6 weird (but super effective) hacks to help you sleep
Lie in bed AND stay awake
Studies have shown that sometimes when you actively try to stay awake, you can’t. Yay for reverse psychology.
Count No. 2 pencils
Yep, this one’s totally ridiculous—but in that “so dumb, you’ll smile and actually relax” way. 1 yellow pencil. 2 yellow penc…
Chill wayyyy out
Lower the temperature in your room or house. Warm, cozy rooms can prevent you from falling asleep.
Download a sleep hypnosis podcast
These podcasts are said to soothe you into a deep sleep (without any weird side effects). You’re getting sleepier…
Lose the phone
Scrolling through Insta or watching Snapchat stories isn’t the best way to wind down. The light (and the FOMO) will keep you up longer.
Try to read your SAT textbook
Or, any long non-fiction book. Ideally one with small type and footnotes. Diving into Victorian etiquette at 9 p.m.? Zzzzz.
HOW TO AVOID ERRORS
Avoid these 4 common college application mistakes
1
Waiting to ask for
recommendations
By November, your teachers may be busy with work and holiday prep—yes, even they have lives outside of school (weird, right?). Talk to them sooner, not later.
2
Mixing up application
due dates
Keep track of the deadlines for all the schools on your list. Nothing’s worse than having your application together, only to miss the submission date.
3
Forgetting supplemental
materials
Realizing a school wanted an art portfolio right before a due date? So not fun. Check to see what you need now.
4
Using only spell check to proofread
Ask a friend to give your application its final edit. Spell check won’t know that when you typed “deer” you meant “dear.”
HOW TO UNDERSTAND YOUR AWARD LETTERS

Keep your eye out for
these things
• Cost of Attendance (COA): the estimated total cost for a school year, which includes things like tuition, books, meals, transportation, and other expenses.
• Expected Family Contribution (EFC): a number used by the school to calculate how much financial aid you’re eligible for. (The actual amount you pay may be different).
Still owe money? What now?
If your financial aid package doesn’t cover the full bill, you have options.
• You can try to request more financial aid from a school.
• You could look into scholarships, dip into saving, or consider private student loans. Talk to a parent or counselor about the options that are best for you.
Take your time
Give yourself enough time to think about your options. Money’s important, but location, classes, and vibe matter too. Make sure the school’s what YOU
want! 
Compare your offers
Weigh the + and – with a spreadsheet.
Add up all your financial aid, then subtract
that from the COA.
Your MVP checklist
Check out the basics
Does the school offer your major or, if you’re undecided, lots of options? You’ll also want to contact the campus career center about its track record for getting students into their field of choice.
Check out the scene
Use your social media skills and search by location to see what’s going on beyond the school’s official website and social channels. Does it look like a place you’d like to hang out?
Check out the forecast
If your ideal study routine is reading a textbook on the beach…maybe don’t go to school in Seattle. Knowing your weather deal breakers can help you narrow your list and feel happier at the school you choose.
Check out your surroundings
Prefer a peaceful campus with rolling hills? Or would you feel lost without the hustle and bustle of the city outside your dorm? Location, location, location.
Check out how social your school is
Do you love the idea of large dorms, lots of organized fun, and Greek life? Or do you prefer a quieter vibe with smaller class sizes and a few good friends? Chat up current students or recent grads to learn more.
Check out opportunities outside the classroom
Research internships, co-ops, and study abroad programs for experiences and opportunities to learn outside the classroom.

FINANCIAL AID INFORMATION FOR SENIORS:

Check out the following resources to help students and families review their financial aid award letters:

Financial Aid Essentials (.pdf/489KB): This guide offers the basics on financial aid award letters and a glossary of common terms.
BigFuture™ Compare Your Aid Awards: This tool provides students with an online worksheet to assist with understanding costs, types of aid, and net price.

HELPFUL WEBSITES FOR UNDOCUMENTED STUDENTS

US Dept of Education Resource Guide: www.ed.gov/about/overview/focus/supporting-undocumented-youth.pdf

DACA:  www.uscis.gov/humanitarian/consideration-deferred-action-childhood-arrivals-daca

US Citizenship and Immigration Services:  www.uscis.gov/

Resources for undocumented students:

www.professional.collegeboard.com/profdownload/Repository-Resources-Undocumented-Students_2012.pdf

(2/11/16)