(NAPSI)—If you or someone you care about is among the 3.6 million students who will graduate high school next year, here’s a hint: Vacation time is a good time for seniors and their parents to get a head start on the college application process. You can focus on finding the right college without balancing the responsibilities of schoolwork and extracurriculars.

Five Steps To College

Here are five things you can do now to save time in the fall.

1. Create And Save Your Own Personal College List: Use free resources such as the College Board’s bigfuture.org to search for and compare colleges, find scholarships, understand financial aid, navigate the application process from start to finish, and get reminders, tips and guidance for every step. With a profile on bigfuture.org, you can continually update your list and find the college that’s best for you.

2. Register For The SAT: The SAT is an important part of admission and it’s accepted by all U.S. colleges and universities. The College Board recently redesigned the SAT to make it easier than ever for students to show their best work. Students can take the SAT on August 25, which gives them a chance to practice for the test without the added pressure of being in school. And students can prepare—free—by logging on to Official SAT Practice for a personalized plan, including thousands of interactive questions with instant feedback, video lessons, full-length practice tests, and test-taking tips and strategies.

3. Show Colleges You’re Interested: There are many ways you can let your top colleges know you’re interested in attending. Visit a campus or go on a virtual tour; participate in an online chat hosted by the admission office; follow the college on social media; request more information through an institution’s online inquiry form; and give it a little bit more information about your interests.

4. Research Financial Aid: It’s important to consider college costs, so the College Board’s Net Price Calculator has information on potential financial aid and the true out-of-pocket costs of colleges. The summer is also a good time to gather the financial documents needed to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which opens October 1. And the Scholarship Search tool from bigfuture.org helps students find scholarships, other financial aid, and internships from more than 2,200 programs, totaling nearly $6 billion.

5. Check Your Fee Waiver Eligibility: The College Board made changes to remove as many cost barriers as possible for low-income students applying to college. Students now need only confirm their eligibility status once, and available benefits are easily visible in their online accounts. Fee waiver benefits include two free SAT administrations, six free SAT Subject Tests, two Question-and Answer Service (QAS) or Student Answer Service (SAS) orders, free unlimited score sends to colleges, waived application fees at participating colleges, and an unlimited number of CSS Profile application fee waivers for first-time, domestic college applicants.

Learn More

For further facts and tips, go to www.collegeboard.org.

clicktotweet “Vacation time is a good time for seniors and their parents to get a head start on the college application process. Making it easier, the College Board recently redesigned the SAT to help students show their best work. http://bit.ly/2xyF1OJ

On the Net:North American Precis Syndicate, Inc.(NAPSI)