It has also become a time for people to go shopping and taking advantage of the deal at the “Black Friday” sales. For college-bound students, no matter their age, it is a great time to work on items that can help the college admissions process.
- Work on college applications. Some college application deadlines have passed, but there are still many colleges accepting applications. There are quite a few application deadlines on Nov. 30, including University of California and California State University. Students should take this extra time they have away from school to complete their applications and get the applications in before the deadline. Students will not want to miss the deadlines because many colleges will not accept applications after the deadline.
- Learn about colleges. In addition to the internet and college publications, many students will have college information resources at Thanksgiving dinner. If students are spending Thanksgiving dinner with anyone who has attended college, it is a great time to learn about the colleges they attended and their experiences. Even if the individuals attended a college the student would never consider, it is a great opportunity to learn about the type of colleges they attended (public, private, religious, etc.). Not all colleges are the same, but hearing first-hand experiences may open students’ eyes to other institutions they may have never considered.
- Volunteer. Volunteering your time feels good. Meaningful volunteer activities are also great experiences for college-bound students. Volunteering is a learning experience and can look great on college and scholarship applications. Many organizations need extra volunteers during the Holiday season.
- Homework. Four days away from school is a great time to organize and review assignments and deadlines. If assignments are coming up, why not spend a little time during the break to get ahead? College admissions committees consider many things when making admissions decisions, but grades play a huge role in the decision process.
- Search and apply for scholarships. No matter where students are in the college search process, most know college is expensive. Most colleges cannot offer full-ride scholarships. The majority of students will have to pay out-of-pocket for some of their education. Scholarships, no matter how small, are helpful when figuring out how to pay for college. There are many scholarships out there open to students of all ages (including students in elementary school). Thanksgiving break is a great time to start looking and applying for scholarships. For example, this list provides 83 college scholarships and contests with deadlines in December.
Thanksgiving break is a wonderful time to recharge and connect with family and friends. Students deserve the time off. However, college-bound students should also take advantage of some of their time off to prepare for college.
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