ST. LOUIS, Mo. – Some seniors have been preparing to apply for college for years while others may still be trying to decide what comes after high school. The good news is that it is not too late to apply.
Natissia Small is the Vice Provost for Access, Academic Support, and Workforce Integration at the University of Missouri St. Louis. She encourages students as young as middle school to start visiting colleges.
“For seniors, it’s really important that you start to visit colleges, like UMSL, and see yourself there in a place where you really can belong and begin to understand what it’s going to feel like. If you step on campus and it feels like that’s home to you then that’s going to help you feel that sense of belonging,” said Small.
The next step is to fill out an application for the desired institution. This will get the ball rolling for advisors to help seniors navigate the enrollment process. Next up, is financial aid.
“Get the FAFSA completed. The unabbreviated name is Free Application for Federal Student Aid. We want to students to complete the FAFSA regardless of their socio-economic status,” said Small.
When it comes to scholarships Small says think big.
“There are some out there that you really would not think to apply to. You’re like, ‘Wow, I actually qualify for that, so let me apply.’ So, it’s going to take some commitment if you’re just now figuring it out. It’s going to take some effort, but it is certainly not too late for students to get accepted into an institution,” said Small.
Small also suggests checking the website FastWeb for scholarships. For students in St. Louis and Missouri, Scholarship Central is a great search engine. An app with a small fee called Scholly may also be worth checking out.