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January 2018

New year, new goals
A couple weeks into 2018 and you may be tempted to abandon the resolutions you made. The good news is you can choose each day to take steps toward meeting your goals. For college students and high school seniors, your top priority right now should be securing financial aid. High school students should focus on classes and set goals for being college and career ready.
High School Students
A new semester is a fresh start. Get organized and make studying and projects your priority from the beginning.

Consider doing something new. High school is a time to explore your interests. Go out for the Spring play, volunteer for a local organization, join a new club, or get a part-time job. All of these activities can help you develop valuable skills and look good on college and scholarship applications.

Use to see which careers match your interests. Find information about jobs available in your area and how much education you need to pursue your dream career. If your school participates in Missouri Connections, be sure to log in so you can save your information. If you can’t create a log in, choose the guest option and print any assessments you complete for future reference.

High School Seniors
If you haven’t filed your 2018-19 FAFSA yet, today is your day! You can’t qualify for most student aid without it. Your FAFSA should be filed by the Access Missouri priority deadline of Feb. 1. Eligible students who apply before Feb. 1 are guaranteed an award. This is a need-based grant and is free money. You don’t have to pay it back!

Senioritis: it effects even the most motivated of students. Here are some ideas to overcome!
Keep searching for scholarships. Schedule a time to meet with your high school counselor to find out what local scholarships are still available.

If you haven’t applied to college yet but think you might be interested, call the school’s admissions department and submit your admissions application ASAP.         
College Students
You have to file a FAFSA every year you plan to enroll in college to be eligible for most financial aid. File your 2018-19 FAFSA, before your school’s FAFSA deadline, or the Feb. 1 Access Missouri priority deadline, whichever comes first.

Time is money – so the more time you spend in college, the more your expenses rack up. Think 15 to Finish as you work toward your degree.

    • Know how many credit hours you need for the degree you’re seeking.

    • Take at least 15 credit hours each semester to put you on track to earn an associate degree in two years and a bachelor’s degree in four years.

    • Consider all your options. Take advantage of summer or online courses to help you get the credit hours you need.

Start your new semester out right. Set aside time to study and work on projects. Consider forming a study group or meeting with your professor if you find yourself struggling in a course. 

If you have a renewable scholarship, make sure you know and meet the requirements to qualify for another year.           

Important Dates
Jan. 12
ACT Registration

Feb. 1
Access Missouri FAFSA Priority Deadline

Feb. 9
SAT Registration

Feb. 10
ACT Test Date

March 9
ACT Registration

March 10
SAT Test Date

April 1
Access Missouri Final FAFSA Deadline

April 6
SAT Registration

April 14
ACT Test Date

Connect with us
Follow Journey to College on social media for daily planning and paying for college tips and reminders.




Your high school senior or current college student should complete the 2018-19 FAFSA as soon as possible. You’ll provide 2016 income tax information so no need to wait until taxes are filed this year. The FAFSA determines eligibility for federal, state, and some college aid. This includes federal work-study. File prior to the Feb. 1 Access Missouri Grant priority deadline.

College visits may be the determining factor when high school seniors are trying to make their final college decisions. Encourage your senior to take online tours and in-person tours if possible. Use this checklist to make the most of college visits.

The Monthly Reminder is published 10 times a year by Journey to College, an initiative brought to you by the Missouri Department of Higher Education. Learn more at

Missouri Department of Higher Education
P.O. Box 1469 Jefferson City, MO 65102
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