Flickr user Alyson Hurt

Flickr user Alyson Hurt

A new year, a new start. People all over the country tend to start off January 1st with a set of resolutions, changes they want to make, things they want to accomplish. High school students are no exception, and since many of you have college on the brain, we thought of a couple college-themed resolutions for you to try out!

Many of these suggestions will be dependent on where you’re at in the college search process, but nevertheless they’re good things to keep in mind!

Research Colleges Regularly

Whether you’re cultivating the first draft of your college list or refining draft number 5, it’s important to regularly look into the colleges you’re interested in. What sort of major programs do they offer? How big is their student body? What sort of financial aid packages do they offer? Any information is good information, you want to make the most well-informed decision you can when it comes to selecting a college! Even researching two or three hours a week can be a big help.

Apply for Financial Aid

Do it, do it, do it. Even if you don’t think you’ll get anything, do it anyway (because you’ll likely get something). Financial aid can mean the difference between a a $60,000 tuition, and only paying $15,000 of that out-of-pocket. Research a school’s financial aid program. And College Raptor can help you get an idea as to what you’ll likely pay for nearly every college in the USA! (For FREE!)

Hunt Down Scholarships

Like with financial aid: do it, do it, do it! Scholarships are a great way to pay for college since—unlike student loans—scholarship gift money does not have to be paid back. Set a goal for yourself, say, you apply to at least 3 scholarships a week! Your hard work will pay off in the long run.

Work on Your Applications and Essays

Either get started or get polishing! The application is paramount, so may sure you pay attention. Collect everything that’s required of you, double check everything or errors or grammatical mistakes, have teachers or counselors review your work, and double-check everything before you submit it!