A normal college planning experience may be out the window for most high school juniors and seniors but sticking to the plan should still be the plan. Here’s how to navigate these unforeseen hurdles.


  1. Keep reaching out

A recent report from Cappex college consulting revealed that juniors have slowed their engagement with colleges by as much as 25%. It’s time to get creative because getting to know the schools on your consideration list is still a must. Take virtual tours and be a part of video chats or digital forums with students, professors and other faculty.


  1. Get to know the CARES Act

Recent legislative changes have provided significant relief to those with federal student loans. Interest rates are now zero and all payments due are frozen until September 2020. Take advantage of this time and determine your eligibility to refinance, if needed.


  1. Sharpen the financial pencil

Financial aid can be daunting on its own, without these seemingly daily changes. Let’s keep it simple — pull your documentation, loss of wagers letter, and extended medical bills together and file an appeal to the Financial Aid and Admissions Office. During the waiting period, remember the school is working as quickly as they can.


  1. Lean on your community

You’re not in it alone! Reach out to your school counselors, college administrators and financial advisors. Even chatting with a family member who’s been through the application process can help.


  1. Stay true to the course

Yes, things are changing, but the core of your college plan shouldn’t. Work on your final list, have some options, decide wisely, make your selection and be ready for college. Everything will return to resembling normal soon.