Spring 2020: 12th Grade Checklist
Coronavirus has changed life as we know it. Here's what 12th graders need to know and do this spring to plan for their education after high school next fall.
SPRING 2020: 12TH GRADE CHECKLIST
☑ Keep learning.► Participate in any online learning opportunities your school offers. If your school isn’t offering options, use Khan Academy to continue learning new knowledge and skills.
► Read! Libraries may be closed, but you can download e-books to your device for free.
► Journal. Write, paint, draw or doodle. Document how you're spending your time or what you're thinking about during this time.
☑ Adjust your daily schedule.► Check your e-mail every day. Colleges will be sending you updates regularly. Read all of the messages that come from colleges where you have applied. They may contain important information about your application status, financial aid or links to help you get to know the campus and its people and programs. Take advantage of opportunities to connect with current students, staff and faculty.
► Follow colleges where you've applied on social media. Colleges are adding new posts including photos and videos that will help you learn more about the campus and programs.
► Take care of your mental, emotional, and physical health. Spend time connecting virtually with friends and family, get regular exercise, and get enough sleep.
► Help with the cooking and laundry. Offer to help with the grocery shopping (and maintain physical distancing while you do it!) You’ll be doing more of these next year, and now is a great time to practice your skills and help out during a difficult time.
☑ Review your options.► Look at the list of colleges where you applied. Are they still a good academic, social, and financial fit for you? Talk with your family about how the coronavirus impacts your options. It’s okay if the changes in the world have also changed your needs for next year.
► Apply to additional colleges as needed. Many colleges are still accepting applications, including all of Oregon’s community colleges and several public and private 4-year colleges. Remember to update your FAFSA or ORSAA with any additional schools you apply to.
☑ Continue applying for scholarships and financial aid.► The more scholarships you apply to, the more money you might have access to for college. Keep it up! Set aside some time every day to apply for scholarships.
► If you haven’t filed your FAFSA or ORSAA, there’s still time. Do it now. If you have questions, use the chat feature in the lower right hand corner on every Oregon Goes To College page, to talk with a financial aid expert.
► Oregon Promise applications are still due June 1 for students graduating from high school this spring. If you are considering attending an Oregon community college next fall and you are eligible for the Oregon Promise, you must complete the application by the deadline to receive the grant.
☑ File taxes.► The deadline for filing taxes is extended to July 15 this year. Financial aid awards are based on your and your parents tax information (federal and state) from previous years, so be sure to file on time. If you and your family are able to file by the typical April 15 deadline, you should still do so.
☑ Look for decision letters.► Oregon colleges are still on track to send out decision letters in April! Be sure to share your acceptances with counselors, parents and friends.
☑ Compare financial aid offers.► Compare financial aid offers carefully. Watch a brief video for help in comparing financial aid offers. Financial aid offers usually arrive shortly after acceptances. Use our Comparing Costs & Financial Aid fillable PDF worksheet or Google Doc.
► Have questions? Use the online chat feature in the bottom right hand corner of every page on Oregon Goes To College to ask general questions or for help to compare your offers. For specific questions about one of your offers, contact the college’s financial aid office.
► If your family’s financial circumstances have changed since you submitted your FAFSA or ORSAA, you can contact the financial aid office to ask for a review. Significant changes could include job loss or increased medical costs, including those caused by the COVID-19 outbreak.
☑ Get to know campus virtually.► Attend virtual information sessions and go on virtual tours, whether you’re deciding between two colleges, or just want to get more familiar with your first choice. Colleges may also be creating online discussion groups for admitted students. Join these and participate actively so you can get to know your future classmates. Follow the social media accounts of student groups or teams you're interested in joining.
☑ Decide where to attend.► Decision time! Think carefully and critically about the pros and cons for each school – consider size, academics, cost, extracurricular options and more. Use our Making Your College Decision worksheet or Google Doc.
► Celebrate your decision. Post a selfie with your plan for next year on your favorite social media platform with #itsaplan.
► Many colleges require a confirmation and initial deposit on May 1. Several colleges have extended their deadlines to June 1 for this year only. If you are deciding between multiple colleges whose deadlines are now different, contact the admissions office at the college with an earlier deadline to request an extension. They may be able to give you one, especially if your financial aid offers are still under review.
☑ Study for and take tests.► AP exams are coming up. This year, AP tests will be online, 45 minutes long, and test you on material that most students across the country would have learned through March. Take advantage of any practice tests your school provides, and participate in the free online, live review classes being offered by AP teachers from around the country.
► Community colleges often have placement tests, so check to see if you can take them online from home now while the material is still fresh.
► Get a good night’s sleep and eat breakfast on the day of the tests.
☑ Fill out forms.► Colleges will send information that you need to fill out by certain deadlines: accepting financial aid, loan paperwork, housing and meal plan forms if you’re living on campus, and registering for orientation and/or classes.
► Some of these forms may require you to sign and send back scanned copies. If you have a smart phone, you have a scanner! Use an app like Adobe Scan (iPhone | Android) or CamScanner (iPhone | Android).
☑ Say thank you.► Send your appreciation to scholarship providers, counselors, teachers, coaches, family – anyone who has supported you in getting to college.
☑ Start thinking ahead.Be prepared for the transition to college!
► Create a reasonable budget and a way to track your expenses.
► Explore who’s available to help you on college campuses.
► Make a packing and supply list.
► Know what to expect from college classes.
► Make plans to support your mental and physical health needs.