College Avenue Student Loans Edvisors Private Student Loans
Home > Resources > Campus Life > Balancing Work & College > Working Your Way Through College

Working Your Way Through College

Attending college is a full-time job. You will have to work hard, (some of) you will play hard and all of you will sleep little. But before these years of independence come a few of preparation, and taking advantage of them can make attending college much easier. Between college research, school visits, standardized tests and financial aid research, the last two years of high school will go by in a flash. Use this time wisely, and you can avoid a whirlwind of responsibilities and missed opportunities. Before attending college, remember to prepare for the following:

The College Search

You will be spending the next few years of your life in college, so choose wisely. Don’t wait until the last minute to find out that the school you had hoped to attend just decided to tack on a new, exorbitant busing fee, or that it doesn’t offer your major of interest. Begin your college search process during the junior year, and follow up during the following fall semester. Visit schools, and consider academics, size, location, recreational opportunities and price before selecting and attending college.

The Applications

College applications deserve your fullest attention. Survey application requirements at your schools of interest during the spring semester of junior year, and be prepared to meet them well before deadlines approach. Admissions offices can be a mess during the final days of submission. To avoid lost papers and late (a.k.a. automatically disqualified) information, send materials at least one month before they are due. You should also use this time to seek out instructors who know you well and who are willing to write a recommendation for you. Last but not least, remember to visit your college advisor, and make sure that all credit requirements will be met before applying for and attending college.

The Standardized Tests

The drudgery of standardized test preparation is unavoidable. Whether you like it or not, most colleges will place some weight on your standardized test scores. Before taking your exams, borrow an ACT or SAT workbook from the library, or, if you choose to do so, take a standardized test prep class. Take your exam during the spring semester of your junior year. That way, you will have another chance to touch up less-than-perfect scores before applications are due. Attending college is a big deal; prepare accordingly.

The Financial Aid

One of the most overlooked parts of attending college, financial aid is vital to those who need assistance affording a college education. Before taking out thousands in loans, students should submit a FAFSA (applications may be found at FAFSA.ed.gov), complete a free college scholarship search, and visit a school financial aid office to find out about college-based assistance.

Latest College & Financial Aid News

College Admissions Deans’ Hopeful Message to the Class of 2021

July 2, 2020

by Izzy Hall

College admission requirements have already changed for the Class of 2021, as many schools have announced test-optional policies for the upcoming application period in the wake of widespread SAT and ACT test cancellations due to the coronavirus. Now, college admission deans have teamed up to sign a statement of empathy to rising high school seniors. Titled “Care Counts in Crisis”, this statement answers the questions of what college admissions teams are looking for in the applications of students who have been affected by the pandemic. [...]

New Menus for College Dining in Fall 2020

June 30, 2020

by Izzy Hall

The college dining hall – a place for food, friends and well-earned breaks. It’s known for a wide array of food bars, buffets, made-to-order stations and generous ice cream offerings. But for the Fall 2020 semester, the dining experience will undergo a reinvention to serve food safely amidst the novel coronavirus. What will the dining halls of the COVID-19 era look like? [...]

Paying for College during Coronavirus

June 26, 2020

by Susan Dutca-Lovell

If you're worried about how you will pay for college during the COVID-19 pandemic, you're not alone. Students and families are concerned about the college financial ramifications as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, and higher education institutions are anticipating an increase in students' financial aid need, as well as a large number of college financial aid appeals. Fortunately, there are ample options and resources to help you pay for college these coming semesters. Explore the various options to find out which works best for your situation - from scholarship deadline extensions to relief provided through the CARES Act and more. [...]