Next Steps Idaho
Next Steps Idaho was created to help you figure your next step no matter where you are starting. It provides clear, simple, and timely information for post-secondary planning, at any age.
Click for Practical Next Steps for:
Look For The Best Fit
The best fit options for your future are ones that fits you academically, economically, environmentally, and socially. If you are wanting to be a collegiate athlete, then it needs to meet your athletic needs also. Going off to college is hard no matter how prepared you are. It is a complete change on how you live, your relationships both at school and at home, and your world in general. Yet if you can meet YOUR NEEDS and YOUR WANTS to the best of your ability in college choices, then it will increase your chances dramatically for surviving successfully in school,graduating, and doing it all that in the shortest amount of time possible. Everyone has a best fit post-secondary school option. Probably more than one. You just have to know how to look for it and how to apply for the best results.
10 Steps To Your Future
Get to know yourself. How do you stand out?
Determine your field of study interests
Determine your school criteria
Determine your school search
Learn all you can about your target schools
Set application goals
Narrow your list
Apply to schools where you are in the top 20% of the students to get the maximum amount of aid.
If you aren’t going for the most popular major at a school, it may be easer to get admitted.
Become friends with Admissions!
Have a professional sounding email address.
It is not okay for your parents to contact admissions. Your recommendation writers or a counselor CAN contact admissions.
Copy and pasting can be dangerous! Make sure all references to the appropriate college are correct.
Allow enough time to put your best forward AND DON'T MISS ANY DEADLINES!
You Should Look For...
Your potential field of study
Level of academics that you are comfortable with
Parochial or not
Diversity including race, politics, gender, cultures
A College May Want In You...
Solid Test Scores
Special Talents and Experience
Enthusiasm to Attend
Safety, Likely & Reach Options
When doing your college search, it is important to have colleges that fit each of the categories of Safety, Likely and Reach. This will help reduce your stress because you will have chosen a range of colleges that should ensure acceptance into at least one and also give you more choice options. You can categorize Safety, Likely and Reach schools both academically and financially.
Colleges have all different application types and admission deadlines! Make sure you know what your target colleges' deadlines are and meet them!
Type of Applications
Institutional or State - Applications directly from the college (or state run common application).
Common Application - This is a not-for-profit membership organization that manages college applications for many private colleges.
Universal College Application - This one is similar to the Common Application but managed by another organization.
Admission Types & Deadlines*
Regular DecIsion: This means students apply by a general school deadline.
Notification: Late March. Decision by: May 1st or 30 days from aid award.
Early Decision:Early Decision requires a parent’s signature, student signature, and a high school counselor signature. If admitted, it is a binding agreement and the student is obligated to attend unless you can prove financial issues. Notification: Usually by December sometime. Decision by: Usually by February.
Early Action: Early Action applications typically must be postmarked by November 1 or 15. Notification: 4-6 weeks after applying or date set by school. Decision by: May 1st.
Priority Decision: Students must apply by a certain date specified by a college.
Notification: Date set by the school. Decision by: May 1st.
Rolling Admission: This is the most popular type of admission and provides the most instant gratification. Notification: 48 hours to 6 weeks after applying.Decision by: May 1st.
* These are approximate times that a student will receive notifications and decisions based on the admission types.
Application Fee Wavers
IMPORTANT! Don't forget to talk to your counselor about this today! Applying to colleges can be expensive. If you are eligible for free or reduced lunches, you may also be eligible for an application fee waiver.