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College Crunch

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WSVN -- Karen Arkin: "So have you put all of this into your application?"

Jeremy Arkin: "Yes. I sent it out."

The countdown to college is on in the Arkin household.

Jeremy says his senior year has been all about applying to schools, and it's pretty stressful.

Jeremy Arkin, Applying to Colleges: "These are the applications you're going to have to get done, then once you start writing the essays, then deadlines start piling up."

Mom says the process is challenging for parents, too.

Karen Arkin, Parent: "Helping and guiding the student as to what schools to apply to, it's a lot different than when I went."

College Advisor Naomi Steinberg says parents and kids need to look at the bright side.

Naomi Steinberg, Apply Yourself Educational Counseling: "It can be chaotic, but it can also be fulfilling, exciting and an opportunity for students to really figure themselves out."

She says students should really start thinking about college when they start high school.

Naomi Steinberg: "The day you enter those halls, ninth grade on, is really ultimately going to impact not only your college options but your college successes."

But if you're a senior, it's not too late.

The first step, she says, is to finish your applications.

Naomi Steinberg: "There are plenty of colleges with rolling or late deadlines that you absolutely can still apply to."

Next, check your status.

If you've completed your applications, check in with each and every college to make sure they received your test scores, transcripts and recommendations.

Also, apply for financial aid ASAP.

Naomi Steinberg: "Even if you don't qualify for financial aid, you can access subsidized loans that the federal government will offer."

And Naomi's final piece of advice: Avoid senioritis.

Naomi Steinberg: "Don't let your grades slip. Remember, college acceptances are conditional. They can be rescinded."

Even though he wishes he had started the process earlier, Jeremy's hard work has paid off.

Jeremy Arkin: "This fall, I will be attending Vanderbilt University as a freshman."

Lynn Martinez: "Congrats, Jeremy. If you're not sure about your next step, secure a spot at a local community college so you don't miss out on starting school in the fall."

FOR MORE INFORMATION:Apply Yourself Educational Counselingwww.ayeconline.com Free Application for Federal Student Aidwww.fafsa.ed.gov

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