10 Steps to Make Your College Dream a Reality

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10 steps to making your college dreams a reality!

There are important thing to do over the summer if you want to go to school in the fall. The tasks listed below are common to most colleges, but check your acceptance letter or contact your college to see if there are any tasks specific to your college. To find out how to complete any of the tasks, call you admissions office, talk to your ETV coordinator, or do a Google search. For example, if you are attending Ohio State University and want to appeal your financial aid, search “Ohio State University financial aid appeal.”

  1. Contact your ETV coordinator over the summer! Coordinators are here all summer to help you with any challenges. You can always email your coordinator or schedule an appointment time and your coordinator will call you.
  2. Log on to your college’s personalized website. Most colleges now provide a website where you can check your financial aid status and other important deadlines.
    Note: Your username and password were probably sent with your acceptance packet or in a separate letter or email. If you can’t find your username and password, contact your school’s admissions office.
  3. Check the status of your financial aid.
  4. Complete the FAFSA and apply for financial aid if you haven’t already.
    • Check your most recent award letter and your school’s website to see whether there are additional steps you need to take to apply for aid.
    • Many of students have to complete verification. It’s very common and is nothing to worry about, but you should provide the documents ASAP so your financial aid can be processed!
    • If you have been working, you may need to provide tax returns. You do not pay to have your tax returns done. Locate an IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program near you at IRS.gov or call 2-1-1 to find tax preparation assistance.
    • You can read more about verification here
  1. Register for your college’s orientation. Many colleges now require summer orientations for all first-year students. Check what documents you are required to bring to orientation.
  2. Complete any placement tests. Some colleges require placement tests in math, reading, and writing. Some colleges do these tests at orientation.
  3. Complete any required housing forms, if your college offers housing. Most colleges require you to pay a housing deposit and complete a housing form in order to be eligible for on-campus housing, so do this ASAP!
  4. Check when tuition bills is issued. If you are not going to community college or you live in the dorms, there may be a gap between your Pell grant and other forms of aid you are receiving. This means you may owe the school money. It is very important that you take care of this as soon as possible. You don’t want to get to school and find out that you can’t afford to stay there.
  5. Check your college’s policy around health insurance. Colleges have different rules for which students are required to have health insurance, and whether you are automatically enrolled in the college’s health insurance plan.
    • Check your college’s requirements ASAP, since the college health plan can be very expensive
    • If you already have qualifying health insurance/Medicaid you may need to apply for a health insurance waiver.
  1. Submit other required paperwork and documentation.
    • Your college will expect to receive proof of your high school completion. Submit your final high school transcript and an official indication of your graduation to your college’s admissions office.
    • Especially if you are living on campus, your school’s health services will require evidence of your immunizations. Submit immunization records to health services.
    • Submit ETV paperwork. Once you have completed your FAFSA and registered for classes, you can ask your school to complete your ETV form (some schools submit this information electronically. Not sure? Ask your coordinator).



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