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District of Columbia College Access Program (DC-CAP)

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Preparing for Graduation

Once you’ve reached college, students should continue to consider their long-term professional goals. Make sure that you’re aligning your academic studies, campus and community involvement, and work experiences with your professional goals. Students should identify and apply to competitive internships with relevant work experience, become members of academic and civic organizations on campus, and volunteer for leadership positions on campus. Students should consider how each of their activities and pursuits will add to their professional résumé to be reviewed by potential employers. All students should visit their Academic Advising and Career Services offices to make sure that they are on track for graduation and employment opportunities.

If you are considering graduate studies at the end of your baccalaureate career, make sure that you understand the costs, commitment, and professional benefits of pursuing a graduate degree. The costs and financial aid available for graduate students is much different than those for undergraduate students. Similar to applying to undergraduate institutions, students need to research graduate opportunities early and ensure that they have met minimum requirements for admission to selected graduate programs. Students need to apply by stated deadlines to continue their education without interruption.

To track the amount of federal funds that have been disbursed on your behalf in anticipation of college graduation and loan repayment, borrowers can visit http://www.nslds.ed.gov/nslds_SA/. Most types of student loans begin repayment status six months after college graduation or when enrollment has decreased to less than half-time. In preparation, students should identify the repayment schedules of their various loans and make arrangements to begin repayment or request a deferment or forbearance as needed. Students can learn more about deferment or forbearance here.

Regardless of your final destination after college graduation, DC-CAP wants all students to be successful. If you are having difficulty navigating your options, please contact us. We are available to provide assistance and keep you apprised of your various options.

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