FAFSA? CSS? The Common App? Rolling admissions and early decisions? David Curtis, Associate Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences and Director of the CLASS Scholars program, tried to clear up some of the confusion about these terms and others by giving the 2017 CLASS Scholars and their families a crash course on the college application process last Thursday evening. The presentation covered basics about the college search, including where and how to research colleges to find matches in terms of interest and affordability. From there the discussion went into applying for colleges and finding financial resources from grants to scholarships. Tennessee Promise and the Hope Scholarship were given an overview, as well as other local foundations, like the Scarlett Foundation and the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee, both of which help fund the college dreams of local scholars.
And after all the preparation and application, the Scholars were told, to quote Tom Petty, “the waiting is the hardest part.” Though you might hear about admissions decisions early depending on how you apply and your destination university’s policies, you’re likely not going to get the full picture of admissions and financial aid until Spring of your Senior year.
And once the decision is made, there is yet more to do, including enrollment deposits, housing arrangements, and the all-important decisions about how that last summer before college will be spent. At the end of the evening, the Scholars had a lot more to think about, including the realization that, as one of them put it, “we’re almost done, aren’t we?”